Playing to strengths

GILBERT – Two teams, two philosophies.

South Hamilton and Northeast Hamilton took opposite approaches in their efforts to pile up points during Monday’s Bengal Relays, and for the most part both were effective.

It’s all about playing to strengths.

Once again, South Hamilton relied on its relays to account for the bulk of its 52 points, which put the squad fifth in the Class B field of eight teams. Northeast Hamilton allowed its two senior leaders – Nick Jeffers and Kyle Pruismann – to go it alone in individual events and they provided a hefty portion of their team’s 37 points, which was good enough for seventh.

With much more depth, Madrid and Ogden were able to distance themselves from the rest of the small-class pack. Madrid prevailed in the hunt for the team title with 198 points, a comfortable 35 points ahead of runner-up Ogden (163). Colo-NESCO (89) was a distant third.

CMB (162 points) edged out host Gilbert (157) for the Class A crown.

Both event victories and four of South Hamilton’s five medals came from relays. The Hawks bested the competition in the 4×800-meter (8:36.00) and 1,600 medley (3:53.33) relays. They slotted into third in the 4×200 (1:41.01) and 4×400 (3:40.81).

“The strength for us are the relays,” South Hamilton head coach Darrell Paulsen said. “We’re just going to have to tinker with them a little bit and decide each meet what we want to try to improve our times in.”

Drake Thompson, Devon Fisher and Caleb Olson were on all four medal-winning relays. Josiah Brown led off the 4×800 and was on the 4×400, Logan Klemp ran a 200 leg on the medley and Trey Woodall took part in the 4×200.

Hunter Griffin gave the Hawks third-place points in the shot put (43 feet, 8 inches).

Jeffers won gold and silver for Northeast Hamilton. His best discus throw of 130-3 put him at the top of the standings and he later toured the track in 54.77 seconds for second in the open 400. Right behind him in third in the 400 was teammate Pruismann (55.98).

NEH also picked up top-six points from Pruismann in the 400 low hurdles (sixth, 1:02.85) and the shuttle hurdle relay (sixth, 1:25.86) of Evan Mark, Kyler Rapp, Logan Mark and Ben Rapp.

Both teams will get back to work later this week. The Hawks will take part in the Norsemen Relays in Story City on Thursday, while the Trojans will head to Eldora for the South Hardin Invitational on Friday.