ML-WR, Esko compete at stateFrom the football field, to the basketball court and even his first-ever year on the track oval, Jake Disterhaupt always appreciates winning.
By: Tyler Korby, Pine Journal
From the football field, to the basketball court and even his first-ever year on the track oval, Jake Disterhaupt always appreciates winning.
Yet, among all the school records the three-sport athlete helped set for the Moose Lake-Willow River track and field team this year, Disterhaupt said seeing his teammates excel has been the biggest reward this spring.
“I enjoyed setting records, but it’s just as enjoyable for me to watch others do it, too,” said the Willow River junior who holds a school best in the 200-meter dash. “But being together is even more important than winning. We are all super close.”
That team chemistry guided the Rebels to the state track and field meet at Hamline University in St. Paul last Friday and Saturday. In the process of placing fifth with 32 total points, ML-WR set school records in the 800 and 1,600 relays, while Moose Lake senior Josh Cisar lowered the school mark in the 400.
Cisar, a track rookie, sprinted the one-lap race in 49.40 seconds to finish runner-up, but never challenged Pillager’s winner Wesley DeLong.
“I came out of the blocks fast, but [DeLong] came out just as fast and I knew I couldn’t catch him after the final corner,” Cisar said. “Looking at times before, I knew he was quick, but I didn’t expect that. It was pretty crazy.”
ML-WR Coach Tony Andres was nothing short of impressed of Cisar’s 400 finish. It was Cisar’s only loss of the year, while his school record topped the previous record holder, Jake’s father, Mark Disterhaupt.
“It’s remarkable to think of what Jake has done for someone who has never raced the event before,” Andres said. “I don’t even know how much he liked it, but he saw an opportunity and worked harder and harder.”
Along with his teammate Disterhaupt, Cisar also helped aid the Rebels in a pair of record-setting relays Saturday afternoon, while junior Ben Moonen earned fifth in the 800 and Disterhaupt sixth in the 200.
Like Disterhaupt and a handful of other football players, the 6-foot-2, 190-pound Cisar joined track this spring for the first time. Although he’ll play hockey in Aberdeen, S.D., as a part of the North American Hockey League next winter, the three-sport dynamo won’t ignore his one-year track stint.
“I’ll probably never forget it for the rest of my life,” said Cisar. “It was a big moment for me, our team and our town. Even though we set records, we continued to improve on them and get better. Track was enjoyable.”
“They worked hard and realized how good they are,” Andres said. “They didn’t shut down at state, but they performed. It was just a great season.”
That’s normal for the Esko girls team. Making their seventh straight appearance in the State Track and Field Championships, the Eskomos claimed seventh place with 26 total points.
“Seventh place is nothing to slouch at,” said Esko Coach Tim Lindquist, who watched his girls defend the Class A state True Team title this year, as well. “State was kind of like the icing for us. We never take it for granted.”
Senior Caitlin Lilly placed fourth in the 300 hurdles, while she was on Esko’s surprising 800 relay team that finished in second place, along with teammates Olivia Rengo and speedy sisters Marisa and Erika Shady.
Esko junior Riley Mudek also placed two spots behind Cisar in the boys 400, while other area participants competed well on a near 90-degree day.
“It was so hot out, everyone was sweating,” Esko sophomore Erika Shady said. “But I was very happy. Our team did so well.”
“We know we can compete at state,” added older junior sister, Marisa. “We’ve been blessed to have made it down there year after year. And again, we put on another good showing. Things went well. I was very proud.”
Agreeing with her younger sister, Marisa Shady noted the team got a shock when Lindquist said he was retiring after this season.
“He’s been by our side ever since we were little seventh-graders,” she said. “He’s taught us a lot and we’ve all learned so much from him. We’ve gone through some pretty awesome successes together. We’ll sure miss his presence.”
Lindquist said the same about his girls.
“I’ve been around the sport since the mid-1970s and I’m going to miss it,” he said, “But they will have the target on them again next year. I’ll follow them.”