BATTLE CREEK — Host Battle Creek used some record-breaking and near-record-breaking performances, and its superior depth, to win both the girls and boys divisions of its own invitational on Tuesday at Bob Schnitzler Field.
The BC girls outpaced runner-up Norfolk Catholic 141-120 while the Brave boys also cruised to victory over their Norfolk Catholic counterparts 172-103.
"We put up some really good times and marks," Battle Creek girls coach Taylor Baumert said. "We competed individually well, and that helped us in the team standings."
Brave boys coach Andrew Carlson said his athletes achieved a lot of personal records. "Obviously that's the name of the game. You just try to keep getting a little bit better every meet, and our kids are doing that so far," he said.
ON THE GIRLS side, Battle Creek senior Renee Brummels — the 2019 Class C state triple jump champion — won both the long and triple jumps on Tuesday. Her 18-foot, 4-inch leap in the long jump broke Linda Schnitzler's school record of 18-3 that had stood for 36 years.
"I felt good off the board," Brummels said, "and I felt like I got in the air good, so I was happy when they said, ‘Over a 17 (foot) jump.’ "
And Brummels' winning triple jump of 37-2 was 5 inches farther than her winning state-championship mark of two years ago.
"I only got one good one in and then I just came from the 100 hurdles (preliminaries) so I scratched the rest to save my legs for the rest of the day."
Brummels' teammate, Paytyn Taake, was also a double winner, crossing the finish line first in both the 100- and 200-meter dashes. The junior sprinter had to wait a minute or so to find out the result of the 200 final as both she and O'Neill's Zelie Sorensen were so close it required a photo finish.
"In the last meet, I didn't do the best in sprinting," Taake said. "It made me want to try even harder and having teammates that are up there with me, they push me to do my best."
Norfolk Catholic's Mary Fennessy also won double gold. The Knight senior broke her own discus school record of 131-4½ with a heave of 134 feet.
"I was really working on technique and slowing things down, working on hitting positions," Fennessy said. "And, today was so nice, I decided to speed things up and throw with all I have."
Fennessy, who had just hours earlier signed a letter of intent to continue her education and athletic career as a member of the University of Nebraska at Omaha track team, led Norfolk Catholic to 1-2-3 finishes in both the discus and shot. Elly Piper was second and Jozy Piper third in the discus while Jozy was second and Elly third in the shot.
On the track, in one of the closest races of the day, Carly Marshall of Norfolk Catholic and BriAnna Zohner of Battle Creek ran stride for stride for almost the entire 300-meter distance over the low hurdles before Marshall pulled away after the final barrier to win by five-hundredths of a second.
"I'm glad I got to run against BriAnna because she pushes me harder to get a better time," Marshall said.
"We've been competing together since seventh grade," Zohner said. "It's always nice competition and is always a hard race."
Zohner had earlier won the 100-meter high hurdles while her sister Mya took first place in the pole vault.
Another family ruled the long-distance events. Plainview's Brittani Gutz won the 3,200-meter run about three hours before her cousin, Cali Gutz of Osmond, took first place in the 1,600.
Finally, the O'Neill quartet of Alyssa Eichelberger, Blair Gutschall, Lauren Young and Meg Schluns teamed up for gold not once but twice. The four represented the shamrock city on both the winning 4x100 and 4x400 relay teams.
Schluns and Gutschall both added another gold medal to their take-home swag. Schluns was first in the 800 and Gutschall in the 400.
"This is the first time I've ever run this — the open 400 — so it kind of hurts, but it's fun, I guess," an out-of-breath Gutschall said with a laugh.
IN THE BOYS competition, Norfolk Catholic's Jackson Clausen picked up where his former teammate Dylan Kautz left off by winning both the 100- and 200-meter dashes. Clausen looked to be in late-season form, with his winning efforts of 10.7 and 22.6.
"All year, I've been just trying to run a sub-23-second 200 and and sub-11 in the 100, and I was able to do both today," Clausen said.
Another Knight, Kade Pieper, took first place in the shot put with a heave of 53-6.
"My coaches helped me get my positions," Pieper said. "We worked more on drills than distance early. That helped me."
Also in the field events, Adam Miller appeared ready to compete against the area's and state's best pole vaulters with his winning effort of 12 feet.
"This is a lot on how our district is going to be," Miller said. "I knew I had to vault good and see where everything's going to play out later in the year. But it was me and I had my teammate (Hunter Bennett) there to push me."
