Brookfield East's boys track and field team wasn't phased by a two-week break between the end of its indoor season and the beginning of the outdoor portion of its schedule.
After winning three indoor meets, the Spartans carried their success outdoors last week. First, Brookfield East easily won its own Mike Gain Spartan Invitational on April 18, scoring 148 points to finish in front of second-place Arrowhead at 106.5 points. Then, on April 21, the Spartans edged Monona Grove, 107-104, to take home the title at the Sun Prairie Invitational.
"Our invite was certainly a positive for us coming out of break and being our first outdoor meet of the season," Brookfield East coach Mike Steiner said. "We were a bit unsure of how our kids would respond, but they were great. It was a nice win for us, but we have a long ways to go.
"Sun Prairie is a good meet for us. It provides some different competition that we normally don't see and is a good early-season test. Our kids dug their heels in the ground and showed that they have some grit. It was a pretty good battle, and we saw some special performances that helped get us over the top."
48th annual Mike Gain Spartan Invitational
Saxton Williams led the way for Brookfield East at the Mike Gain Invite with a pair of individual first-place finishes, winning the 200-meter dash in 22.56 seconds and the long jump at 21 feet. He also anchored the 4x100 relay team that took first place.
Jas Wodnicki won the 800 in 2 minutes, 3.58 seconds, and Matthew Johnston claimed the shot put title with a top throw of 53 feet, 4.25 inches. The Spartans won the 4x800 relay in 8:34.99 with Brandon Hillary, Jack Pitzen, Joe Timm and Sam Meysembourg and the 4x100 in 43.63 seconds with Morris Seaton, Caleb Wright, Justin Parbs and Williams.
"Saxton is really coming into his own," Steiner said. "He was a key contributor for us last year, and he is emerging as a very special talent. His versatility is definitely a key for us when we build our lineup, and he no doubt has the tools to be a workhorse.
"Jas is so smooth. He ran a really nice race and will continue to see his times drop as the season goes."
Earning runner-up finishes were Wright in the 110 hurdles in 15.94 seconds, Seaton in the 100 in 11.29 seconds and Cam Bauer in the triple jump at 41-05 3/4.
Avery Barnes took third in the 110 hurdles in 16.22 seconds, Abel Christiansen was third in the 300 hurdles in 41.61 seconds, Wright came in third in the long jump at 19-08, and Sam Santiago-Lloyd was third in the shot put with a top throw of 50-08.
"Matthew (Johnston) and Sam (Santiago-Lloyd) had really good performances for so early in the outdoor," Steiner said. "They anchor our throws group, which is clearly one of our strengths. The ceiling is pretty high for both Sam and Matthew, so it will be fun to see them continue to develop as the season progresses."
The relay team of Abel Christiansen, Pitzen, Sam McTaggart and Hillary placed third in the 4x400 in 3:33.46.
Bauer took fourth in the pole vault at 12-06, Isaiah Windom was fourth in the long jump at 19-03, Ryan Mazza came in fourth in the triple jump at 39-05 1/2, Johnston took fifth in the discus at 133-07, and Mark Browne placed fifth in the 3,200 in 10:50.27.
Sun Prairie Invitational
Brookfield East received an individual title from Johnston in the shot put, as he topped the field with a throw of 54-10. The Spartans also won two relay titles, with Seaton, Wright, Parbs and Williams winning the 4x100 in 44.42 seconds and Seaton, Wodnicki, Justin Christiansen and Williams taking first in the 4x400 in 3:27.29.
Abel Christiansen, Justin Christiansen, Barnes and Seaton took second in the 4x200 in 1:31.56. Wright was the runner-up in the 110 hurdles in 15.59 seconds, and Bauer placed second in the pole vault, clearing 13-00.
Barnes was third in the 300 hurdles in personal-record 41.22 seconds. Wright came in third in the triple jump at 41-02 1/2; McTaggart took fourth in the 800 in a personal-record time of 1:58.99; Parbs placed fourth in the pole vault, clearing 12-00; Bauer was fourth in the triple jump at 40-07 1/2; Santiago-Lloyd took fourth in the shot put with a throw of 49-04; and Johnston was fourth in the discus at 135-02.
"Caleb (Wright) had another solid meet," Steiner said. "His versatility is exceptional. His performance in the high hurdles was a highlight. Coach Mohn has done a tremendous job with him, and I see no reason why he won't continue to get better. Caleb trusts the process and, without a question, is one of our leaders.
"Avery (Barnes) was solid in both his leg of the 4x200 and in the intermediates. That can be a tricky double, but he handled it well. He has a lot of promise in the intermediates. (It was) a very solid meet for him."
Brookfield East also received crucial points from Wodnicki taking sixth in the 400 in 52.71 seconds, Streich coming in sixth in the discus at 131-10, Parbs placing seventh in the 100 in 12.13 seconds, Tyler taking seventh in the in the 110 hurdles at 17.60 seconds and eighth in the high jump clearing 5-06, Abel Christiansen in the 300 hurdles in 43.29 seconds and Tristan Butkiewicz in the pole vault clearing 11-06.
"Sam McTaggart ran really well in the 800," Steiner said. "That was a fast race. He set a PR and finished fourth, but that performance was special. Alek (Tyler) has been solid all year for us. He's that guy you have to have in your program. He competes, and he cares. His points were critical for us."
Sussex Hamilton Invitational
Brookfield East sent a reserve lineup to the Sussex Hamilton Invitational on April 19, scoring 78 points to place fifth out of 10 teams.
Throwers led the way for the Spartans, with Everett Cartier winning the shot put at 42-03 3/4 and Brad Dati taking second at 41-10 1/4. Cartier was also second in the discus at 124-04, and Dati was third at 122-00.