PIERCE — The strong showing by the Cedar Catholic Trojans track teams continued last week for the Tom Martin Memorial/Wausa Invitational.
Cedar faced some of the toughest competition it has seen this season.
The boys finished third with 82.50 points and the girls brought home the fourth-best score with 70 points.
“I really felt going into this meet that it was going to be our biggest challenge so far this season,” CCHS head coach Chad Cattau said. “We were going to be up against 12 other schools and some of the better track performers in the state. We need to compete in meets like this because it really teaches our kids to compete against the best and it helps us to raise our own expectations and goals for the day.
Cattau was happy with the way his athletes performed.
“I was really pleased with the way our kids competed in each of their events,” he said. “We had a lot of career best marks during the meet so that was really exciting for me. As a team, we need to continue to improve ourselves each week, so we are in the best position possible as our conference and district meets approach.”
Leading the way for the girls were Laney Kathol (first, 400 run, 1:01; second, 800 run, 2:26.72), Sophia Reifenrath (second, 100 dash, 13.51; second 200 dash, 28.20), Faith Christensen (fourth, 100 dash, 13.83; fourth, 200 dash, 28.64), Sara Burbach (third, 3,200 run, 13:25.64); fifth, 1,600 run, 6:04.76), Grace Reifenrath (sixth, 200 dash, 28.83), the 4x800 relay (Makenzie Arens, Burbach, Jordyn Steffen, Kathol, 10:53.75), the girls 4x400 relay (second, Christensen, G. Reifenrath, S Reifenrath, Kathol, 4:31.44) and the girls 4x100 relay (sixth, Christensen, G. Reifenrath, Lexi Eickhoff, S. Reifenrath, 56:37).
“Sara has really shown a lot of guts this spring,” Cattau said. “Her times continue to improve, and we haven’t really had any great days yet for the distance runners. She has become a great leader for us because of her energy and positive attitude that she has each and every day.
“I know she is very focused on achieving her goals that she has set since she only has a few weeks of her career left.”
The boys top performances included the impressive triple crown from Carson Noecker (first, 800 run, 2:07.53; first 1,600 run, 4:39.66; first, 3,200 run, 9:34.95) and other high marks from Alex Kuehn (third, 400 run, 53.03; fifth, long jump, 19-03), Easton Becker (first, pole vault, 11- 08), Owen Heimes (second, long jump, 19-07), Owen Heimes (fourth, 300 hurdles, 44.99),
Blake Arens (fourth, pole vault, 11- 08), Carson Arens (fifth, high jump, 5-06), the 4x800 relay (first, Calvin Christensen, Carson Arens, Noecker, Dagen Joachimsen, 8:43.95) and the 4x400 relay (second, Joachimsen, Carson Arens, Easton Becker, Kuehn, 3:39.23).
“It was good to get Owen back after battling the injury bug for a couple of weeks,” Cattau said. “He performed well in both the hurdles and long jump. We have been easing him back into competition, but he proved yesterday that he is ready to go again.
“I am excited for how well Alex has developed for us throughout the season. His confidence has really been on the rise. He ran a career best time in the 400, and he also ran a great split in the 1,600 relay (54 seconds). He has also really learned how to be a good long jumper so each meet we can see him getting better and better. I have always been impressed with the athletes that run the distance races and what we put on their plate each meet.”
Cattau has enjoyed seeing the team progress on both the track and in the field, especially on the boys side.
“We have a lot of kids of all ages that are really contributing to the overall success of the team,” Cattau said. “On the girls side, we really need to try and get more points from our field events. We don’t have a large number of girls out so it’s really important that we get some points from a variety of girls.
“I know they are all really working hard to improve themselves so they can put themselves in position to score for us.”
Cattau also has appreciated the work of Joachimsen.
“He has continued to improve his times throughout the season,” Cattau said. “He is a very competitive athlete for us, and we will need everything we can get from him in the next few weeks.
“We just need to decide going into a meet what events will help us out the most as a team.”
Joachimsen and the boys team is continuing a strong athletic run this school calendar year.
He admits for many that track is not the favorite sport for most of the boys, but with near misses at a state title in hoops and a playoff run in football that didn’t quite secure a big trophy, this may be the group’s last chance at glory.
“We have a lot of athletic kids who are good at every sport and are continuing their athleticism along and putting all their hard work forward,” Joachimsen said. “We have done good in every season of every sport we’ve done, and we haven’t made it all the way. We definitely have some kids that want to make it down to state themselves and as a team to do better.”
He himself is pretty happy with where he stands at this point of the season with just a month ago.
“I am in the tough events,” Joachimsen said. “I am doing pretty good – both of the relays are doing pretty well. We got a good group of kids in both of those, and I believe if we keep going, both of those teams have a good chance of making it down to state.”
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