Opening its track and field season Saturday at the Washington University Invitational in St. Louis, Washington’s girls placed fourth and the boys were eighth in the team standings.
“We had a good start to the season,” said Washington Head Coach Mike Olszowka. “Due to the meet being a week earlier than usual, we were not able to fill in all of the events due to eligibility restraints, but those we took to the meet performed very well.”
Francis Howell claimed the girls title in the 14-team field with 109 points. Ft. Zumwalt South placed second with 89 points. The top five teams were rounded out by Hazelwood West with 66 points, Washington with 63 points and Ft. Zumwalt East with 62 points.
St. Louis University High claimed the boys team crown with 161 points. The top five teams were rounded out by St. Charles with 103 points, McCluer with 69 points, Sullivan with 66 points and Ft. Zumwalt South with 65. Washington scored 37 points.
Washington won three girls events.
Jenna Haas placed first in the high jump, clearing 4-10.
“Jenna false started in the hurdles and we were worried about how she would respond mentally when the high jump started 15 minutes later,” Olszowka said. “She picked up where she left off last season. We have only been over a bar a few times in practice, so her timing was a bit inconsistent, but she can always get off the ground. Jenna was clean through the entire competition, locking up another event champion for us.”
MC Landolt won the 100-meter dash in a time of 13.01.
“MC got us off to a good start by winning the 100-meter dash for the second consecutive year,” Olszowka said.
Megan Bauche took first place in the 100-meter high hurdles in 16.71.
“Bauche came out of basketball season stronger than ever. She won the 100-meter hurdles by a second,” Olszowka said. “The times don’t look great on paper, but it was still pretty cool at that time and they ran into a pretty strong head wind.”
The Lady Jays’ 400-meter relay team finished second in 54.43. Running were Makenzie Straatmann, Sarah Brock, Landolt and Bauche.
“The girls ran a good race. We didn’t have the best handoffs, but we made it through without any big hiccups,” Olszowka said. “MC got us in front early. Straatmann ran a great backstretch. Brock ran her always strong curve and by the time we handed off to Bauche, we were 15 meters in front of third place.”
Straatmann also finished fourth in the 200-meter dash in 29.07.
Landolt placed fifth in the long jump at 15-5 1/2.
Bauche was fifth in the 300-meter low hurdles in 53.62.
Erica Diener placed eighth in the 800-meter run in 2:44.
Josie Plowman ended sixth in both the 1,600-meter run in 5:49 and the 3,200-meter run in 12:59.
The Lady Jays finished fifth in the 800-meter relay in 2:00.59 and eighth in the 3,200-meter relay in 11:31.
The Blue Jays had a pair of second-place finishes in the boys competition.
Tate Kitchell finished second in the 2,000-meter steeplechase in 7:11.
“Tate ran his first ever steeplechase. It’s a deceivingly difficult race,” Olszowka said. “Five barriers take quite a toll on the body and the nerves.”
Travis Elbert placed second in the 1,600-meter run in 4:39.
“Travis is about eight seconds ahead of last year and this is a week earlier,” Olszowka said. “He had a great winter with some high-quality road miles, which puts him in a position that he can run better training workouts instead of conditioning workouts.”
Austin Subke finished third in the discus with a toss of 121-11 and fifth in the shot put at 41-5 1/2.
Nathan Kopp placed third in the shot put with a throw of 43-9 3/4 and seventh in the discus at 109-11.
“Subke and Kopp got the throwing events off to one of our best starts in years,” Olszowka said. “They’ve been coming in for extra work in the morning. That combined with our offseason lifting is making a big difference in their early season success.”
The Blue Jays ended sixth in the 3,200-meter relay in 9:06.
New Haven’s Seth Schenck won the 800-meter run in 2:02.