EagleHerald/Billy Betts
Come fly with me
Peshtigo’s Ezra Swanson soars through the air during the long jump event at the Oconto Falls regionals on Monday.
EagleHerald/Billy Betts

Come fly with me

Peshtigo’s Ezra Swanson soars through the air during the long jump event at the Oconto Falls regionals on Monday.

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OCONTO FALLS — Survive and advance. That was the mentality for the Marinette and Peshtigo track and field teams at the Division 2 regional in Oconto Falls on Monday.

Both the Marines and Bulldogs finished with banner days as Marinette qualified for sectionals in 14 events and the Bulldogs were also qualifiers in 10 events.

“Just a solid all-around days with several personal bests,” Peshtigo coach Joe Nault said. “Several of our kids exceeded expectations and it was nice to compete in excellent weather.”

The Marine girls’ team finished in third place overall with a score of 79.33 points and were led by several athletes.

Kim Carviou and Katelyn Kitzinger continued their battle at the top in the 800 meter run. Carviou took second with a time of 2:27.02 while Kitzinger was right on her heels in third. Kitzinger also finished second in the 400 and the duo teamed up with Charli Nowak and Cora Wendt on a second-place finish in the 1,600 meter relay.

Marinette also advanced in both its girls 400 and 800 meter relay teams. Nowak teamed up with Emma Wendt, Amara Smalls and Sherri Wu to finish fourth in the 800 and the team of Wu, Smalls, Riley Renne and Courtney Anderson also took fourth in the 400.

“I’m super jacked about our relay teams, especially our younger girls that did well in the 400 and 800 meter relays,” Marinette coach Bryan Lenzner said. “Kim and Katelyn advanced, which was what we were focusing on. They didn’t love their times, but as long as they place in the top 4, that’s what the goal was.”

Kitzinger also took second in the 400 meter run, Wu finished third in the 100 meter dash and Emma Wendt, much to the delight of Lenzner, kept her season alive with a fourth place finish in a star-studded 100 meter hurdles. Freshman Lindsey Wingender also took third in the discus throw by tossing a PR of 114 feet.

For the Marinette boys, Jeremy Wendt and Alex Shaw came away with solid performances. Shaw took third in the 100 meter dash as did Wendt in the 110 meter hurdles. 

In a strategic move by Lenzner, Shaw, who normally excels at the 200, didn’t compete in that race, but instead teamed up with Wendt, Anthony Jardeen and Darrell Dufeck for a second-place finish in the 800 meter relay. Shaw also anchored Marinette’s 400 meter relay team to a third-place finish along with Sam Drees, Jardeen and Dufeck.

“We just thought it would be better for both Alex and our two relay teams to have him compete in those races, instead of the 200,” said Lenzner. “It’s a tough regional. I think he would have placed in the 200, but him helping both relay teams was our best shot.”

Carson Polomis did the rest of the damage for Marinette. Polomis came from behind on the last leg to win the 1,600 meter run and also finished third in the 3,200.

“I was in fourth coming around the last lap and I just saw my mom and she yelled to me what do I have left to lose,” Polomis said. “I just made my move on the last turn and left everything out there. Winning the mile was a big confidence booster for me.”

For Peshtigo, it was Mitchell VanVooren time from the first event he competed in. VanVooren, who already held the school record in the 110 meter hurdles, broke his own record with a time of 14.51 seconds, good for first place, just in front of Freedom’s Hunter Wiese.

“Mitchell just keeps getting better,” Nault said. “He shattered his previous 110 hurdles record and I think he can run even faster.”

VanVooren wasn’t done for the day as he teamed up with Jerod Jandt, Cole Trimberger and Reid Marquardt to finish second in the 1,600 meter relay and also took second in the 300 meter hurdles.

Jandt took third in the 200 meter dash, Marquardt placed second in the 800 and Trimberger earned a fourth place finish in the 400. Peshtigo also took second in the 3,200 meter relay team of Trimberger, Marquardt, Caleb Smith and Alex Dolata and took fourth in the 800 meter relay team, led by Jerod and Jesse Jandt, Ezra Swanson and Zach LeMahieu.

Max Rauch rounded out the success for the Peshtigo boys by winning the pole vault by clearing 12 feet.

Advancing for the Peshtigo girls was the relay team of Alana Finger, Gabby Perry, Lianna Baxter and Arikka Carroll, who took fourth in the 3,200 meter relay.