Five-time FRC Track Champions

Will Johnson

NEW HAVEN — Entering Monday’s Four Rivers Conference (FRC) track meet at New Haven High School, Matt Candrl’s Owensville Dutchmen were the favorites to make it five in a row.

Trailing St. James by a single point midway through the meet, OHS picked up timely point contributions from Michael Lahmeyer and Brannon Brocato in the 800-meter run along with the throwing duo of Garret Bunt and Aaron Budnik in the shot put.

“Michael Lahmeyer was third or fourth coming into the meet in the 800 and he went out and won the thing,” Candrl said. “He made a big move late in the race and nobody was willing to answer.”

Those helped the Dutchmen build a 14-point lead over the Tigers going into the 4x400-meter relay.

The Dutchmen foursome of Dane Thompson, Tony Terry, Jr., Lahmeyer and Brocato posted a second-place time of 3:43.43 to cap their fifth-straight FRC title on the track.

“They did what it took to finish off another conference title,” Coach Candrl said.

Between the track and the field, Owensville managed to win six events holding off a game St. James Tiger squad.

Two of OHS’ wins came on the track in the 4x800-meter relay and the aforementioned 800m run.

Opening the afternoon portion of the meet, Lahmeyer led off the 4x800m relay giving the Dutchmen the lead before handing the baton off to Dane Thompson.

“We had a set up going from tallest to shortest which worked out pretty well,” Thompson said.

Keeping the lead during his leg, Thompson handed off to Brocato who gave it to Jacob Giedinghagen to finish off a FRC title in a race-winning time of 8:31.99.

“It all mended together,” Brocato said. “We worked on our handoffs helping us drop our time.”

Adding to his leg of the 4x800m relay, Lahmeyer took off on the field in the final 200 meters of the 800m run posting a winning time of 2:07.31.

“I didn’t go out too hard to start the race,” Lahmeyer said. “I stayed with the lead pack and then out kicked them in the end.”

Brocato also scored team points in the 800 with a fifth-place time of 4:46.88.

Later in the mile, Lahmeyer earned more All-FRC accolades running a third-place time of 4:46.88. Giedinghagen also earned a team point placing eighth in 4:56.62.

Towards the end of the meet in the 3200-meter run, Giedinghagen (5th, 11:07.25) and freshman Paul Tyree (6th, 11:18.69) posted top-six times netting seven Dutchmen team points.

“I didn’t do as well as I hoped I would but I got us much-needed points,” Giedinghagen said. “I was really proud of Paul and the way he came through in the end.”

“Paul’s late kick in the race giving us three team points for his sixth-place finish helped solidify our first-place team trophy,” Candrl said. 

In the field, Owensville topped four events led by senior Sean Irwin winning the high jump clearing 5-10 and posting a distance of 21-06.25 in the long jump.

“It’s pretty amazing to be five-time conference champions,” Irwin said. “We had a lot of doubters coming into the season. We showed ourselves what we’re capable of.”

During the hurdle races, Irwin captured a pair of second-place finishes running times of 15.74 in the 110-meter hurdles and 40.92 in the 300-meter hurdles.

“You can’t say enough about Sean with him going against Grant Conway (St. James) who is ranked number one in the state,” Coach Candrl said. “He didn’t have his best day but he solidified his All-Conference status finishing second.”

Saving his best for last, Dutchmen senior Aaron Budnik won a FRC title in the varsity boy’s shot put with a new PR throw of 48-00.

“I was in second place to the Union guy (Eli Schulze) by an inch before my last throw,” Budnik said. “

Fellow senior Garret Bunt posted a fourth-place throw of 42-11 in the shot put for the Dutchmen.

In the discus, Budnik placed fifth with a toss of 121-04 followed by junior Reece Wehmeyer’s seventh-place distance of 114-00.

“Reece Wehmeyer stepped up big getting seventh in the discus as he wasn’t even in the top eight coming into the meet,” Coach Candrl said.

Throwing the javelin on the side prior to the FRC meet proved beneficial for Bryan Candrl Monday.

Posting a second-place throw of 146-00, OHS also got points in the javelin from fellow senior Nick Hinch with a seventh-place mark of 126-05.

“Brian put a big throw out there moving himself from sixth in the event to second,” Coach Candrl said. “Nick delivered where we needed him to.”

Adding to his second-place heave in the javelin, Brian vaulted his way to FRC gold clearing 13-06 in the pole vault.

“Winning 18 points in the pole vault is huge,” Coach Candrl said. “Brian was caught in between the javelin, the pole vault and the 100. He was still able to dial it in and win the conference title.”

Battling an injury from the OHS Relays 10 days earlier, Jacob Luther powered through it placing second clearing 13-0 in the event and earning All-FRC honors.

“It was great to know that he (Jacob Luther) was able to earn All-conference honors even when he wasn’t at his best.”

Sophomore Boyde Nicks made it three Dutchmen in the top six of the pole vault clearing 11-0.

Candrl’s busy day continued in the 100-meter dash racing to a time of 11.71 in the finals putting him in a tie for fourth place.

For Owensville in the sprint relays, it was a mixture of youth and experience with seniors and freshman making up both the 4x100-meter and 4x200-meter relay teams.

Showing the way among those two races was the Dutchmen 4x100m relay team of Sean Adkison, John Krumrey, Michael Miles and Zach Adams with a fifth-place time of 49.46.

Placing sixth in 1:40.91 was the OHS boy’s 4x200m relay team of Riley Wehmeyer, Tony Terry, Jr., Sean Adkison and Krumrey.

“I’m very proud of what our 4x100m and 4x200m relay guys were able to do today,” Candrl said. “With a mixture of freshman and seniors, it’s difficult to be competitive.”

Moving from Bourbon prior to the previous school year, Austin and Tony Terry Jr., have adjusted to life in the FRC versus the Gasconade Valley Conference.

Adding to his relay legs and his sixth-place mark in the triple jump, Tony Terry Jr., cleared 5-06 in the high jump to tie for fourth while his younger brother Austin tied for sixth clearing 5-04.

“It was nice to go out and run one of our best races of the season in the 4x400m relay,” Dutchmen senior Tony Terry Jr,. said.

With five straight FRC titles now under their belts, Candrl’s Dutchmen track team will now set their sights on a fourth consecutive district title on Saturday, May 12 at St. James High School.