There was never going to be any pity party for the short-handed but usually strong Menomonee Falls boys track team this season.
And now the Indians are finding they never really needed one in the first place as Cameron Jemison won the pole vault, Matthew Nienow claimed the 110-meter high hurdles and Jacob Kaus took the triple jump as they claimed third in the 15-team West Bend West Spartan Invitational on April 21.
"The younger guys are doing good," said Indians coach Bobby Regent-Smith. "We put together a nice meet on Friday. Everyone is working hard. We're coaching the guys who are there and everyone is doing the right things."
Falls, which also competed in the Sussex Hamilton Invitational on April 19 (look to Sports Shorts for results), will now take part in the Marquette Invitational at Quad Park in Milwaukee on Saturday, April 29. The Greater Metro Conference Relays will be Wednesday, May 3, at West Allis Hale.
The Indians scored 71 points for their spot at West Bend as Fond du Lac dominated the meet with 146 points and Homestead edged Falls for second with 72 points.
The meet was a breakout for Nienow, a senior who made the state finals in the 300 intermediate hurdles last June. He edged a West runner for the title in the 110 high hurdles with a 15.59 second time, with sophomore teammate Mory Bamba sixth (16.59).
Niewnow then came back to take second in the 300 intermediates with a season best state-level time of 41.49.
"It was a good meet for Matt," said Regent-Smith. "He's getting there."
A key moment in Nienow's day was anchoring the Indians' signature 4x200 relay team that included fellow senior Patrick Doyle on lead-off and then sophomores Dominick Kollmann and Michael Young, to a runner-up, state-level time of 1:30.91, as they lost a close race to Racine Case (1:30.66).
"It was a good race," said Regent-Smith. "We put a couple of the older guys (Doyle and Nienow) with the younger guys and they showed them how to prepare and get ready for a big race. Burls (sprint/relays coach Mike Burling) also did a great job in getting them ready."
Jemison, the Indians' school record holder in the pole vault, remained consistent, hitting 14 feet again for his victory.
Kaus, a sophomore, continued his impressive spring by winning the triple jump with a personal best of 42-11 ½ in a tight field that had four jumpers within 3 inches of each other.
"He's a young talented guy," said Regent-Smith. "He's tall (6-foot-1), lean and muscular. He was doing 38 feet last season and he's just really starting to figure things out." Kaus was also seventh in the long jump (19-8 ½).
Other places of note for the Indians included Doyle fifth in the 100 dash (11.5 in finals after 11.28 in trials) and fourth in the 200 (23.13).
There was also a fifth from the all-sophomore 4x100 relay team of Jacob Ernst, Kaus, Young and Kollmann (45.29), a sixth from Tyler Smalley in the 3,200 (10:17.61), a seventh from Brandon Schaefer in the shot put (48-2), and an eighth from Ethan Richmond in the triple jump (39-1).
The 4x800 relay team of Smalley, Tom Goihl, Devin Hoferitza and Eric Dethloff was also eighth (8:47.64).