J.J. Zack prepares to take the baton from Marcel Hones  during the 400-meter relay last week Friday.
J.J. Zack prepares to take the baton from Marcel Hones during the 400-meter relay last week Friday.

   The Ripon Tiger boys’ track and field team hopes its distance events can take it a long way this year.

   So far, it has not come up short.

   The Tigers placed at least one runner or relay team in every one of the longer races Tuesday at the Berlin Invitational to lead them to a third-place finish out of eight teams.

   They also received some strong performances in shorter-distance competitions, as well as from athletes in field events.

   “As the season’s progressing here, we’re figuring who goes in what events,” Ripon head coach Chris Gatzke said. “So it definitely was a team effort [Tuesday] to score enough points to put us in that third-place position.”

   The Ripon girls, meanwhile, finished seventh out of eight teams.

   Berlin won both the boys’ and girls’ titles by comfortable margins.

   Other teams taking part in the competition Tuesday were Hortonville, Winneconne, Laconia, Wautoma, Princeton/Green Lake and Oshkosh Valley Christian.

   The meet got off to a strong start for the Tigers as the boys’ 3,200-meter relay team of Riley Gatzke, Quyn Duffy, Noah Borgardt and Daniel Mader won the first event by more than 11 seconds.

   It was just the beginning of a good day for the distance events as they placed two runners in the top eight in the 800 and 3,200 runs and one in the top eight in the 1,600.

  Doing the honors were Duffy (third, 800 run), Borgardt (sixth, 800 run), Max Beuthin (eighth, 1,600 run), Riley Gatzke (second, 3,200 run) and Mader (seventh, 3,200 run).

Read the full story, which includes information on other strong finishes, as well as how the Tigers fared at the Wautoma Relays, in the April 6, 2017 edition of the Ripon Commonwealth Press.