Nick Sabato/River NewsLakeland’s Brendan McMahon competes in the 4x800 meter relay on Tuesday, May 2, at the Three Lakes Invitational.
Nick Sabato/River News


Lakeland’s Brendan McMahon competes in the 4x800 meter relay on Tuesday, May 2, at the Three Lakes Invitational.

THREE LAKES - With the Otto Bacher Invitational at Merrill High School looming on Friday, another opportunity popped up for young runners for the Lakeland Union High School track and field team Tuesday.

Many of the varsity runners for Lakeland were held out of the Three Lakes Invitational as they prepare for the Otto Bacher, allowing some young runners the chance to compete in a varsity race.

The youngsters handled themselves well as the Thunderbirds finished sixth in both boys' and girls' team standings.

"There were a lot of smaller schools in the meet today and I thought it would be a great opportunity to give kids - our JV athletes - an opportunity to compete at the varsity level and kind of see where they stand," LUHS head coach Kevin FitzPatrick said. "Then on Friday, we go to the Otto Bacher meet, which is one of our bigger meets of the season and we'll try to put together a lineup to compete at Otto Bacher."

This is not the first time FitzPatrick has opted to handle a situation where Lakeland has two meets in the same week.

Last week, the T-Birds sent some JV runners to Medford as the varsity prepared for an invitational at St. Norbert College last weekend.

As would be expected, mistakes were made, particularly in relays, but it's nothing that experience won't fix.

"Those are all little things that are part of the learning process and they'll get there," FitzPatrick said. "But that's why you have these experiences. You kind of know and find out what you need to do to become a better track and field athlete."



Boys

Sophomore Quinten Rizzo is usually a varsity athlete, but coming off an injury, he competed in this meet to get back into the swing of things.

Rizzo competed in the 100 and 200 meter dashes, placing eighth and fifth respectively.

"He ran pretty well today,"

FitzPatrick said. "I don't know exactly what his times were, but it puts him on our team right now. I was happy with the way Quinten ran today."

Sophomore Donavin Schillinger placed fourth in the 800 meters with a time of 2:19.99, while Justin Evenhouse finished fourth in the 1,600 with a time of 5:09.53.

The 4x800 relay team also placed fourth as Forrest Dorsey, Brendan McMahon, Nick Rybicki and Jake Van Hefty ran a time of 10:08.67.



Girls

The 4x800 relay team continues to dominate competition, regardless of which T-Birds comprise the team.

Stephanie Mauzer, Riley Mauzer, Alex Myszka and Stephanie Balas finished with a time of 10:44.72, which was more than 90 seconds faster than the next closest team.

Myszka also finished second in the 400, racing to a time of 1:09.36, while Kimmee Dallmann also placed second in the 3,200 meters with a time of 14:13.09.

The Lakeland 4x400 relay team of Julia Malicki, Johanna Craig, Lydia Petersen and Megan Chen placed fourth.

Meanwhile, Lexie Tiffany finished with a personal best 7-foot-6 in the pole vault.

"I think our kids competed well," FitzPatrick said. "I didn't see anybody out there that didn't put in the best effort they could today and that's really all we asked for."



Mercer

One of the smallest schools in the meet had one of the best days.

The Mercer girls' team placed third in the invitational, led once again by Sydney Thompson.

The defending state champion won both the shot put and the discus. Thompson won the shot put with a throw of 40-feet-7, while also taking the discus with a trow of 116-2.

In fact, the Tigers dominated the throwing events as a team.

In the girls' shot put, Thompson, Aubrey Schoeneman and Bailey Thompson captured the top three spots, while Sydney Thompson and Aubrey Schoeneman earned the top two spots in the discus, while Bailey Thompson placed fifth.

Tyler Bianga joined Sydney Thompson by winning the shot put and discus on the boys' side.

Caitlyn Hiller finished second in the 300 hurdles with a time of 53.99 seconds, while also taking third in the 100 hurdles with a time of 18.57.

Rebecca Spagnuolo also placed third in the high jump at 4-feet-6.

The relay teams also got into the mix, with the 4x200 relay, comprised of Jess Klopatek, Kaylee Cassiani, Hayle Woolf and Spagnuolo finished third, while the 4x100 team of Gwen Allen, Cassiani, Ella Torkelson and Hiller took second.

Nick Sabato may be reached at nsabato@rivernewsonline.com or via Twitter @SabatoNick.