LINKEDINCOMMENTMORE

It's safe to say the Oak Creek girls track and field team is no longer flying under anyone's radar.

The Knights opened their outdoor season with a win in the Mukwonago M-Club Relays on April 12 and then followed that up with an impressive victory in the 15-school West Allis Hale Mondo Invitational on April 16.

'We've added a few extra meets because we've added a lot of extra girls,' coach Robert Haberli said. 'They've given us an idea of what they can do, which is a lot.'

'(The schedule) was a little more hectic and a little harder on the coaches than for the girls,' he said with a laugh.

The Knights, who are competing in the East Troy Invitational Friday, April 22, scored 129.83 points for the easy win at the Mondo Invite. Waukesha West was a distant second with 91 points.

Oak Creek's depth allows it to cover many areas, especially the hurdles, relays and the distances. Returning state meet qualifier Jazsmin Washington dominated the former by winning both the 100-meter high hurdles (personal best 15.83) and the 300 low hurdles (season best 47.32).

Haberli has been impressed by Washington's work ethic.

'When she came up as a freshman, Kenosha Tremper had some excellent hurdlers and all she could say was 'Oh, they're so good,'' Haberli said. 'The Tremper coach heard us and said it was a simple thing. 'Weight room, weight room, weight room' was what he told us.

'Jazsmin then spent the whole winter power-lifting and it shows. Now all the sprinters and jumpers are doing it. In fact, the sprinters have an 'Adopt a distance runner' program going and they're teaching them how to lift, too. Something like that just builds a lot of team unity.'

Team success

Not to mention success, as runners from the state-qualifying cross-country program from last fall are also contributing mightily to the Knights' success. Hollie Poehler won the 3,200 (11:48.75) while Emma Sims, Katie Pawlak, Mikayla Fox and Olivia Schommer turned in a school record 10:00.05 in winning the 4x800 relay.

That latter victory was one of two wins in the relays for the Knights as the 4x200 relay team of Alaina Holt, Jessica McIntosh, Lea Finn and Kaleigh Johnston won in an honor roll time of 1:49.84, while the 4x100 crew of Shannon Nelson, Holt, Maddie Gard and Finn was a close second to Waukesha South in another good time of 50.75.

'We had good passes and we're still working on a few things with those relays,' Haberli said.

Other good finishes of note included the following: 200 dash — Maddie Gard, third (26.94). 4x400 relay — Katie Gard, McIntosh, Finn and Johnston, fourth (4:20.39). Long jump — Washington, fourth (16-6 3/4). Shot put — Jenna Dankert, fourth (37-7). Discus — Amber Lane, third (103-10).

Top showing

The Knights were equally as dominant in the 10-team M-Club Relays as they scored 118 points to easily outdistance runner-up Franklin (77).

Event wins came from the 3x100 high hurdle team of Washington, Megan Bird and Kayla Knuth; the 3x300 low hurdle relay of Washington, Miki Kobayashi and Katie Gard; the high jump team of Mason Wylie, and Maddie and Katie Gard; the triple jump team of Knuth, Bird and Lindsey Pedersen; and the discus crew of Lane, Kara Gilmeister and Dankert.

Haberli said there's been a seamless melding of the new performers (who include a lot of multisport athletes) with the old.

'Our older sprinters knew that there were some new kids coming in and instead of being threatened, they said 'that's all right, that's good,'' he said.