Without an indoor conference meet to provide them with one more test before outdoor competition begins, the Franklin boys and girls teams looked to sharpen themselves up at the TFA state indoor meet at UW-Whitewater on April 9.
And the Sabers succeeded impressively as Josh Iraci continued his lightning-fast spring with an impressive victory in the 55-meter dash to lead the boys to a second-place finish in the 44-team field while the girls claimed fifth.
'It was a good night,' said Saber boys coach John Troy. 'We went into with the idea of putting the kids in their best events. We thought we'd get some good places, and some really good performances came out of it.'
Franklin's boys and girls opened up their outdoor season with the Mukwonago M-Club Relays on Tuesday, April 12. The girls sent a split squad to the Brookfield East Spartan Invitational on Wednesday, April 13, and the boys will be at the Germantown Invitational at 4 p.m. Friday, April 15.
Behind Iraci's title, the Sabers scored 31 points in the meet frequently referred to as the 'indoor state meet.' Defending WIAA D1 state champion Bay Port won the event with 43, while Fond du Lac was third with 26.
Iraci dominated the 61-man field in the 55 dash, turning in a very quick time of 6.48 seconds in the finals and beating a Whitefish Bay runner (6.61) for the title.
'Josh has always been a real good starter,' Troy said. 'He ran an 11.07 (100 dash) at sectionals last year, so we knew he had potential. This is a little bit of a coming-out party for him. He's been lifting, and he's just bigger and stronger.'
Franklin's 400- and 800-meter corps also distinguished themselves well, as state cross-country qualifier Brady Snelson was second in the 43-man 800 field with a quick indoor time of 1:59.18, which trailed only Berlin's Jacob Caswell, who turned in a 1:57.36 clocking.
Snelson then anchored the 4x400 relay team that included Chris Rafalski, Max Fassbender and Charlie Rydeski to a fourth-place finish out of 38 teams with a 3:31.57 time.
State-qualifying triple jumper Tri Pham was also impressive with a second place effort of 44-11/4 in his specialty, as Kenosha Indian Trail's Armani Carmickle, who claimed Athlete of the Meet honors for wins in both the triple and long jumps, took the event with a 45-103/4 effort.
Other good efforts included a 14th by Pham in the long jump (20-21/2); a 13th by the 4x200 relay team of AJ Catarozoli, Rydeski, Jack Wadzinski and Brad Tobin (1:36.83); Michael Gorman, 28th in the 1,600 (4:37.08); and Catarozoli in the 55 dash (6.9 in the prelims).
For the girls, sprinter Kathryn Pecha continued moving forward at a very fast pace, taking fourth in the 68-runner field of the 55 dash with a 7.4 time.
Breanna Judkins had a good meet taking fourth in both the long jump (17-61/2) and triple jump (36-101/2)
Other places of note included a sixth by the 4x400 relay team of Judkins, Pecha, Jensen Ritzow and Meghan Gain (4:17.06) and a seventh by Brittney Lincoln in the shot put (37-6).
Brianna Oelke was 10th in the pole vault at 9-6, and Haley Pyan turned in a fine time of 9.35 in the trials of the 55 hurdles, good for 13th. Hailey Migliano turned in a season-best time of 5:28.64 in taking 14th in the 1,600, while Morgan Trinko was 13th in the 800 in a sound 2:27.63.
Those efforts led the Sabers to a 20-point total in the 47-team field as Beloit Memorial won with 26.