Brookfield East's boys put together an outstanding balanced effort and prevented Menomonee Falls from winning the Greater Metro Conference Triple Crown.
East scored 161 points and nipped the Indians, who finished with 152 points. This was the Spartans' fifth-straight outdoor title and their 18th GMC championship. Since 2010, they have won 13 of 15 titles and 15 of 18 since 2009.
"My hat goes off to Menomonee Falls," said Spartans coach Mike Steiner. "They are an exceptional team and are very well-coached. Our kids were well aware of what they needed to do and who they needed to beat.
"We have had some epic battles with them for probably the past 10 years. They bring out the best in us, and I hope they feel the same way.
"Our kids showed some serious resolve and competed at such a high level, it would have been pretty disappointing to come out on the short end of it. We are so proud of the focus and determination that our kids showed, especially the seniors. Each senior did his part — maybe not winning an event but placing in the top eight — and that really allowed us to rack up the points."
Steiner continues to get a big play from his pole vaulters — Glen Harold, Chad Kluender and Josh Dempsey.
Harold set a personal best in the vault with a state-best 16 feet (fifth-best all-time) breaking his old conference record.
"Not sure that one will be broken anytime soon," Steiner said. "Glen's performance was really special. His leadership and passion for the vault and track and field in general is what this program is built on."
Kluender was third (14-6) and Dempsey fourth (13-6).
Steiner also had praise for 400-dash winner Ryan Dundun (PR, 50,25) who had an amazing finish.
"Ryan Dundun won the 400 with a gutsy finish against the No. 1 Falls runner," he said. "Ryan's lean — he actually dove through the finish line — won the race. He is battle ready each time he steps onto the track. That finish is one for the ages. His effort in that race will be remembered for a long, long time."
Steiner also praised the contributions of the distance team, especially Stephen Browne, who took third in the 3200 in 10 minutes, 6.02 seconds and fourth in the 1600 (4:29.30).
"I thought our distance guys really were difference makers, and without their contributions, it might have been a different ending," he said. "Stephen Browne, though he didn't win a race, competed like a champion in our eyes.
"He did his job and scored valuable points in both of his events. Stephen is an excellent teammate and could care less who gets the credit. He is what this program has been based on for years."
Steiner pointed out the team's effort from top to bottom as being the key to the win.
"We racked up a lot of points with continuous placing (1-8) in almost every event," he said. "It was a team win to the absolute 10th degree. We really challenged our guys to come with a competitive edge, and there is no doubt that we brought our 'A' game to this meet."
Other second-place finishers came in the 110 hurdles (Zec Copeland PR, 14.65), the long jump (Michael Mueller, 20-7½), the triple jump (Mario Carr, PR, 42-1), the discus throw (Cameron Allen-Aylsworth, PR, 141-6) and the 4x800 relay (8:17.03) behind Andrew Pelto, Peter Kuenzle, Mark Stack and Sam McTaggart.
The rest of the third-place performers were in the triple jump (Will Sutton, 41-11¾), the discus (Will Wiemero, PR, 138-9), the 100-dash (Sutton,11.40), 300 hurdles (Carr, PR, 40.44) and the 4x400 relay (3:31.07) behind Tommy Schwarz, Mitch Mikulsky, Nick Krueger and Dundun.
Steiner had special praise for Sutton.
"Will Sutton was a bit banged up but managed to score in four events," Steiner said. "His effort was invaluable to our team. He certainly was not at full strength but gutted it out."
Steiner then pulled out a baseball analogy which covered his team's success.
"We decided to take a big swing at this meet, and we really put a lot on our kids," he said. "Many of them were pretty stressed with multiple events, but they all came through like champs. Can't hit a home run if you don't swing, and we took the biggest swing possible.
"As good as all the other championships were, this one might be the best."
Fourth-place: shot put, Jack Leonovicz (47-0); 100-dash, Mikulsky (PR,11.44); 200-dash, Sutton (PR, 22.79); 800-run, Nick Krueger (PR, 2:02.11); Fifth-place: shot put, Harry Britton (43-9); 800-run, Andrew Pelto (PR, 2:03.16); Sixth place: 4x100 relay, (44.86) behind Kluender, Harold, Mueller and Dempsey; 4x200 relay (1:34.28) behind Kluender, Dempsey, Copeland and Carr; 300 hurdles, Copeland (PR, 42.17).
Seventh-place: high jump, Copeland (PR 5-10); 400, Tommy Schwarz (53.07); 110 hurdles, Carr (PR, 15.45); long jump, Will Sutton (19-8); Eighth-place: high jump, Corey Smith (5-8); discus throw, Dominic Cartier (118-01); 200-dash, Mikulsky (PR, 23.46); 800-run, Stack (PR, 2:04.37).
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