Simply put, the Germantown boys and girls track teams needed to run outside..
The indoor season, abbreviated by the unfortunate recent cancellation of the North Shore Conference Indoor meet due to a bomb threat (see column at MyNorthwestNow.com for details), was over and the Warhawks needed to stretch their legs.
They did so in quite a successful manner last week, when they opened the outdoor campaign with their own girls and boys invitationals. The girls, behind three victories from Kenzie Schmitz, took second out of six teams on April 11 while the boys were third of eight on April 12.
Coach Jared Foerch said the kids loved the feeling of fresh air in their faces.
"As far as competition goes, no one really looks forward to the indoor season," he said, "and with this being the first week of the outdoor season, especially with the North Shore indoor being canceled, there was an added air of anticipation."
The Warhawks are on break week and will be back in action Tuesday, April 24, at the Washington County Invite at Kettle Moraine Lutheran.
In their own girls invite, the Warhawks scored 189 points for their spot as Bay Port won with 207 and Hartford was third (109).
Schmitz, fresh off her WBCA All-State, Now Player of the year selection season in basketball, led the way; she won the 100-meter dash in 12.96 seconds (12.89 in trials), and cruised to victory by almost a second in the 200 (26.63).
Foerch said that Schmitz's adjustment from hoops to track has been comparatively easy.
"I don't think she ever lost her track legs," he laughed. "We're excited to use her in more individual events. Figure some things out and try to be a little more creative."
Schmitz also helped the 4x100 team of Kennedy Runde, Kate Richmond and Erin Willard earn an easy win in 52.13.
Other individual firsts went to Sami Stieve in the 3,200 (won by more than a minute in 11:37.66), Erin Willard in the long jump (17-5 ½), Marissa Neiman in the high jump (4-10), and sophomore Tabitha Wechlo in the shot put (33-9).
The 4x800 relay team of Molly Baus, Miranda Dorsey, Emily Betthauser and Alyssa Goesch also posted a solid, first competitive time of 10:13.6 in its first race of the year.
Foerch was impressed by all the victories, especially by the surprising effort of Wechlo.
Seconds included freshman Melina Kopischkie in the 400 dash (1:03.5), Goesch in the 800 (2:27.24), Willard in the triple jump (32-6), Jennifer Lindgren in the 1,600 (5:37.75) and the 4x200 relay team of McKenna Klopfer, Richmond, Mya Lovett and Kennedy Runde (1:54.52); while thirds went to McKenna Klopfer in the 300 low hurdles (50.9); the 4x400 relay team of Klopfer, Betthauser, Vanessa Leamen and Kopischkie (4:31.26); and Alexandria Sherman in the pole vault (7-6).
For the boys, they scored 96 points for their spot while Bay Port won with 149 and Whitefish Bay was second with 107 ½.
Shon Pratcher took the only first with a clocking of 22.64 seconds in the 200 meter dash.
Surprisingly, Pratcher, the defending state long jump champion, lost his specialty despite a strong leap of 22 feet, 9 inches as Bay Port's Cordell Tinch won with a 22-10 ½ effort.
Tinch also won the triple jump with an impressive effort of 47-1 ½ while Pratcher turned in a strong second-place showing of 45-3.
Other seconds went to Dylan Ayert in the 800 (2:02.28) and Bryce Behrendt in the high jump (5-10), while thirds went to Austin Mozdzen in the 100 dash (11.55), freshman Ben Schnoor in the 3,200 with a fine first outdoor time of 10:05.01 and Daniel Lakich in the long jump (20-1 ½).
Fourths went to the 4x100 relay team (45.55), the 4x800 relay (8:46.07) and Cal Knapp in the shot put (45-4). Ayer, Schnoor and Lakich all came in for praise for their efforts.
"We took third and there were a great many good athletes out there, so we felt pretty good about things," said Foerch. "The meet ran pretty well, too. We were very pleased how it was managed. There were a few minor hiccups but we fixed them before they became serious problems."