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Delavan-Darien sprinters impress

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Mike Johnson
May 18, 2011
— By the time Ricky Wojciechowski cruised across the finish line as the anchor of the Delavan-Darien High boys 400-meter relay team on Tuesday, there was almost enough space between him and the rest of the field to open the ropes and let a golf gallery cross the track.

No, the Delavan-Darien boys track and field team wasn’t deep enough to make a run at the Southern Lakes Conference title at Burlington High School, but the Comets did put on an impressive performance to back up what the long-foundering Comets did in winning their Borg Invitational last Friday.


After winning five individual events and three relays at the Borg, Delavan-Darien continued to show its sprinting prowess in capturing two individual and two more relays in the conference meet.


The Comets need more depth to compete for team titles, but what they’ve done recently is a big step for the program.


“These guys have been working at it,” first-year Delavan-Darien coach Mario McLin said. “They came into the season wanting to work. They just didn’t have the coach to give them the workouts.


“I’ve been giving them the workouts, and they’ve been doing it to a ‘T.’ So we’ve been progressing all year.”


Wojciechowski, a senior, won the 100-meter dash with a time of 11.33 seconds on Tuesday, while Comet junior Justin Held won the long jump with a mark of 20 feet, 9.25 inches. Both won the same events at the Borg.


“We got new coaches this year,” Held said. “I’m a junior right now, so this is the hardest we’ve probably worked in practice my whole three years. I think that’s probably why (we’ve been successful).”


Particularly impressive was the Comets’ 400 relay team of Jordan Hesebeck, Justin Fowlkes, Marcus McLin and Wojciechowski, which set a school record in the event at the Borg and won on Tuesday in 44.15, despite a strong breeze.


Mario McLin said both the 400 relay team and the 800 relay squad of Marcus McLin, Kyle Schmidt, Held and Hesebeck—which won on Tuesday with a time of 1:33.25—will run in the same order at the WIAA regional on Monday.


“There’s a pretty good chance both (relays) could get (to state),” Mario McLin said.


It was Waterford’s overall depth, however, that stole the show on Tuesday, as the Wolverines won both the boys and girls team titles with 190 and 190.67 points, respectively. Burlington was second in both the boys and girls with 127.5 and 143.5 points, respectively.


Lake Geneva Badger, the defending champion in both fields, took third in the boys standings with 105 points and third in the girls competition with 136.5.


Elkhorn, meanwhile, was fifth in the boys field (60.5 points) and fifth in the girls field (70), while Delavan-Darien placed sixth among boys (59) and seventh among girls (15.5).


One of the individual stars of last year’s meet, Badger’s Megan Mulligan, showed that she’s hoping to round into form just in time for the postseason after battling injuries all season.


Mulligan, who swept the 100, 200 and 400 last year, won the 200 on Tuesday with a time of 26.61 and placed second in the 100 (12.88). She was a distant seventh in the 400 and won’t pursue that event this postseason, even though she said earlier it’s the one she hoped to medal in at state.


Unfortunately, Mulligan has been out seven months with tendonitis in both knees. This was just her second meet this season, and she’ll attempt to continue to get stronger in the 100 and 200, as well as compete on the Badgers’ state-hopeful 400 relay squad.


“I pretty much didn’t do anything for like five months,” Mulligan said. “I just started doing stuff like two months ago.


“It’s been pretty frustrating, because you didn’t know your injury affects you so much, and I definitely found that out tonight. I’m only running my second week.”


Senior Sarah Woellert was a double winner for the Elkhorn girls. Woellert, who qualified for state in the shot put last season, won that event with a throw of 36-33.25 and also captured the discus (113-8).


“She needs to throw a little further than she did tonight to qualify in the discus, but I hope she can get (to state) in both (events),” Elkhorn coach JoAnn Schaffer said.


Badger’s Mario Blanquel won both throws in the boys field, capturing the shot put (48-3) and the discus (158-8), while Eddy Ruzga was also a boys winner for the Badgers with a time of 39.68 in the 300 intermediate hurdles.


Annie Gaugert, meanwhile, captured a girls title for the Badgers with a time of 16.27 in the 100 high hurdles.



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