About a month ago at the North Shore Conference indoor meet, Germantown track coach Greg Siegert spoke of new directions, rebuilding and reloading the program, looking to bring it back to the place of prominence it held in the recent past.
Well, that didn't take long.
Prompted by a young and energetic coaching staff full of former Warhawk stars, the youthful Germantown boys and girls squads ignored the blustery and cold weather in Grafton and barreled their way to an impressive pair of second place finishes in the North Shore Conference Relays on May 7.
In fact, the girls, with an astounding 12 freshmen on their roster, were just one event away from the team title in the event, as eventual team champion Homestead pulled out a victory in the last event of the day, the pole vault, to sneak away with the crown in a very competitive field.
As he watched the conclusion of the pole vault from the corner of the Grafton track with the rest of the staff, Siegert was philosophical about the outcome.
"The deal in my head was that in a best case scenario, we'd win by about two points and in a worst case scenario, we'd lose by about 10," he said. "...We needed to go 100 percent to give ourselves a chance and we did.
"With the boys, we tried to utilize a lot of our depth, and we came up just a little short. The kids really bought in."
Germantown's boys team will conclude its regular season with a split squad event Thursday, May 15, heading off to meets at both Cedarburg and Homestead, while the girls will be at the Cedarburg Invitational on Friday, May 16.
The North Shore Conference Outdoor meet will be Tuesday, May 20, at 4 p.m. at Homestead, and Siegert is looking at both his squads to compete hard again in what is looking like wide-open fields — likely to be as closely contested as the relay meets were.
Following the pole vault, the Homestead girls won the relay title with 97 points as Germantown was second with 94 and indoor champ Whitefish Bay was third with 92.
Earning firsts for the Warhawks were the 4x100-meter relay team of Erika Bethhauser, Kenzie Schmitz, Tatum Gallenberger and Jayne Bertieri (51.43 seconds); the 3x300 low hurdle relay of Megan Hedinger, Aubrey Fliss and Jenny Plank; and the 4x800 team of Molly Baus, Khia Kurtenbach, Calli Lemke and Alyssa Goesch (season best 9:57.77).
The finish by freshman Goesch in the 4x800 was one of the top moments for the Warhawks of the day, as she roared by senior state track and cross country ace Sara Coffey of Bay on the last turn and never looked back.
Taking seconds were the 4x400 team of Rosalie Campbell, Gallenberger, Betthauser and Schmitz (season best 4:12.14); the distance medley team of Baus, Calli Lemke, Goesch and Khurtenbach (12:56.93); and the high jump trio of Schmitz, Marissa Niemann and Gallenberger.
Siegert was impressed with the efforts.
"We just had so many freshmen out there," he said. "All three high jumpers were freshmen, and the 1600 relay had three freshmen; the 3200 had two freshmen and a sophomore. It was just all so new to us. You ask the girls to compete hard (when you're this young), knowing that you can never get back the girls you lost (to graduation)."
The boys, more of a mix in age, were also in it right to the end as co-indoor champ Homestead won with 86 and the Warhawks came in second with 79.
Nick Holcomb had a spectacular day for the Warhawks as he was part of three event victories. He was first part of the 4x100 sprint relay team that included Shon Pratcher, Quinn Fliss and Kameron Lau (44.32), and then he led both the long and triple jump trios to victory. Fliss and Pratcher were on both teams.
Holcomb had the top individual long jump at 21-8 and did the same thing in the triple jump (42-8).
"Nick just knows what to do, how to get his mind set," Siegert said. " He (as a senior) realizes that he doesn't have a year or two left to get this right; he has only 21 days or so, so he was ready."
The Warhawks also got a first out of the shot put team of Michael Cooney, Cole Karcz and Phil Fritsche, with Cooney having the second best throw individually at 47-41/2.
Taking seconds for Germantown were the 4x800 team of Cory Rhind, Brett Dzik, Nick Foti and Trevor Becker (8:24.6) and the discus team of Karcz, Alex Schlee and Fritsche.
"We were competitive," Siegert said. "We thought (third-place Whitefish) Bay would take more points away from Homestead, but then we realized at the end of the day, we utilized every guy and were there until the last race."
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