By Sara Schwartz
The Mound Westonka High School boys track and field team finished third in the WCC West Conference Meet on May 15. The team competed well in the warm weather and finished just two points out of second place.
The boys were led by senior TJ Hillman, who won both the long jump (20’8″) and the 100-meter dash (11.39). Also winning his event was junior Nels Larson, who won the 800-meter race (2:03.62) for the second year in a row. Larson teamed up with junior Nick Drilling, eighth-grader Jason Spaeth and sophomore Daniel Neve to win the 4×400 relay (3:31.55). All of those White Hawks athletes earned All-Conference honors.
Earning second place and Honorable Mention All-Conference was Hillman in the 200 (23.09). Hillman raced with Neve and juniors Kris Kurtz and Kareem Aly to earn second place in the 4×100 relay (45.40).
Also scoring for the boys in the Top 8 were third-place finishers senior Joey Funderburk (400 meter, 54.09), Drilling (300 hurdles, 42.49) and sophomore Alec VanGelder (1600, 4:46.86). Fourth place went to Spaeth (400, 54.20) and the 4×200 team of junior Jacob Blume, ninth-grader Isaac Miner, senior Ben McCurry and Funderburk (1:38.46). Fifth-place finishers included the 4×800 team of junior Kade Retterath, sophomore Cameron Oates, eighth-grader Lance Nemecek and junior Kei Okamoto (9:12.78).
Sixth- through eighth-place went to Neve (6th, 200, 24.17), Miner (6th, 400, 55.54), Nemecek (6th, 3200 meter, 11:15.76), Drilling (6th, 110 hurdles, 17.73), VanGelder (6th, high jump, 5’4″), senior Sam Senneka (6th, pole vault, 10’6″), junior Dylan O’Flanagan (6th, long jump, 18’1″), Aly (7th, 100, 12.25) and junior John Weatherhead (8th, 110 hurdles 20.21).
The White Hawks girls had a good day and improved on their team score from last year. Seventh-grader Laura Sunnarborg led the way with a second-place finish in the 3,200 with a time of 12:33.98. Sunnarborg raced to second place with juniors Ela Springer and Maya Thurston and senior Abby Wharram in the 4×800 with a time of 10:26.86. All those girls earned Honorable Mention All-Conference.
The 4×400 team of Thurston, Springer, sophomore Ellie Schmidt and ninth-grader Stella Nagel ran a great race to finish fourth in 4:26.21.
Others placing in the Top 8 were eighth-grader Bella Lund (6th, 100 meter, 13.53), Thurston (6th, 800 meter, 2:35.63) and the 4×100 team of seventh-graders Micah Boyce, Alicia Hatlestad, Lund and eighth-grader Kennedy Schmidt, which finished seventh with a 55.63. The 4×200 team of Boyce, Lund, eighth-grader Libby McCue and Schmidt finished seventh with a time of 1:57.48. Ninth-grader Sydney Turner threw 29’11” in the shot put to earn seventh place.
The team is back in action at the Rockford Last Chance Meet on Thursday, May 24, and then has the Section 2AA Meet May 30 and June 1 at Gustavus Adolphus College.