USC/AC dominates conference meet

Published 12:00 am Thursday, May 18, 2006

MEDFORD &045; The USC/AC boys’ and girls’ track teams each were impressive in their own way Tuesday at the Gopher Conference Track and Field Championships in Medford.

The boys showcased their depth and balance, winning by 81 points over runner-up Mankato Loyola, 191-110. En route to the win, the Rebels placed in every event and finished first in eight events including all four relays.

&8220;The kids took charge right from the start,&8221; said USC/AC head coach Kent Viesselman. &8220;Eric Youngblom, Amos Bessler, and Justin Melby went 1-2-4 in the high jump, Youngblom came from behind in the 4×800 relay to upset favored Mankato Loyola in that event, and Bessler led a 1-2-6 finish in the high hurdles. This all happened in about 10 minutes, and set the tone for the entire meet.&8221;

Other gold medalists for the Rebels included Brad Tomschin (800 meters), Bessler

(300 hurdles),

Jon Soli, Erik Melby, Jordan Haroldson and Youngblom (4×800),

Jordan Stenzel, Alex Ramaker, Justin Melby and Tomschin (4×200), Lee Huston, Riley Stenzel, Jordan Stenzel, and Justin Melby (4×100), and Ramaker, Ryan Wach, Jordan Stenzel, and Justin Melby (4×100).

&8220;We are a young team,&8221; said

Viesselman. &8220;We only have four seniors on the roster. The juniors and sophomores have been doing a lot of scoring for us, and now we are starting to see the freshmen step forward.&8221;

The NRHEG boys’ team finished fifth led by Blake Kerkhoff’s victory in the 400. Kerkhoff ran a 52.9 to win and took second place in both the 100 and 200.

&8220;Blake was our lone all-conference performer taking first in the 400,&8221; said NRHEG co-head coach Duey Ferber.

Ryan Panuska had the Panthers’ other runner-up finish in the pole vault clearing 10 feet, 6 inches. Orrie Anthony took third in the pole vault at 10-feet and Tim Rysavy was third in the 800 with a time of 2:07.9.

The USC/AC girls also won eight events on the way to outdistancing NRHEG by 41 points to win their competition, and rewrite the conference and USC/AC record books in the process.

Individual gold medalists

for the Rebels were

Becca Bryson (long jump), Kim Staloch (pole vault), Sabrina Bushlack (high jump), Ciara Christenson (300 hurdles) and Rebecca Leland who posted a personal record 2:22.97 in winning the 800.

Not to be overlooked in the medal chase was Bryson who added a foot to her own USC/AC triple jump

record and set a new Gopher Conference record by over two feet with a jump of 36 feet,8 1/4 inches.

Bryson, Andrea Allis, Leland, and Christenson provided some excitement for the spectators. In their first attempt at the 4×200, they turned in a 1:48.01 to break both the conference and USC/AC records. The same four athletes put the frosting on the cake in the last event of the day to set new standards for both the Gopher Conference and USC/AC with a very fast 4:04.30 clocking in the 4×400, breaking the 22-year-old Gopher Conference record by nearly seven seconds.

That performance also eclipses the USC/AC record of 4:04.2 set in 1996.

NRHEG was led by Alison Anderson who won both the 100 and 200 with times of 12.81 and 26.65, respectively.

Karla Lewer was the Panthers other individual champion winning the 3,200 with a mark of 13:02.72 while the 4×100 team of Bryanna Anthony, Hillary Johnson, Megan Groskreutz and Melissa Barber were victorious in 55.51.

Alyssa Kerkholff (100), Heather Schmit (200, 300 hurdles) and Groskreutz (pole vault) all took second place finishes as did the 4×200 team of Anthony, Johnson, Kerkhoff and Anderson.

The next action for the tracksters is the sub-section meet at the Wells track on Thursday, May 25, with the field events and preliminary running events scheduled to begin at 4 p.m.. The finals in the running events will get under way at

5:30 p.m.