May 1, 2013
Duluth News Tribune
Denfeld boys claim Lake Superior Conference track title
By Rick Weegman
CLOQUET — Just as it did a year ago, the Lake Superior Conference boys track and field team title came down to the final two events Tuesday.
In 2012, Duluth Denfeld dropped the baton in the 1,600 relay and watched Ashland leap over it in the triple jump to win the title by three points.
This time the Hunters hung on to the baton and the title, edging Cloquet 143.5-141 at Blomberg Field.
Even though senior J.D. Foldesi and junior Connor Behm didn’t run on that final relay as they likely will at sectionals in a couple of weeks, the duo did enough in other events to help push the Hunters through.
Foldesi defended his 100-meter title, was runner-up to Behm in the 400 and placed second to the star of the meet, Ashland’s Anthony Litersky, in the 200. Behm added a pair of third-place finishes in the 100 and 200.
“We push each other in meets and practice,” Foldesi said. “Once we’re racing, it’s really competitive. It’s friendly, but competitive at the same time.”
Foldesi won the 100 in 11.43 seconds, just three-hundredths off his winning time last year. His 400 time of 52.5 tied a personal best in an event he wasn’t too keen on running at first.
“By the end of (last) year he gradually became more comfortable in the 400,” Denfeld coach Greg Goman said. “We tried to encourage him along and he wasn’t sure about it. He’s buying in now.”
Boston Braack broke the 2-minute barrier in the 200 — narrowly missing a decade-old conference record — and Ben Halverson cleared 12 feet in the pole vault to supply the Hunters’ other first-place finishes.
Though Ashland was unable to defend its title by placing third, the Oredockers supplied the top performances of the meet. Litersky, a junior, added both hurdles crowns and one in the triple jump to his surprise victory in the 200, while senior Bryce Miller set meet marks in winning the 1,600 and 3,200.
Litersky also set records in the 300 hurdles (40.72 seconds) and triple jump (43, feet, 7 inches), soaring 10 inches farther than eventual Class A state champion Eric Miklausich of Duluth Marshall did last year.
“I wasn’t expecting anything close to this,” Litersky said.
After sweeping the high hurdles and intermediate hurdles, Litersky crept up on Foldesi and Behm in the first half of the 200 before pulling away down the straightaway. That speed helps him down the jumping platform as well.
“The triple jump is more of a distance jump so you have to build up speed to pull it off,” said Litersky, who beat his personal-best by nearly 2½ feet.
Miller didn’t bust personal marks in the distance races but did set conference standards in defeating defending champion Matt Welch of Proctor. Welch, running his first events of the spring after sitting out with injured feet, could not stay with Miller in a battle of Division I signees.
“I had been running faster in the indoor season than the outdoor so it was nice to get back on the pace in the outdoor season,” said Miller, who will attend Missouri-Kansas City. “With Matt to pace off, it helped me to get to that mark. I haven’t had anyone up by me this season.”
Miller ran 4:20.79 in the mile and 9:35.89 in the 2-mile to help Ashland total 122 points.