Wednesday, March 26, 2014


from today's Waukesha Freeman - 

Crusaders building toward future success
CMH gets boost from increased roster size
By Mark Hutchinson, Freeman Staff 
WAUKESHA – The workhorse has moved on to other pastures. 

But coach John Gabelbauer likes the work ethic he has seen from his Catholic Memorial High School boys track and field team. 

The Crusaders’ 2013 graduation losses included Sam Tiahnybik, who set a WIAA Division 2 statemeet record by winning the 400 meters in 48.26 seconds and claimed first place in the 200 and second in the 100. 

Tiahnybik’s performance accounted for the majority of the Crusaders’ 37 state-meet points, which earned them second place behind Shorewood. The speedster is now competing for the University of Wisconsin. 

“Replacing Sam will be impossible,” Gabelbauer said. “He scored 28 points by himself in the state meet last season. I’m more interested in building our team into one that can go to state and go after it in a couple of years. We’re not there yet.” 

The Crusaders’ returning lettermen are well aware of the challenge ahead of them, judging by the work ethic they have demonstrated in early practices. 

“As I watch us work out, I don’t have a lot of stragglers and strugglers,” Gabelbauer said. “Everyone’s been working hard. 

“Our numbers are up, which is really encouraging. We have about 45 guys. We’re normally in the 30s.” 

CMH’s returning cast features junior Joe Novak, who finished second in the 1,600 meters in and eighth in the 800 meters at last year’s state meet. Novak was the Classic 8 outdoor champion in both the 1,600 and 800 last season. 

Joe Novak and junior Evan Wetzel are leading our distance runners,” Gabelbauer said. “Seniors Noah Krause and John Clark are leading our throwers, and senior Jacob Piette and Jared Norgal are leading our sprinters. Junior Robby Gogin (jumps) and sophomore Matt Lechner (sprints) have also stepped up and provided leadership.” 

Gabelbauer has begun to identify his team’s strong suits. 

“We should be better this season in the throws and distances – we have a real good veteran in Joe Novak in the distance races,” the coach said. “Our sprinters, as a group, will be better. 
“We’re starting from scratch in the hurdles and high jump. Robby Gogin and Chris Nennig, a sophomore, have done a nice job in the jumps.” 

Gabelbauer likes the look of some promising newcomers to his squad: seniors Alec Kocour (sprints and jumps) and Teddy Sibilsky (sprints); juniors Brad Bodus (distances) and Jett Siegenthaler (sprints); sophomores Fetcher Metz (multiple events), Nolan McCarthey (400 and 800), Zach Engsberg (hurdles and jumps), Austin Ciezki (hurdles), Jalen Campbell (hurdles and sprints), David Dangelis (sprints), Josh Karfonta (sprints) and Mike Oechsner (sprints). 

CMH finished seventh with 46 points in last year’s Classic 8 Conference outdoor meet. Mukwonago won the meet, while Arrowhead finished second. The Indians and Warhawks are expected to be strong again. 
“Mukwonago and Arrowhead are the perennials,” Gabelbauer said. “They have big squads and can fill all the events with two or three guys. 

“After that, it becomes a war of attrition.” 


Photo: Catholic Memorial junior Joe Novak won the 800- and 1,600-meter runs at last season’s Classic 8 Conference outdoor meet. Freeman file photo 

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