Henry Evenhouse uses all his strength to throw the shot put on March 30.
Henry Evenhouse uses all his strength to throw the shot put on March 30.
With school books put away and homework off the mind, the Lakeland track and field teams were back in the fieldhouse for a weekend meet.

Saturday, March 30 was the perfect day for an indoor meet. It was lightly snowing outside, but inside people were nice and toasty. 

It was the 21st T-Bird Invitational and teams present included Spencer, Stratford, Mercer, Phillips, Chequamegon-Park Falls and Lakeland. This was a meet where there were awards and medals at the end.

Even though it was early in the morning with a 9 a.m. start, Lakeland was ready to go.

“We ask the kids to be here by 8:15 and we go from there,” coach Dan Claussen said. “The earlier the better so we can have the afternoon free.”

Right away for the girls it was success in the 55 meter dash finals. Three Thunderbird runners finished in the top four. Elaine Kuckkahn finished second with a time of 8.71, Sarah Thompson finished third with a time of 8.75 and Maija Schellinger finished fourth with a time of 8.78.

Kiera Rotar also had a good day in distance, winning the 1600 meter run with a time of 6:10.08.

For the boys, it was a strong start in the 800 meter run. Victor Masayesva won the race with a time of 2:17.59 and it was teammate Jake Van Hefty right behind him with a time of 2:19.85. 

The 800 meter run for the girls was also a highlight, with Kate Melms taking first at a time of 2:33.65 and Ashley Ullius finishing second with a time of 2:41.49. Mia Case also placed in the top three with a time of 2:44.47.

Many Thunderbirds have tried many events throughout the season so far. This is to ensure the kids stay motivated and not get complacent with just one event.

“We want to rotate events so the kids don’t get stale or complacent,” Claussen said. “We just move them around a little bit.

Vincent Strong had a strong day for the Thunderbirds in two different events. He won the pole vault with a height of 12-00 and then won the long jump with a jump of 18-10 1/2. 

It was another day of good relays and times as well. The Lakeland boys rose victorious in the 4x160, 4x320 and 4x800 meter relays. The Lakeland girls ran first to the finish line in the 4x320 and 4x400 meter relay.

“Right now we’re looking and trying to watch them to fill our relays for the end of the year,” Claussen said. “We’re trying to get everybody to do it, hopefully by the end of the year we got it figured out.”

The girls track most valuable player (MVP) was Leah Zastrow from Spencer and the girls field MVP was Hannah Zastrow from Spencer.

The boys track MVP was Teddy Redman from Stratford and the boys field MVP was Mason Barth from Spencer.

Chequamegon-Park Falls won the girls side for points with 138.5 and for the boys it was Stratford with 143. 

The Thunderbirds continue to see where their athletes stand as the season progresses. Their next meet is the Indoor State meet on Saturday, April 6 in Whitewater.

Brett LaBore may be reached at brett@lakelandtimes.com or sports@lakelandtimes.com.