Salem’s varsity boys track and field team is riding a wave of positive momentum that perhaps began with the recent city meet.
The Rocks won the annual Bolger-Mangan meet on April 17, but then kept running and winning at subsequent KLAA Central Division dual meets — grabbing a share of the division title with Tuesday’s 95.5-to-41.5 win over Novi.
“Our field events were extremely strong (against Novi),” Salem head coach Steve Aspinall said. “We were leading 35-1 after the first four events were completed and 38.5 to 6.5 after the fields had completed.”
Salem, now 6-0 overall and 4-0 in the KLAA Central, can clinch the outright championship Tuesday at South Lyon.
One of the key contributors to the field-event excellence against the Wildcats was junior Jannik Schmitt.
He took first place in the shot put (46 feet, 8.5 inches) and discus (137-01).
Also prevailing before the running events even began were senior Allante Wheeler (high jump, 6-02) and Jacob Miller (long jump, 19-7.5).
Another standout for the Rocks was double winner VerShawn Patrick, who took first both in the 100 dash (11.31) and 200 dash (23.55).
Salem’s relays were on the fast track, literally, taking three of four events.
Victorious in the 400 relay were Ty Traylor, Freddie McGee and Miller with a time of 44.48 seconds; Traylor, freshman Ryan Young, Jason Warras and freshman Andrew Davis came in first in the 800 relay (1:32.86).
Young, Warras and Davis were joined by Nathan Schubring to prevail in the 1,600 relay (3:39.13).
Other Salem victories were secured by Spencer Torok (800 run, 2:06.17), Eseosa Arhebamen (110 hurdles, 16.60) and Paul Vander (300 hurdles, 43.28).
On April 25, a number of Salem athletes garnered “a whole bunch of medals” amid great competition at the Brighton Bulldog Invitational.
Aspinall said key contributors on the day were Schmitt, Davis and Young.
Schmitt was first in the shot put, second in the discus and the lead-off leg in the “throwers 4-by-100” relay with two boys (Schmitt, Nick Landon) and two girls (Shara Long, Rachel Lepper).
Davis broke the freshman record in the prelims of the 200 dash and re-broke his own record in the finals. In that same event, Young placed third.
Both teamed up with sophomore Jason Arnold and sophomore Taj Traylor to win the freshman-sophomore 1,600 relay.
Meanwhile, on April 23, the team of Jason Warras, Ryan Young, Sharriff Dyer and Davis broke the freshman record in the 800 relay at the Saline Hornet Invitational.
“Our current freshman class is extremely talented, hard-working and a lot of fun to coach,” Aspinall said.