Wes Ferguson and his Fremont High School teammates didn’t want to finish in second place Saturday during the Pat Murphy Invitational so the Tigers did something about it.
Ferguson and fellow seniors Lucas Arps, Jose Gonzalez and Ross McMahon won the 1,600-meter relay — the final event of the day — in 3:27.50 to secure the team championship. Fremont finished with 152.50 points while Lincoln Southwest was second with 151.50.
“It was really important to us to get the team (championship), especially for the seniors since this is our only home meet this year,” the University of Nebraska at Kearney recruit said. “Last year we had three meets at home so to get this was pretty special.”
Southwest led heading into the final event. The Silver Hawks finished second in the 4x4 — about seven seconds behind the Tigers.
“We had to beat Southwest in that last race to win,” Fremont coach Dave Sellon said. “I felt pretty good, though, about our chances with that group. We’re real proud of the whole team. The senior class has been a great group all through their careers. I know it was very important to them to win this meet.”
Ferguson also added individual championships in the 400 (49.73) and 800 (1:57.43). Arps was second in the 400 in 51.31 while Micah Moore was fourth in 54.15. In the 800, Matthew Klein of the Tigers was third in 1:58.98.
“I think the 400 is going to become one of my main events this year,” said Ferguson, the reigning state all-class gold medalist in the 800. “It felt pretty good to go 1-2 with Lucas and put some points up there for us.”
Ferguson was happy with both of his individual times as he has been battling an Achilles issue.
“He had a great day,” Sellon said. “His calves have been bothering him a bit so we’ve been careful on how to space out his workouts, but he continues to get better. It was nice to double him up in the open races and then get him in the relay, too.”
Gonzalez, a Midland University recruit, won the 1,600 in 4:27.72 while teammate Ben Schulz was third in 4:36.80. Arps was the runner-up in the 200 in 22.83 and McMahon was runner-up in the high jump with a personal best of 6-6.
“Ross has physically matured quite a bit and is a lot stronger than he was a year ago,” Sellon said. “That has helped him a lot. He ran a 52.7 on the relay and is a pretty valuable part (of the team).”
Gonzalez added another championship when he joined Reed Johannsen, Edmund England and Andrew Blocker on the victorious 3,200-meter relay (8:04.41).
Mark Mendoza finished second in the 300-meter hurdles in 42.37. He was also runner-up in the pole vault by clearing 13-0. Only last year’s Class A runner-up Tyler Peterson of Lincoln Southeast (14-6) vaulted higher.
“Mark is coming around nicely,” Sellon said. “He is a talented sophomore and is very competitive. He has done a nice job of managing being in three events at a meet.”
Senior Tate Moeller led the throwers by earning runner-up finishes in the discus (154-5) and shot put (50-10). Teammate Keegan Menning was third in both events and Spencer Fitz was sixth in the shot.
“Tate had a great day and Keegan continues to improve,” Sellon said.
While athletes like Ferguson, Arps, Gonzalez and Moeller played big roles in the championship, Sellon said many others contributed to the win.
“We use the team mentality that everyone needs to chip away and pick up points here and there to help the cause,” he said.
That was evident in the 400-meter relay. Although the Tigers had trouble with the first exchange, the foursome of Daniel Godoy, Moore, Zane Klein and Ty Sookram stuck with it. Sookram passed an Omaha South runner down the stretch to give Tigers fifth place (47.77) and a chance to win the title in the final race.
“They could’ve given up after that botched exchange, but they ran well enough to get us a place,” the coach said. “That was huge point swing for us.”
The Tigers will compete Wednesday at the Harold Scott Invitational at Lincoln High.
Pat Murphy Invite
Team Scores — Fremont High 152.50, Lincoln Southwest 151.50, Millard North 72, Norfolk 40, Kearney 39, Lincoln North Star 28, Lincoln Southeast 20, Columbus 14, Millard South 6, Omaha South 3.
Event Winners and FHS Placers
Pole Vault — 1. Skyler Peterson, LSE, 14-6. 2. Mark Mendoza, F, 13-0. 5. Drew Sellon, F, 11-6.
Discus — 1. Kevin Shubert, MN, 159-3. 2. Tate Moeller, F, 154-5. 3. Keegan Menning, F, 153-8.
Shot Put — 1. Shubert, MN, 57-8 1/4. 2. Moeller, F, 50-10. 3. Menning, F, 48-11. 6. Spencer Fitz, F, 47-9.
High Jump — 1. Jesse Lewis, LSW, 6-7. 2. Ross McMahon, F, 6-6. 6. (tie) Trevor Synovec, F, 5-8, and Tyler Vaughn, LSW, 5-8.
Long Jump — 1. Zach Jarosz, LSW, 22-2 1/4. 4. Austin Everitt, F, 21-7.
Triple Jump — 1. Jesse Lewis, LSW, 43-11 1/4.
3,200-Meter Relay — 1. Fremont (Reed Johannsen, Edmund England, Andrew Blocker, Jose Gonzalez), 8:04.41.
110-Meter Hurdles — 1. Preston Green, LSW, 15.57. 5. Mark Mendoza, F, 16.36.
100 Meters — 1. Brian Rafiner, MN, 11.04.
400 Meters — 1. Wes Ferguson, F, 49.73. 2. Lucas Arps, F, 51.31. 4. Micah Moore, F, 54.15.
3,200 Meters — 1. Liem Chot, 9:39.34. 3. Carter Waters, F, 9:55.05. 6. Owen Wagner, F, 10:07.06.
200 Meters — 1. Zach Jarosz, LSW, 22.48. 2. Arps, F, 22.83.
800 Meters — 1. Ferguson, F, 1:57.43. 3. Matthew Klein, F, 1:58.98.
300-Meter Hurdles — 1. Cale Masters, K, 41.99. 2. Mark Mendoza, F, 42.37.
1,600 Meters — 1. Gonzalez, F, 4:27.72. 3. Ben Schulz, F, 4:36.80.
400-Meter Relay — 1. Lincoln Southwest, 43.59. 5. Fremont (Daniel Godoy, Moore, Zane Klein, Ty Sookram), 47.77.
1,600-Meter Relay — 1. Fremont (Ferguson, Gonzalez, McMahon, Arps), 3:27.50.