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Not quite so full Fuller Invite: EHS boys' second, girls take third

Ellsworth track and field teams competed in their own Fuller Invitational last week. Lemoine Steffen takes off in the long jump. Photos by Sean Scallon1 / 2
Ellsworth's Courtney Kinneman runs in the pack of the 3200-meter run. Photos by Sean Scallon2 / 2

The expectations weren't very high for the Ellsworth High School boys' track team at the start of the spring, certainly not as high as those for the girls' team.

But a good turnout of numbers and good consistent performances have led to solid showings this season by the Panthers. They finished second in the Panthers' own Fuller Invitational early last week.

The meet was schedule for April 30 but was rained out. A reschedule, slightly less "fuller" meet took place May 3 at Fuller-Symes Field.

However the field was still full of strong, competitive teams and athletes from New Richmond, River Falls, Durand and Menomonie along with the Panthers.

New Richmond won the boys' meet with 113.50 points followed by Ellsworth with 93, River Falls 80, Menomonie 60.5 and Durand 27.

In the girls' meet, defending champ Ellsworth led heading into the last few events before 1-2 finishes for River Falls in pole vault and 3200-meter run pulled the Wildcats' in front 104 to Menomonie's 98 and EHS' 97 points. New Richmond was third with 72 and Durand scored zero points.

Winning Fuller Invite titles for the home team were Nick Oeltjen in the shot put with a throw of 44 feet, three inches; Charles Deniger in the pole vault with a height of 10 feet, Alex Campbell in the high jump with a height of six feet.

"We've had good consistent performances in the field events, particularly the pole vault, high jump and throws," Ellsworth head coach Jon Dodge said. "You add to that good numbers out which leads to good competition for relay spots and keeps from loading up in some events and that's led to better performances."

Ellsworth's 3200-meter, 1600-meter and 400-meter relay teams all placed second along with Alex Schmidt in the 200-meter dash, Ike Taplin in the 3200-meter run and Campbell in the triple jump were second. Nate Pazdernik was third in the high jump, Campbell was third in the 400-meter dash and Matt Solyntjes was third in the pole vault.

"We've have depth and good performances from our distance runners which has helped a lot," Dodge said.

The Panther girls' had a few of champions in the field events. Lydia Kuhl won the long jump with a season-best leap of 16 feet, one inch, Mariah Shonkweiler won the shot put with a throw of 33 feet, 10 inches and Abby Ristow won the discus with a throw of over 102 feet.

Kuhl also took second in both the 100-meter high and 300-meter low hurdles. Other top places went to Carlie Melstrom in the 200 and 400, third; Lindsey Claflin in the high jump, third; Shannon Campbell in the triple jump, third; Shonkweiler in the discus, third. EHS' girls were second in the 400, 1600 and 3200 relays

The Panthers have early competition this week at the New Richmond Relays Monday and the Baldwin-Woodville Invitational Tuesday. Next Tuesday is the conference meet which the Panthers host at Fuller-Symes Field. Competition begins at 4 p.m.