The Pierz girls took first and the boys earned second out of eight teams at its home Pioneer Invite track and field meet, April 11.
The Holdingford boys took third and girls took fifth while the Royalton boys and girls each finished seventh.
Bednar wins twice in field for Pierz
First-place finishers in the girls competition for Pierz were senior Bridget Bednar in the high jump (5-feet) and the long jump (15-feet, 4.5-inches), junior Maggie Gruber in the 1,600-meter run (5:56.49) and eighth-grader Beth-el Algarin in the discus (102-feet).
Eighth-grader Chelsie Kurtz took second in the 100 (14.03) and the 200 (28.44) and freshman Taryn Becker finished second in the 300 hurdles (55.10) and in the long jump (14-feet, 10-inches).
Junior Robbie Skiba and sophomore Jonny Kasper each won once in the field and as part of a relay to lead the Pierz boys.Skiba won in the long jump (19-feet, 10.5-inches) and sophomore Jonny Kasper took first in the high jump (5-feet, 10-inches).
The 4×200 relay team of Kasper, Skiba, junior Ryan Schmidtbauer and sophomore Karl Kohler also won with a time of 1:37.94, as did junior Kyle Becker in the 1,600 (4:45.57).
Runners-up were senior Tyler Millner in the 200 (23.76) and the 300 hurdles (44.49), Becker in the 800 (2:07.93), Skiba in the 400 (53.49), Kohler in the triple jump (37-feet, 10-inches) and the 4×400 relay team of Becker, freshman Brandon Ortman, senior Chris Ortman and Kohler (3:52.27).
Carlson, Duevel pace Royals
Even while placing seventh in the conference and 16th at the section meet during the fall cross country season, it was obvious that Royalton junior Zach Carlson wasn’t at full strength.
Breaking clear from the pack early on in the 3,200 at the Pioneer Invite, it was apparent that he was back.
Carlson shaved 18 seconds off his personal best time from a year ago, winning with a time of 10:04.6.
To put that time in perspective, Royalton boys head coach Ryan Olson said, one need only look at the times of another Royals distance runner from only a few years back.
Daniel Borash, the school record-holder in the 1,600 and 3,200, did not break the 10-minute mark until April of his senior year.
At this time as a junior, Borash’s best was a 10:19.
For how long Borash’s times remain atop the school records “may depend on how Zach runs,” Olson said.
The Royals had two other top-five finishers in the event, with sophomore Ben Borash taking third in 10:50.43 and freshman Jordan Malikowski placing fifth in 11:32.33.
The Royals boys experienced similar success in other distance events, with the quartet of Ben Borash, Carlson, junior Tremayne Collins and Malikowski taking second in the 4×800 relay (8:55.17) and Collins placing fifth in the 1,600 (5:08.02).
Borash added a fifth-place finish in the high jump (5-feet, 6-inches).
Placing sixth were senior Tony Gadacz in the discus (105-feet, 9-inches) and freshman David Wimer in the 200 (25.29) and taking eighth was junior Trent Cimenski in the triple jump (33-feet, 3.5-inches).
Junior Abby Duevel continued her stellar start for the Royals girls, sprinting to first in the 200 (28.30) and in the 400 (1:05.19).
“She has been really dominant early this season,” Olson said. “She is very aggressive and focused on the track.”
The girls 4×800 relay team of sophomore Madi Rudolph, freshman Emma Hoheisel, sophomore Breanna Sand and freshman Chloe Novak took third (11:37.69) and junior Cheyanne Eiynk was eighth in the discus (77-feet, 5-inches).
Holdingford still finishes high with skeleton crew
Competing without any of its distance runners, Holdingford still put up big points in the sprints and the field.
Junior Grant Bullert racked up more than a quarter of the points for the Huskers boys single-handedly, taking first in the triple jump (38-feet, 5-inches) and second in the 110 hurdles (16.52), the long jump (19-feet, 5-inches) and the high jump (5-feet, 10-inches).
Also winning their events were freshman Joseph Meier in the shot put (43-feet, 3.5-inches) and the 4×400 relay team of senior Zach Juaire and juniors Logan Smith, Zach Ryan and Matt Vasilj (3:44.77).
On the girls side, the Huskers picked up firsts from sophomore Summer Storm in the 300 hurdles (50.74) and the 4×400 relay team of sophomores Rachael Preusser, Storm and McKenzie Schulte and freshman Arianna Vasilj (4:20.68).
Storm added a second-place performance in the 100 hurdles (17.65), as did the 4×200 relay team of sophomore Amanda Grebinoski, Vasilj, freshman Mary Van Heel and Preusser (1:55.74).