Virtually every meet this year has moved the goalposts for the Bluejays, setting personal records every week. With the conference meet in Carroll on Thursday, May 2, the goalposts moved once again as a dozen personal best times and distances were set, exceeding many expectations as the state qualifying meet comes Thursday, May 9.
Overall, the Bluejays were seeded to get 38 points and finished with 46 points in seventh place.
Per usual, that was led by senior Kaleb Olejniczak who grabbed silver in the 400-meter dash (51.72 seconds) followed by fourth-place in the 200-meter (23.66). He was 0.04 seconds away from another medal.
“The coaching staff asked [Kaleb] to come back and run the 800 in the distance medley,” Coy said after the meet. “After running a big PR split in the 4x800 which is tough to do with the short amount of time in between the events and because of that we were able to score a couple of extra points.”
Coy later added that he thinks Olejniczak has a good chance at qualifying for the state meet in the 400 should he run the same time. He is projected to be seeded sixth in Carroll but looks to grab one of the top two slots to advance. He’ll otherwise depend on one of eight at-large bids throughout the state. Currently ranked 20th in the state, he is right on the cusp of qualifying. All that is in his control is how well he keeps up with his competition, which Olejniczak said he uses faster competition around him to improve his marks.
He was also a part of the 4x400 relay team that set its season-best time, as did the 800 sprint medley team in fourth place with Olejniczak along with Kato Dougan, Justin Stammer, and Joseph Clark. The medley group also looks to qualify for State at the qualifying meet in Carroll after shaking off the rust from a shakeup earlier in the season.
“Definitely gotten a lot better the last couple weeks,” Olejniczak said as the group’s anchor. “At conference, we kind of had a misstep, but I mean, it was just some timing stuff. And we’ve been working all week every day at practice to get that down.”
Dougan agreed with his anchor, adding that it has taken some time to get the handoffs right with a previous roster change at the two-spot but all the cobwebs are gone for the time being. He will opt out of the long jump in favor of working with his medley team, as the events collide on the meet’s schedule.
On their own, Clark and Stammer also had individual personal best times in the 200 (24.96) and 100 (12.24) respectively.
Field events also had their time in the sun with Luke Holtorf nabbing fifth-place in shot putt thanks to his 42 foot 9 inch PR. Meanwhile, Cole Synder’s 113 foot 9 inch finish in the discus was good for the eighth spot and another PR.
Rounding out the laundry list of record book updates was Mario Cruz in the 800, finishing in 2:19.27.
Despite all the talk centered around a handful of Perry’s athletes, Coy said he’s been happy with the team as a whole, noting that the dozen records set at conference were a clear sign of improvement from top to bottom. But there’s still room to grow at qualifiers, hoping to grab some extra spots others have not yet expected from the Bluejays.