The Franklin track teams are rounding into shape in early indoor action.
The girls were second of 16 teams in the Racine Invitational on March 25 while the boys were fourth of 14 in the same event.
Franklin's boys will be replacing state champions Brady Snelson (800 meters) and Tri Pham (triple jump), but coach John Troy remains optimistic.
"It is a difficult prospect to replace the four seniors that we graduated last year who were the driving force behind our fourth-place finish at state," he said. "However, we have a lot of guys coming back with state experience and with experience competing at a high level. We also have a nice injection of talented young kids. We've already had some good results from our new kids.
"It will be a bit of a process and learning experience this season, but I think we have the chance to be a very competitive team again. We are lead with some great seniors in Charlie Rydeski, Chris Rafalski, Michael Hennig, Joe Hasenstein and Ben Tarmann. Our strong mix of veterans and newbies is meshing together very well already. We have had some very strong and promising results thus far."
At the Racine meet, the Sabers scored 53 points for their spot as defending Southeast Conference champ Oak Creek won with 103.
Rafalski led the way with a win in the 400 dash (53.1 seconds) while the 4x400 relay team of Michael Hennig, Carter Snelson, Rydeski and Hasenstein was also victorious in 3:38.96. Bryce Tome was second in the 800 (2:08.34), and the 4x800 relay team of Tome, Peter Pitcher, Eddie Rabideaux and Nathan Jessup (8:49.78) and Dawson Ziegler in the pole vault (12-6) were both third.
Troy said the team has excellent spirit and does not quit or back down. Hennig in the 55 hurdles, Hawk Wimmer in the shot put and Tarmann in the 1,600 were also praised for their efforts.
On March 24, the Sabers sent a mix of varsity and junior varsity performers to the Doug Johnson Invite at West Allis Central, and Troy was pleased with the efforts.
Ziegler and Tymek Stanisz were praised for their efforts in the pole vault, as were Ken Kobayashi for a great race in the 400 and the 4x400 team of Kobayashi, Connor Dertz, Brett Bartosevich and Dominic Wojiechowski. Dertz in the high jump and Trevor Shehoney in the shot put were also highlighted.
Jake Whiteaker and Shane Staerkel competed well in in the long jump. Noah Selensky ran a personal best in the 800, and Ethan Rocha grabbed eighth. Noah Rosas raced well in the 1,600, as did Daksh Arora and Michael Riel in the 3,200.
The girls turned in a sound 69-point effort at Racine as DSHA won with 71 and Oak Creek was third (65).
Freshman Clare Pitcher won a close race in the 400 (1:00.11), and freshman Nadia Vo took the high jump (4-10). Senior Brianna Oelke won the pole vault (9-0) and senior Haley Pyan the triple jump (35-4).
Senior Hailey Migliano was second in the 3,200 (11:44.42) while the 4x200 relay team of Vo, Kathryn Pecha, Whitney Thomas and Pyan was third (1:51.76)