USC Rebels reign in track

Published 12:00 am Saturday, May 25, 2002

NEW RICHLAND &045; Every year, boys’ track and field teams in Sub-section 5A are out to knock off the United South Central Rebels.

And almost every time they fall short.

The Rebels have ruled the sub-section and they won it again this year, taking the championship for the 10th time in the last 11 years at New Richland Thursday.

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The Rebels advanced 15 individuals to the section meet, where they will be represented in every event. The top four individuals in each event and the top two relay teams advance from the sub-section.

The Rebels rolled up an impressive 213 points to runner-up Maple River’s 192. St. Clair finished third with 84, followed by NRHEG with 34, Glenville-Emmons 19 and Janesville-Waldorf-Pemberton 12.

Leading the way for the Rebels were seniors Casey Christenson and Brandon Alphs.

Christenson, returning to action after being sidelined by injury the last two meets, qualified in all four of his events, winning the triple jump, 400, and 200, and finishing third in the 100-meter dash.

“Casey’s not at 100 percent,” said coach Kent Viesselman. “But we bought a little time.”

Viesselman was referring to the fact the section 2A meet is not until Saturday, June 1, allowing Christenson further recovery time.

Alphs also qualified in all four of his events, finishing first in the pole vault and long jump, second in the 100, and running a leg on the second place 4×100 relay team.

“Alphy hit a personal record of 21 feet in the long jump,” said Viesselman.

Other first-place finishes for the Rebels included Justin Youngblom, winning both the 1600 and 3200 meter runs, and the 4×800 team of Jon Voigt, Chris Vondracek, Jake Stenzel, and Jon Beyer.

The performance of the Rebels in the jumping events proved to be the difference as they finished 1-3 in the Pole Vault, 1-3-4 in the long jump, 1-3-4 in the triple jump, and 2-4 in the high jump.

Also qualifying for section: Trevor Rollenhagen, third, 110 hurdle, fourth, high jump and third, triple jump; 4×200 relay, second (Callen Pitcher, Shea Kaiser, Voigt, Beyer); 4×100 relay, second (Pitcher, Kaiser, Alphs, Bob Schmitz); Schmitz, fourth, 400, fourth, 200 and fourth, triple jump; Pitcher, fourth, 300 hurdles; Jake Stenzel, second, 3200; Chris Vondracek, fourth, 3200; Beyer, fourth, 800; Eric Langsev, second, 800; Dusty Niebuhr, second, high jump; 4×400 relay, second (Kaiser, Wood, Voigt, Langsev); Voigt, third, pole vault; Kaiser, third, long jump; Pitcher, fourth, long jump; Adam Kruger, fourth, discus and third, shot put.

Other USC places: Steven Wood, fifth, 110 hurdles and fifth, 300 hurdles; Rollenhagen, sixth, 300 hurdles; Brandon Grunzke, sixth, 200; Matt Linder, fifth, shot put.

“Coach Fosness and his jumpers have really done a job this season,” said Viesselman.

The Rebels also had a 1-2-4 finish in the 3200, the second-to-last event, to help nail down the win.

The Section 2A meet will be held at 11 a.m. June 1 at the Mankato West track. From there, the top two individuals and the winning relay teams, plus anyone meeting the state meet qualifying standard, will advance to the state meet.