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Heiman, Schwinghamer advance

Patrick Slack
Posted 6/7/17

DULUTH - For one, it will be the culmination of one of the top careers Ely has ever seen. For the other, it is still just beginning.

Senior Josh Heiman earned a fourth trip to state in track and …

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Heiman, Schwinghamer advance

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DULUTH - For one, it will be the culmination of one of the top careers Ely has ever seen. For the other, it is still just beginning.

Senior Josh Heiman earned a fourth trip to state in track and field at Thursday’s Section 7A meet in Duluth, while freshman James Schwinghamer notched his first.

Heiman dominated in the horizontal jumps, winning the long jump (21-feet, 6.25-inches) and the triple jump (44-feet, 5-inches).

“Josh’s 21-feet, 6.25-inches in the long jump is really close to his PR,” Helms said. “I feel like Josh still has room to break through with a bigger jump at Hamline (state). Josh’s 44-feet, 5-inches gives him a first-flight seeding in the state meet.”

Heiman also advanced via the time standard in the 100-meter dash with a third-place mark of 11.11 seconds.

That 100 time proved better than his mark at state a year ago of 11.24. He also ran a personal best of 11.02 in the prelims, which would have been good for fourth place at state last season.

“That’s a testament to the strength of Section 7A in the sprints this year,” Helms said. “To have four athletes advance by time, with (Dawsen) Cossalter from Esko at 10.94, in the 100-meter from the North is extremely unusual.

“Overall, Josh had a very strong meet; I know he would have liked to make state with his teammates in a relay, but the other teams had a good day so it wasn’t in the cards for us.”

Schwinghamer advanced with a runner-up time of 10:08.87 in the 3,200.

“James’ performance in the 3200-meter was the surprise of the meet,” Helms said. “Coming into the meet, James’ personal best was 10:28, and he was seeded fourth. Prior to the meet, we decided to hold James to one event, so he came into the race fresh, which was a big advantage going against runners who were doubling up on a hot day.

“We knew that Jake Peron (Two Harbors) and Ethan Olson (Moose Lake/Willow River) were both capable of breaking 10 minutes, so the game plan was to stick with those two and hope one of them faded, and then run for the second spot.”

As it played out, Esko’s third-seeded Josh Kemp decided to take the race out fast, running by himself in the opening laps.

Schwinghamer, though, kept to the pre-race strategy.

“Sticking with his plan, James ran with the top seeds, biding his time until the race started to unfold. After three laps, it was clear that Ethan Olson was spent from winning the mile earlier in the day, and he fell off the pace quickly after the mile. That left three, with Peron looking very comfortable.”

Kemp, however, began to fade.

“He slowly came back to James by lap six, with Peron asserting himself and taking the lead,” Helms said. “James didn’t take a lot of time running behind the Esko runner, moving into second over Kemp and holding his pace in lap seven. Kemp was dropped by about 20 meters, gave one push in the final turn, but didn’t have the legs to catch James, who kicked in the last 60 meters for a 20-second improvement on his PR from a week earlier.

“James’ motivation was to make it to state and compete with his cousins from Mora (twin seniors) before they graduated, and he did it. He’s really ahead of where I thought he’d be as a ninth-grader. He ran a gutsy and very smart race on a hot track on Thursday. He gave absolutely everything he had to make it to the state meet. It was a courageous performance.”

The Wolves had several other entrants in top placement contention, with the 4x400 relay team of Braxton Casey, Izaak Nosbisch, Blaise Lah and Adam Porthan taking fourth place in 3:35.62, and fifth-place finishes from Zach Dean in the 200 (23.55), Porthan in the 400 (52.47), Omerza in the triple jump (40-feet, 3-inches), McEntyre in the discus (124-feet, 8-inches), the 4x100 relay team of Isaac Gawboy, Omerza, Nosbisch and Dean (45.87) and the 4x200 relay team of Heiman, Augie Richter, Nate Nettifee and Dean (1:35.92).

Also competing for Ely were, in sixth place: Emmett Faltesek in the 3,200 (10:44.3) and Jasiah Wigdahl in the shot put (41-feet, 5.5-inches); in seventh place: Lah in the 400 (54.39), Henry Dirks in the 110 hurdles (17.37) and Eli Conaway in the 300 hurdles (43.46); in eighth place: Casey in the 400 (54.68), Teddy Pierce in the 800 (2:08.14) and the 4x800 relay team of Dylan Fenske, Seann Prigge, Ethan Bremner and Simon Stouffer (9:36.65); in ninth place: Richter in the discus (114-feet, 11-inches); in 10th place: Dirks in the 300 hurdles (44.31) and McEntyre in the shot put (38-feet, 7-inches); in 11th place: Porthan in the triple jump (36-feet, 11-inches) and Gawboy in the 100 (11.89); in 12th place: Porthan in the long jump (17-feet, 8.5-inches) and Raif Olson in the 110 hurdles (18.59); and in 14th place: Faltesek in the 1,600 (4:55.94), Gawboy in the 300 hurdles (48.32) and Omerza in the long jump (16-feet, 9.5-inches).

“Emmett Faltesek’s performances in the 1,600 and 3,200 really stand out,” Helms said. “For an eighth-grader to go under five minutes in the 1,600 and come back and place sixth in the 3,200-meter race is really impressive. A lot of guys would have wilted in the heat after the first race, but Emmett ran patiently, handled the conditions and put in a furious finish to move up a couple of places and capture a medal. It’s hard to believe the ironman on the team is in eighth grade.

“Evan Omerza, while he didn’t make state, finished with a triple jump out over 40 feet and completed his high school track career as one of the best jumpers Ely has ever seen. Izaak Nosbisch also had an outstanding day in two relays, with a very impressive 52.4 split in the 4x400-meter race. Izaak has spent the last couple of years selflessly competing in almost every relay, depending on the meet. On our team, his contribution doesn’t go unnoticed; he’s been vital to the team’s success these last couple of years. Hats off to the three other 400-meter runners, as well - Adam, Blaise and Braxton all placed in the open 400, which is very impressive for a small school.”

Ely ended the meet in second place as a team, runner-up to Esko.

“We had a bit of a roller coaster day: a false start in the 110 hurdles, foul-out in the discus and a sprinter with a foot injury took us a bit out of contention for the top team spot,” Helms said. “At the end of the day, we were happy to be runner-up in the section meet. Esko’s top athletes and relays were impressive, and they were a stronger team on Thursday.”

Seniors on this year’s roster included Porthan, Richter, Casey, Omerza, Nosbisch, Heiman, Matt Killoran, Stouffer, McEntyre, Pierce and Dean.

“I’m proud of the Ely kids,” Helms said. “They competed hard all year, swept the regular season meets, won the sub-section title and represented Ely well at sections. The senior class graduates as the most successful track team in Ely history, leaving an indelible mark on the program. I can’t imagine jumping on a bus next year and heading to a track meet without those guys.”

The state meet is Friday - Saturday at Hamline University in St. Paul.

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