Mustangs 3rd at the Class A State Meet
May 26, 2014By Chris Davis of Bishop Brossart High School
Mustangs Bring 3rd Place Trophy Home
The Bishop Brossart Boys team set off to accomplish its final goal this holiday weekend; bring a trophy home from the State Track Meet at the University of Kentucky. The boys did just that by earning 3rd place at the Class A Championships. Fort Knox won the meet with 70 points, and Murray was just one tantalizing place and point ahead of the Mustangs 55-54.
At the beginning of the season the coaches knew that they had a special team, and they set their lofty goals. They wanted to win the Campbell County Championships, the NKAC Championship, the Diocese of Covington Championship, a Regional Title, and bring a state trophy home with them. They were able check the final remaining goal off the list just that this Saturday May, 24th at the University of Kentucky.
On paper the Mustangs entered the meet the #1 team in the state based on Regional performances, but the coaches knew that Fort Knox and Murray were going to a tall order to take down. Coming out of NKY the Mustangs had to run their absolute best to win their region, while Murray and Fort Knox were able to cruise to easy victories. They knew Fort Knox’s sprinting potential was unmatched across the state and could be the difference maker. Nonetheless the Mustangs walked into UK’s brand new track and field facility with confidence and swagger that the #1 team in the state should possess.
The meet could not have started any better for the Mustangs, as the 4x800 meter relay team defended their title. The team of junior Ronny Smith, freshmen Cody Chism, junior Chris Loos, and Senior Michael Caldwell, dominated the competition for their 3rd title in that event in 4 years. They were 9 seconds faster than the runner up, and Caldwell was able to put it in cruise control on the final lap or the gap would have been wider. Running 8:17, their time was also better than all Class 2A times as well.
At the same moment Drew Berkemeyer and Gabe Roberts gained 10 points in the triple jump. When Berkemeyer ran to a solid 8th place performance in the 110 M hurdles, the meet was stacking up nicely for the Mustangs.
But then Fort Knox started dropping the hammer on the competition as they went 1-3 in the 100, and 1-2 in the 200. Along with solid sprint relays they started distancing themselves from the competition. Nevertheless the Mustangs refused to throw in the towel. Frank Cetrulo improved on his seeding and finished 7th in the pole vault, vaulting a personal best 11 feet. Michael Caldwell was once again solid as can be, locking down 2 2nd place performances in the 1600 and the 800. Drew Berkemeyer racked up 11 points in the triple jump and the 300’s to help swing the momentum back towards the Mustangs.
In desperate need more points as the clock was nearing mid-night, Nick Schuler picked a perfect time for a personal best. Schuler went up against Single A’s best in both cross country and track in the 3200 meter run. Schuler settled into a great pace and maintained contact with the lead group. As he entered the final lap he knew he had to pick off 2 runners to score 8th place. Schuler was able to do just that, it was a major accomplishment and an impressive personal best of 10:21. Schuler looks to be a force in the upcoming cross country season.
With just the 4x4 to go the Mustang Maniacs gathered on the back stretch getting more fired up than every other team’s athletes combined. It was clear everyone associated with the program was not going to go down without a fight. They needed to beat Green County, and finish 1 spot behind Murray for the 2nd place trophy.
For the final time, and at this point a limping Michael Caldwell, led the 4x4 onto the track to represent Bishop Brossart. Caldwell had been doing this since the 8th grade. Loos, Vogel, and Dutch Graus ran their hearts out handing off to Caldwell in 5th place. Caldwell poured everything he had left onto the track holding off a furious charge from Ft. Knox’s anchor. There was no way anyone would get ahead of Caldwell and the Mustangs. Unfortunately Murray just barely edged out Glasgow for 3rd place by 2 100th’s of a second. As the team totals were tallied Murray squeaked by the Mustangs by 1 point.
As the dust settled the Mustangs ended up in 3rd place. With forced smiles they accepted the trophy and gathered for one final team picture. The quest for the elusive Triple Crown slipped out of their grasps. But as is the case for most things in life, we learn far more in about ourselves in defeat rather than victory. This team had poured their heart and soul onto the track Saturday and they had nothing left to give. Their valiant fight for the Triple Crown will never be forgotten.
Berkemeyer and Caldwell will go down as two of the all-time greats of the program. They led the team in separate areas and were a force to be reckoned with. They gave their teammates and coaches confidence that every meet they went to they always had a chance. They combined for 3 school records, and a countless number of gold medals and team points.
The seniors set the tone this season and they will be sorely missed. From Drew Miller’s humor, and consistency in the sprint relays; Quinn O’Brian’s awesome t-shirts, Josh Brugger’s perseverance, Chase Britt’s leadership, Drew Burn’s ability to find misplaced shots and discs, Josh Klear’s ability to bounce back after injury, Jake Kroger’s high jumping ability at Ryle! Eli Nienaber’s leading the 4x400 B team relay after a 3200, Matt Mayer’s leadership from indoor to outdoor all the way up to the state meet. Dutch Graus’s passion and emotion that he poured into every 4x400. And finally Michael Caldwell and Drew Berkemeyer’s work ethic they showed to the underclassmen cannot be measured. Coach Davis takes solace in the fact that although they will be gone their lessons will live on in the future classes.
Although the team just graduated over 30 individual points from the State Meet the cupboard is hardly bare. They will be returning 3 of the state championship 4x8 relay. 3 of 4 state qualifiers in the 4x1 and 4x2. State points in the pole vault, and 3200. Qualifiers in the 200, 400, 110 Hurdles, the discus, long jump, triple jump, and a stable of good high jumpers. As well as half of the 5th place 4x400. Even after graduation the future looks bright. Now go out and get some friends and tell them how cool track is!
Coach Davis would like to thank his coaches who sacrifice so much. Coach Nerone, Stover, Martin, Frey, Hartig, and Crowe mean so much to this program. The parents who go over and above what is necessary. From rides, to bringing the tent, to pictures, to having the loudest cheering section at every meet, our parents are unmatched.
Finally a big thanks to all the kids who participated from the Freshmen to Varsity level. It is very easy to go home and take it easy, and sleep in on Saturday mornings and not give track a try; especially in a sport that is so difficult and frustrating. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.