Bay Port brothers Kyle (front) and Ryan Thieme take part in the 4×800 relay. The duo along with Nick Key and Drew Dahlin finished second, and qualified for state (Rich Palzewic photo).
BY RICH PALZEWIC
DE PERE – All the hard work and determination paid off for several members of the Bay Port track and field team at the WIAA D1 Ashwaubenon Sectional May 25 at Schneider Stadium on the campus of St. Norbert College.
Twelve athletes who placed in the top three in their respective events advanced to the WIAA state meet June 1-2 in La Crosse.
The boys’ team placed third behind Kimberly and Green Bay Preble, while the girls came in sixth on a hot and muggy evening.
Boys: In one of the most exciting races of the night, the 4×800 relay team of Ryan Thieme (sophomore), Nike Key (senior), Kyle Thieme (senior) and Drew Dahlin (sophomore) advanced by placing second in a time of 8:04.08.
Dahlin, who ran the anchor leg, was passed by a Preble and Hortonville runner shortly after he began his second of two laps, but the sophomore stayed steady to kick ahead of both in the last 100 meters.
“All I knew is that I had to sprint past them in the end,” said Dahlin. “I wasn’t saving anything – I just ran how I always run. I could definitely tell (the other two runners) were starting to fade towards the end.”
The 4×400 relay team of Mitchell Merhalski (freshman), Garrett Mooren (senior), Key and Sam Plumb (sophomore) also advanced by placing third with a 3:25.34 time.
Individually, sophomore Isaiah Gash advanced with a personal-best, third-place leap of 45 feet in the triple jump.
“Sectionals is always filled with a lot of emotions, both good and bad,” said boys’ head coach Andy Nuthals. “Over the course of a season – and in most cases years – you become close to the athletes you coach and when their season ends, it’s tough … especially for seniors. Overall it was a good night in a competitive sectional. On the guys side of things, the 4×400 relay team stepped up through a real team effort. They are pretty much all brand new from last year. They just kept bringing their time down and they believed they could advance to La Crosse. I am really proud of the effort they gave. I also think the boys’ 4×800 relay team and Isaiah Gash have a possibility of scoring down at the state meet next week.”
Girls: No Bay Port relay teams advanced, but individually, senior Bailey Cisar was third in the 200 with a 26:07 time.
Senior Savannah Huben became a three-time state qualifier when she also placed third in the 800 in 2:21.54.
Senior Olivia Mabry will be heading to La Crosse for the second time in the pole vault because of her third-place 11-6 jump.
Finally, freshman Ella Meeuwsen advanced in the high jump with a leap of 5-3.
“Personally, I am so happy that Bailey Cisar and Savannah Huben made it back to state,” added Nuthals. “Last year Bailey had a very tough sectional, taking fourth in multiple events. When she placed third in the 200 this year, I was extremely happy and proud of her. Savannah has been a very special athlete and person to me the last few years; now she has a chance to close out her career at the state meet, which is well deserved.
For complete results of the sectional meet, CLICK HERE.