Meanwhile, Battle Creek's Landon Olson was a double winner in the high jump and long jump. His long jump leap of 22-4½ is just 4 inches shy of the school record set by Robb Schnitzler in 1982.
"I just work hard every day," Olson said. "Hopefully, I can get the record by the end of the year. I (set my personal record) today by about a foot, so hopefully I can keep going farther."
Olson was also the only high jumper to clear 6-2, but he chose to end the competition there, deciding not to attempt to equal or better his effort of 6-6 at last week's meet in Hartington.
"I had just gotten done running the 100 and I was tired from the long jump and I've got a 4x100 and another 100 today, so I decided to rest," he said.
Olson's Brave teammate, Baron Buckendahl, was also a double winner, taking first place in both the 110-meter high and 300-meter intermediate hurdles.
One of the most impressive victories of the afternoon belonged to Gabe Escalante of Winside, who won the 400-meter dash while running in lane 8 — the far outside lane — meaning because of the stagger, he ran the entire distance unable to see any of the other runners.
"It was the first time I ever ran a 400 in my whole high school career," Escalante said. "I didn't know where (the other runners) were at and I just thought, 'Don't fall.' "
The mile (1,600 meters) brought together a star-studded field that included Ben Hammond and Dalton Brunsing of Norfolk Catholic, Johnson Chishiba of Osmond, Brody Thompson of O'Neill and Graysen Schultze of Osmond.
But in the end it was Stanton's Kolter Van Pelt who came out victorious. Van Pelt separated himself from the pack with about 300 meters to go and cruised to the finish line in first place in a time of 4:52.4.
"I got trapped on the second lap, but I got on the outside and cruised past them and kept the lead," Van Pelt said.
Hammond had earlier won the 3,200 in a time of 10:50.94.
"My coaches were reading my times, and I wasn't where my goal was, so I just decided to go," Hammond said.
Chishiba took first place in the 800 and later won a second gold medal as part of Osmond's winning 4x400-meter relay team.
BATTLE CREEK INVITATIONAL
- Girls: Battle Creek 141; Norfolk Catholic 120; O'Neill 115.5; Elkhorn Valley 49; Plainview 46.5; Osmond 18; Randolph 11; Stanton 10; Elgin Public/Pope John 6; Winside 5; Battle Creek JV 4; Madison 1.
-Girls top two and Norfolk Catholic placers: 100: 1. Paytyn Taake, BC, 13.00; 2. Aurora Hingst, BC, 13.20; 4. Allison Brungardt, NC, 13.2; 200: 1. Taake, BC, 27.01; 2. Zelie Sorensen, O'NL, 27.02; 3. Brungardt, NC, 27.40; 400: 1. Blair Gutschall, O'NL, 1:03.07; 2. Aubrey Barnes, NC, 1:04.40; 800: 1. Meg Schluns, O'NL, 2:30.16; 2. Kenzie Mosel, EV, 2:36.30; 4. Morgan Miller, NC, 2:44.75; 6. Emily Faltys, NC, 2:47.59; 1,600: 1. Cali Gutz, OSM, 6:09.90; 2. Madison McKie, STA, 6:13.90; 5. Jordan Aschoff, NC, 6:37.10; 3,200: 1. Brittani Gutz, PLV, 13:45.66; 2. Joslyn Larson, EV, 13;59.00; 100 hurdles: 1. BriAnna Zohner, BC, 15.30; 2. Gutschall, O'NL, 15.80; 5. Carly Marshall, NC, 17.60; 300 hurdles: 1. Marshall, NC, 47.95; 2. Zohner, BC, 48.00; 4x100 relay; 1. O'Neill (Alyssa Eichelberger, Gutschall, Schluns, Lauren Young), 51.70; 2. Battle Creek, 51.80; 3. Norfolk Catholic (Kalee Gilsdorf, Brungardt, Marshall, Barnes), 53.00; 4x400 relay: 1. O'Neill (Schluns, Eichelberger, Young, Gutschall), 4:23.30; 2. Battle Creek, 4:26.40; 3. Norfolk Catholic (Barnes, Brungardt, Marshall, Faltys); 4x800 relay: 1. Elkhorn Valley (Carney Black, Brooke Wilcox, Kennedy Penne, Kenzie Mosel), 11:09.10; 2. Norfolk Catholic (Charli Fischer, Morgan Miller, Aschoff, Faltys), 11:30.40; High jump: 1. Claire Rasmussen, PLV, 4-11; 2. Makenzie Mutum, EV, 4-10; 3. Tiffani Pietz, NC, 4-8; 4. Piper Craig, NC, 4-6; Pole vault: 1. Mya Zohner, BC, 10-0; 2. Ashley Pischel, O'NL, 7-6; 4. Faltys, NC, 7-0; Long jump: 1. Renee Brummels, BC, 18-4; 2. Schluns, O'NL, 17-1.5; 5. Barnes, NC, 15-8; Triple jump: 1. Brummels, BC, 37-2.5; 2. Young, O'NL, 33-11; Shot put: 1. Mary Fennessy, NC, 39-6; 2. Jozy Piper, NC, 38-7.75; 3. Elly Piper, NC, 37-9; Discus: 1. Fennessy, NC, 134-0; 2. E. Piper, 122-9; 3. J. Piper, NC, 122-1.
