SPASH boys continue conference run with WVC Indoor Title
The Stevens Point Area Senior High School (SPASH) boys track
team turned in a strong performance to win the Wisconsin Valley Conference
(WVC) Indoor Meet at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point (UWSP) Multi-Activity Center
Tuesday, April 12.
Senior Victor Kizewski won the 55 dash and 200 dash and
sophomore Liam Belson won the 800 run and 1,600 run, while both teamed up to
help the Panthers win the 4×400 relay, as SPASH finished with 205 points and
beat D.C. Everest (147.5) and Wausau West (91) for its fifth consecutive WVC
Indoor Title and 12th in the last 13 years.
“Today was very good,” said SPASH boys track head coach
Kevin Streveler after the meet. “We put some expectations on the kids to
perform above their ability.
“We weren’t sure exactly what we could do when we started
this season, and we’ve been real impressed with the kids,” he said. “And 205
points is a lot of points in a track meet.”
Last season SPASH won each of the WVC Indoor, Relay and
Outdoor meets for the third year in a row, and went on to finish in a tie for
seventh place at the WIAA Division 1 State Meet.
The Panthers lost individual state qualifiers from a year
ago in Evan Hatton (fourth at state in the 800 run the last two years), Derek
Cruz (11th at state in 800 run) and Tyler Tanko (22nd in 3,200 run), while
Hatton and Cruz were part of the 4×800 relay team that placed fourth at state
and the 4×400 relay team that placed sixth and Aaron Simonis and Zach Mancl
were part of SPASH’s 4×200 relay team that finished third at state.
Leading the returnees this season are state qualifiers from
a year ago in senior Victor Kizewski (200 dash, 4×200 relay and 4×400 relay),
who will play football at NCAA Division 1 Football Championship Subdivision
North Dakota State University next year, senior Tyler Patoka (4×200 relay,
eighth at state in 300 hurdles), Belson (800 run, 4×800 relay and 4×200 relay)
and senior Alex Scott (discus), while sophomore Colton Kizewski was a member of
the 4×100 relay team that finished 23rd at state.
“We had this conversation with the kids the other day, that
‘when we started the season, we weren’t sure how good we were going to be,’”
said Streveler. “There were a lot of questions.
“But these kids have worked hard in the off-season,” he
said. “And they’re having a phenomenal season so far.”
The Panthers opened this season by finishing fourth at the Oshkosh
High School Large School Invitational at UW-Oshkosh March 15, and then totaled
61 points to take third behind Fond du Lac (72.5) and D.C. Everest (64) at the
Point Invite at UWSP March 19.
SPASH bounced back at the Madison West Relays at the University
of Wisconsin April 2, where they finished with 54.5 points to beat Oak Creek
(48) and Lake Forest (Ill.) (44) for the Team Title.
“That was impressive,” said Streveler. “(Sophomore) Nolan
Metz had a school record in the 400 dash, breaking Victor’s record.
“And in the 4×400, we set the school record by almost three
seconds,” he said. “So that was a real good performance, and kind of set the
tone to say, ‘hey, we can be pretty good if we keep working hard.’”
SPASH was back at UWSP for the WVC Indoor Meet Tuesday,
where Victor Kizewski won the 55 dash and 200 dash, Belson won the 800 run and
1,600 run and Metz won the 400 dash, while they also teamed up with senior
Chase Franz to win the 4×400 relay.
Patoka won the 200 hurdles, sophomore Connor Pliska won the
pole vault and Scott won the shot put, while freshman Blake Milkowski, freshman
Chad Franz, junior Tyler Bernstein and junior Mark Stoskopf teamed up to win
the 4×800 relay.
The Panthers also got second-place finishes from Patoka (55
hurdles), junior Derek Franz (3,200 run) and junior Eli Wachowiak (high jump),
and third-place finishes from junior Matthew Altmann (800 run), Colton Kizewski
(200 dash) and senior Seth Zorn (high jump, as they totaled 205 points to roll
to the victory over D.C. Everest (147.5), Wausau West (91), Wisconsin Rapids
Lincoln (88.5), Wausau East (37), Marshfield (27) and Merrill (23).
“It was a real good day overall,” said Streveler. “D.C.
Everest is always really good, they’re always going to put a good team on the
track no matter what.
“Wausau West is getting better, and Rapids is getting better
too,” he said. “We just put a target on our back by winning this one, so we’ve
got to work real hard and outperform everybody in the outdoors,
SPASH will be back in action when it opens the outdoor
season with a triangular against D.C. Everest and Wisconsin Rapids Lincoln at Thursday, April 21, at
Community Stadium at Goerke Field, where the Panthers are also set to host a
triangular against Rosholt and Wausau West at Tuesday, April 26.
Meanwhile, the WVC Relays Meet will be hosted by D.C.
Everest Tuesday, May 3, with the WVC Outdoor Meet at Wausau West May 17, as the
Panthers look to sweep the Conference Titles again this season, after they’ve
won 33 of the 37 WVC Meets since 2003.
“We’re excited about what we can do outdoors,” said
Streveler. “Our goal is always to win the Conference Meets, all three of them.
“Then win Regionals, try to win Sectionals and get as many
people in the Top Three, so we can get as many guys as possible to the State
Meet,” he said.