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Tinch set to make state history: Bay Port boys’ track & field preview

Bay Port’s Cordell Tinch jumps a hurdle at a recent practice (Rich Palzewic photo). 


SUAMICO – With a little help for Cordell Tinch, the Bay Port boys’ track and field team should be in contention for its second team state championship in the last four years.

Tinch, a two-time individual champ, will be looking to make history this June at the WIAA D1 state meet in La Crosse for the Pirates.

“When you have the best athlete in the state on your team, it can carry you a long ways,” said a smiling Bay Port boys’ coach Andy Nuthals. “Last year Cordell got us 36 points himself, which placed us third overall behind Kimberly and Oak Creek. If he can duplicate that this season and we can get a few points from others, we will be in contention. I think 50 points is the magic number. State isn’t as much about team depth as I’d like it to be – if you have a few strong individuals it can lead to a top finish. Our sectional is never easy. Our goal is to have representation in 6-7 events in La Crosse.”

Nuthals said both Kimberly and Oak Creek will be two of the top teams once again. The Papermakers and Knights scored 41 and 40 points respectively last year at state.

Tinch, a 6-foot-3 University of Minnesota recruit, will be joining the Golden Gophers’ track/field and football teams next fall. Minnesota is a member of the B1G 10 with UW-Madison.

He won the triple jump in 2017 with a state-record leap of over 49 feet and also won the long jump (24-02.25). He took second in the high jump (6-8) and 110-meter hurdles (14.59), and should have a legitimate shot to win all four events in June.

Tinch said his goals are to win four state titles and set state records in all four events.

“That’s where his goals should be,” Nuthals said. “On a perfect day I can’t think of any event where he can’t be a state champion and set four state records in. Obviously doing all four at the same time on one weekend adds a different dynamic.”

Before the Pirates get that far into the season, their first goal is to get back on top of the Fox River Classic Conference after failing to secure the title last season. They lost just one senior – Sammy Devenport – who scored points at the state meet besides Tinch.

“Conference is more about the entire team and having that depth,” Nuthals noted. “Green Bay Preble is a great team, but there are a few programs that should be better this season – De Pere and Ashwaubenon to name two. The goal is to win a conference championship. I think we are stronger than we were last year. Our sophomore class is very good … they’ve gotten bigger and stronger from a season ago.”

In the 20-team Oshkosh Indoor Invite March 13, Bay Port had four sophomores in the top 10 in various events: Mitchell Merhalski (400-meter dash), Noah Key (60-meter hurdles), Isaiah Gash (long jump, triple jump) and Braden Doyle (shot put). Another sophomore, Drew Dahlin, was the Pirates’ top finisher at the state cross-country meet last fall.

Also look for Jack Plumb (throwing) and Griffin Hawley (jumping) to make splashes.

Bay Port’s distance runners are also very strong, so a state berth in the 4×800 meter relay and a school record are realistic goals according to Nuthals. Nick Key, Drew Abfall and Kyle Thieme all had strong showings in Oshkosh.

“We always want to get better,” added Nuthals. “We need someone to step up in the pole vault and 300 hurdles. Anytime we are not in the top-three in the conference in any event, we use that as a gage. It should be an exciting year.”

Notes: State records …

High jump: 7.0, Jason Smith, Milwaukee Juneau, 1992
Long jump: 25.00.75, Larry Franklin, Madison Central, 1965
Triple jump: 49.02.25, Cordell Tinch, Bay Port, 2017
110-meter hurdles: 14:04, Daurice Fountain, Madison Memorial, 2014

2018 Bay Port Boys’ Track & Field Schedule

March 20 – Home Meet – De Pere/Green Bay West – 4:00
April 5 – Home Invitational – 4:00
April 7 – @ UW-Whitewater Invitational – 9:30
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

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