Madison Edgewood junior Travis Drumm is hoping this is the year he begins to leave his mark on the area track and field landscape.
His freshman season at Madison West was slowed by pneumonia. After transferring to Madison Edgewood for his sophomore year, ankle injuries suffered during basketball season hampered his sprinting in the spring.
Now, Drumm is healthy — and eager to contribute for the Crusaders.
Drumm, kicking hard down the stretch, came from behind and won the 400-meter dash during the Class B meet for primarily the smaller schools at Saturday’s 82nd annual Madison West Relays boys track and field meet. He finished in a personal-best indoor time of 52.91 seconds at the University of Wisconsin’s Camp Randall Memorial Sports Center.
“It does give me confidence,” Drumm said. “This is a really high-level meet. So to do well and get a good time, that is good. It sets me up for the rest of the season and, hopefully, I can continue to improve and make it to the state meet.”
Drumm settled in behind leader Tyler Stauss, using the Clinton senior as his pacesetter, prior to making his move entering the final corner. And he didn’t bang the drum slowly, either.
“I was feeling good, so I just busted loose for the last maybe 70 meters and gave it my all,” Drumm said.
Stauss was second in 53.46.
“I didn’t run that well my sophomore year,” Drumm said. “I still had a successful season, but I didn’t run as well as I think I could have. So, I think junior year is going to be a breakout year for me. I’m feeling good.”
Edgewood coach Jeff Gifford said Drumm has demonstrated explosiveness he didn’t show last year. Saturday’s race was Drumm’s season debut in the 400, after competing in the 55 dash earlier this season.
“We knew he had the speed,” Gifford said. “This is the first time in the 400. We wanted to see where he was with his fitness level. I was hoping for mid-53. Popping off a 52.9, that looks pretty nice today.”
Much like Drumm, Monona Grove senior Nate DeVault moved from second and passed the leader down the stretch in winning the 800 in 2:04.28. Waukesha Catholic Memorial senior Mike Bisswurm, who had been leading, was runner-up in 2:05.00 and Baraboo senior Josh Hackbarth was third (2:05.13).
“My strategy was to just stick with that top group, that top guy, and out-kick them at the end there,” DeVault said. “That was my game plan.”
DeVault, who set a personal indoor best, expects the 800 to be his top event.
“Last year, I had some success in it,” he said. “I want to see if I can get to that next level. ... It’s early (in the season), but, obviously, that big goal is the sectional and state — really just trying to get there.”
Slinger was the Class B meet champion with 92 points, followed by runner-up La Crosse Logan (88) and third-place Waukesha Catholic Memorial (87.5). The top area finisher was Monroe, fifth with 39.
Area competitors who finished second included Monroe senior Jordan Montgomery in the 55-meter dash (6.62 seconds); Monroe senior Kyle Legler, 1,600 (4:45.31); and Monona Grove’s Michael Williams-Davis, shot put (49 feet, 6.75 inches).
Third-place finishers included Cambridge senior Riley Olson, 200 (23.90); Edgewood sophomore Leo Richardson, 1,600 (4:46.22); Cambridge freshman Trey Colts, high jump (5-11); Madison La Follette junior Mete Ozgen, pole vault, (11-0); and Baraboo sophomore Jake Schaefer, shot put (48-3½).
The meet for larger schools featured a string of record-setting performances, including the shattering of a 43-year-old record in the 1,600-meter run by Mequon Homestead senior Drew Bosley.
Bosley won in 4:09.15, followed by Middleton senior Caleb Easton (4:22.48). Both will run at Northern Arizona in the fall. Easton also took second in the 800 (2:03.07), and Middleton won the 3,200 relay (8:16.73, by Braedon Gilles, Peter Hofferle, Ryan Schollmeyer and Michael Madoch).
Waukesha North topped the 22-team standings with 77 points, led by triple champion Alex Lesperance, who broke a 29-year-old meet record in the long jump (23-8¾) and won the 55 dash (6.39 seconds) and 200 (:22.39).
Verona took fourth, led by the winning 400 relay crew of Graham Stier, Jayden Joe-Wright, Javon Presley and Jackson Acker (:44.40).