-Boys: Battle Creek 172; Norfolk Catholic 103; Elkhorn Valley 69; Osmond 58; O'Neill 41; Stanton 37; Winside 20; Plainview 14; Elgin Public/Pope John 7; Madison 3; Randolph 2; Battle Creek JV 1.
-Boys top two and Norfolk Catholic placers: 100: 1. Jackson Clausen, NC, 10.7; 2. Sutton Pohlman, STA, 11.10; 200: 1. Clausen, NC, 22.64; 2. Gabe Escalante, WIN, 23.20; 400: 1. Escalante, WIN, 52.69; 2. Will Hamer, BC, 53.56; 3. Eli Pfeifer, NC, 54.20; 800: 1. Johnson Chishiba, OSM, 2;11.90; 2. Brock West, BC, 2;13.50; 3. Travis Kalous, NC, 2:13.90; 1,600: 1. Kolter Van Pelt, STA, 4;52.40; 2. Graysen Schultze, OSM, 4:56.50; 3. Ben Hammond, NC, 4:56.70; 5. Dalton Brunsing, NC, 5:02.10; 3,200: 1. Hammond, NC, 10:50.94; 2. Kyler Mosel, PLV, 11:05.91; 110 hurdles: 1. Baron Buckendahl, BC, 16.38; 2. Carter Werner, EV, 16.30; 3. Max Wattier, NC, 16.80; 300 hurdles: 1. Buckendahl, BC, 43.70; 2. Jackson Ricchio, BC, 43.71; 6. Alex Prim, NC, 45.43; 4x100 relay: 1. Stanton (Jason Clausen, Mitchell Hupp, Pohlman, Brennan Wragge), 45.10; 2. Battle Creek, 45.20; 3. Norfolk Catholic (Mason Timmerman, Prim, Dillon Barnes, Clausen), 45.70; 4x400 relay: 1. Osmond (Bodie True, Chishiba, Schulte, Connor Gutz), 3:41.90; 2. Elkhorn Valley, 3:45.40; 3. Norfolk Catholic (Kanyon Talton, Barnes, Preston Bamsey, Kalous), 3:45.50; 4x800 relay: 1. Battle Creek (Titus Tillman, Hunter Oestreich, Parker Clausen, West), 8:51.90; 2. Osmond, 8:53.80; 4. Norfolk Catholic (Owen Ash, Barnes, Ty Lammers, Kalous), 9:11.60; High jump: 1. Landon Olson, BC, 6-2; 2. Werner, EV, 6-0; 4. Ben Morland, NC, 5-8; Pole vault: 1. Adam Miller, EV, 12-0; 2. Hunter Bennett, EV, 11-6; 2. John Clausen, NC, 11-6; 4. Clayton Carney, NC, 11-0; 6. Bamsey, NC, 10-0; Long jump: 1. Olson, BC, 22-4.5; 2. Boden Obst, BC, 20-3; 4. Talton, NC, 19-6.5; Triple jump: 1. Obst, BC, 41-4.5; 2. Schultze, OSM, 40-7; Shot put: 1. Kade Pieper, NC, 53-6; 2. Jacob Ottis, BC, 51-5.25; Discus: 1. Christopher Jennings, O'NL, 147-2; 2. Trent Uhlir, BC, 139-8; 5. Brandon Kollars, NC, 129-8.