Jets boys place second at Norway track Invitational

NORWAY – Scoring in all 17 events was a goal the North Central boys’ track team had in mind heading into Monday’s Norway Invitational.

The Jets fell two short of that goal, but earned runner-up honors with 99 points on this sunny and warm day.

“I was happy with the boys today,” said Jets’ coach Jerry Root. “I think the key was balance today. We had some second places. Our times weren’t too shabby either. We were also up against some good teams up here.”

North Dickinson won with 161 1/2 and defending champ Niagara, Wis. took third this time at 74.

The Nordics, running in only their second meet this season, were led by junior Tim Hruska who won the 110-meter hurdles in 16.49 seconds, 300 hurdles (44.23) and 100 dash (11.78) and took runner-up honors in the 200 in 24 flat.

“I’ve been practicing on getting lower to the hurdles, and I think did real well in the 300s,” said Hruska. “I didn’t get as good a start as usual the 100 (dash). I really didn’t know how the 200 would go. I haven’t practiced for the 200 at all.”

The Nordics scored 60 1/2 points in the field events, with senior Cody Berg taking long jump (18-10) and shot put (42-11). Berg also placed third in the 400 (55.48).

Senior Ken Pekarek added seconds in the 110 hurdles (17.56) and 300s (47.02).

“Our hurdlers are tough and we did well in the field events,” said Nordics’ coach Rick Faust. “The guys competed well. Right now, the guys are pretty excited and they’re fun to coach. Everybody is behind at this point because of the (extended cold) weather. But I think the times will come down.”

North Central took second in six events, with junior Eric Prestay runner-up in shot put (39-10 3/4) and discus (113-5) and sophomore Dillon Robinson running a personal-best 11:39.79 in the 3200.

Additional runners-up for the Jets were senior Logan Martin in high jump (5-4), junior Josh Granquist in the 800 (2:12.79) and freshman Tristen Harper in the 400 (54.93).

“Josh’s time in the 800 wasn’t too shabby and we’re happy about Dillon getting a personal-best in the 3200,” said Root. “We can’t complain about our effort.”

The Forest Park girls won with 147 1/2 points, followed by Niagara 120 and North Dickinson 81.

Forest Park junior Mary Grandahl won the 100 (13.7), anchored the winning sprint relays and the second-place 1600 relay.

“We have a real strong team this year and everybody played a part,” said Forest Park coach Chandra Ziegler. “I think this is a confidence builder heading into the bigger meets coming up. This was only our third meet. We’re still trying to find spots for some kids.”

North Central took fifth with 58 points, which was pleasing to coach Mike Hammer.

“I was pleasantly surprised today,” he said. “A lot of our girls’ times finally came down. Jaycee Faccio filled in on some relays and did a real nice job.”

Senior Sydney Campbell provided the Jets with their lone first with a leap of 4-8 in high jump.

“The highest I’ve been is 4-10, but I’ve been struggling a little lately,” said Campbell. “I’ve been having some back and knee problems, although I’m very excited about winning today. There’s a lot of good jumpers out there. I usually don’t take first.”

Placing second for North Central were senior Lexi Cryderman in pole vault (7-0) and sophomore Baylee Wells in high jump (4-6).

“Sydney did very, very well,” said Hammer. “We’re also pleased with Lexi and Baylee each taking a second. The field events are our strength this year. Also, our sprint relays pulled it together and did a nice job. We took some higher places and got some points. I really feel we’re improving as a team.”

The Jets resume in Thursday’s Rapid River Invitational.