Freshman Ella Meeuwsen jumps at a recent practice (Rich Palzewic photo).
BY RICH PALZEWIC
SUAMICO – The Bay Port girls’ track and field team will be aiming to win its third Fox River Classic Conference championship in a row this season – something it has never done before.
The indoor season is well underway for the Pirates, who have won five of the last seven FRCC titles.
“Our kids have earned the right to be the favorite,” said head girls’ coach Victor Murphy. “We’ve had some success in the past, but our goal every year is the same – win a conference championship. It’s always a lofty goal, but we have the numbers to back it up. It’s up to the girls to go out and make it happen. We have a target on our back and teams are after us. We have some things to figure out, but we have great numbers.”
Murphy noted that Bay Port won back-to-back titles in 2011-12 but failed to win in 2013. Then they won again in 2016-17, so they don’t want a repeat of five years ago.
“No girls’ team here has won three in a row, so that’s what we want to do,” he said. “As far as I know, no other teams in the conference have won it three years in a row either. Our job as coaches is to put the pieces together. We are looking at May 16 (the FRCC meet) as our first big goal.”
The Pirates will have to replace middle-distance runner and state qualifier Maddie Re, who is now playing Division II basketball at Truman State University. They will also have to replace Maddie Biebel, who qualified in the 100 and 300 hurdles, and is now running at UM-Duluth.
Senior Olivia Mabry is the highest-placed state qualifier returning after she took sixth a season ago in the pole vault at the state meet in La Crosse.
Other senior state qualifiers returning are middle-distance runners Sophia Thibert and Jenna Hoffman. The two along with Re and Junior Tea Bruss were members of the 3,200-meter relay team a season ago that placed 19th.
Savannah Huben, also a senior, returns after qualifying in the 800 last year and has been the top runner on the cross-country team for the last three years.
In addition to the above named, Murphy expects big things from senior Bailey Cisar in the sprints. He also mentioned freshmen Ella Meeuwsen and his daughter Ava Murphy as being potential point-getters.
“Our sprint crew is solid, but we have to see what shakes out,” he said. “We have smart kids. We are good depth-wise in most of the events – I’d say 12 of the 18 events for sure. We have to stay healthy like other teams. Our freshmen are good – a lot of them come in ready to contribute right away. Each year we pick up a few kids from the soccer and softball teams that get cut, which is a normal thing. We have a reputation as a track team that it’s an open pipeline. We’ve picked up some good athletes over the years. Track is probably one of the least political sports there is … here’s your time and here’s your distance.”
2018 Bay Port Girls’ Track & Field Schedule
March 20 – Home Meet – De Pere/Green Bay West – 4:00
March 26 – @ Oshkosh West Invitational – 5:00
April 5 – Home Invitational – 4:00
April 9 – @ De Pere (De Pere/Pulaski) – 4:00
April 13 – @ Franklin Invitational – 4:00
April 16 – @ Ashwaubenon (Ashwaubenon/Southwest) – 4:00
April 20 – @ De Pere Invitational – 3:30
April 23 – Home Meet – Notre Dame/Sheboygan South – 4:00
April 26 – @ Pulaski Invitational – 3:30
April 27 – @ Neenah Invitational – 4:15
May 1 – Home FRCC Relays – 3:30
May 4 – Home Invitational – 4:00
May 8 – @ Marinette Invitational – 4:00
May 15 – @ Pulaski – FRCC Meet – 3:30
May 21 – Home WIAA Regionals – 3:00
May 24 – @ WIAA Ashwaubenon Sectional – TBA
June 1-2 – @ WIAA La Crosse State Meet – TBA