Indoor season could not have gone better for the Brookfield East boys track and field team.
The defending state champions easily won the Greater Metro Conference Indoor team title on March 28 at West Allis Central High School, finishing 77 points ahead of second-place Marquette (98.33 points) and 87.33 points in front of third-place Wauwatosa East (88 points).
Brookfield East then wrapped up its indoor season by taking fourth in a loaded field at the Madison West Relays on April 1 at The Shell at the University of Wisconsin.
"We took a nice step forward at the GMC Indoor," Brookfield East coach Mike Steiner said. "Our kids competed and they had great focus. We're still pretty early in the season, and we have a ways to go yet with our development, but it was certainly a step in the right direction.
"Our seniors really did a nice job. They know they are being counted on and they're battle tested. They are pretty motivated to leave a positive legacy on our program and continue the success we've had in the past."
The Spartans had six first-place finishers at the Greater Metro Indoor Championships, including Sam McTaggart winning the 800-meter run in 2 minutes, 0.89 seconds and the 1,600 in 4:37.07.
"Sam looked great," Steiner said. "He had a tremendous offseason of training and it is paying off for him right now. He ran two really smart races and helped set the tone for us early in the meet by winning the 1600."
Morris Seaton won the 55 dash in 6.73 seconds, Saxton Williams took first in the 200 in 24.29 seconds and Sam Santiago-Lloyd claimed the shot put crown with a top throw of 50 feet, 3.5 inches.
The relay team of Abel Christiansen, Justin Parbs, Gaven Post and Seaton won the 4x160 in 1:19.14.
"Sam is a special talent," Steiner said. He is continuing to develop and grow as a thrower and he took a nice step forward (at the Greater Metro Indoor). Saxton is our workhorse. We are asking a lot from him and so far he has responded. He has done everything we have asked of him and is poised for a huge season for us."
Avery Barnes had a strong all-around meet, taking second in the 55 high hurdles in 8.14 seconds, third in the 55 intermediate hurdles in 8.01 seconds and fifth in the long jump at 19-04.
"Avery competed like he always does," Steiner said. "He set personal bests in both hurdle races and continues to get better."
Taking second place for the Spartans were Caleb Wright in the 55 intermediate hurdles in 7.97 seconds, Avery Barnes in the 55 high hurdles in 8.14 seconds, Matthew Johnston in the shot put with a top throw of 48-04 1/2, Cam Bauer in the pole vault clearing 12 feet and the triple jump at 42-00 1/2 and Williams in the long jump at 21-03.
Williams also was third in the 55 dash in 6.79 seconds, Seaton took third in the 200 in 24.80 seconds, Jas Wodnicki placed third in the 800 in 2:11.58, Barnes was third in the 55 intermediate hurdles in 8.01 seconds and fifth in the long jump at 19-04, Wright came in fourth in the shot put with a top throw of 47-09 1/4 and Justin Parbs was fifth in the pole vault clearing 11-06.
Abel Christiansen, Post, Williams and Cam McDonald took second in the 4x240 in 2:04.55 and Jas Wodnicki, Stuart Gildea, Brandon Hillary and Joe Timm placed second in the 4x800 in 8:56.19.
Brookfield East scored 33 points to come in behind Verona at 64 points, Kimberly at 45 points and Stevens Point at 39 points at the Madison West Relays, which is the second longest running meet in the state behind the state meet. It also serves as a good barometer of where teams sit in the state at the end of indoor season.
A top-five finish provided further proof that the Spartans will likely again be in the mix for a state championship.
"We couldn't be happier with our performance in Madison," Steiner said. "Despite being a bit shorthanded, our kids dug in and competed against some of the best in the state. We have been going to Madison for a number of years now. It's a great test for us as we see some of the good teams from up north. The kids rallied around each other and made it a worthwhile trip."
The Spartans won a pair of relays, taking first in the 4x100 in 45.14 seconds with Seaton, Abel Christiansen, Justin Christiansen and Williams and winning the 4x200 in 1:33.81 with Seaton, Abel Christiansen, Justin Christiansen and Barnes.
Williams took third in the 200 in 22.99 seconds and was fifth in the long jump at 21-07 1/4. Johnston came in sixth in the shot put with a personal-record throw of 53-06 3/4.
"Matt competed against some of the best in the state and he responded with a tremendous mark for so early in the season," Steiner said. "He had a handful of throws at or over 50 feet and that is encouraging."
Brookfield East won three of its four varsity indoor meets and all four of its junior varsity meets during the indoor season. The varsity team will next compete at its own Spartan Invitational on April 18.
"We had a tremendous indoor season," Steiner said. "But we have a long, long ways to go and it will be interesting to see how far this group can go. They certainly have the ability to be special when it's all said and done."