Sophomores Shine at the Clash at the Coliseum

Wednesday, March 2 2022 - Clash At The Coliseum

Highland Park competed in the extremely competitive Clash at The Coliseum hosted by Lakes Community High School. It was hosted in their brand new amazing indoor field house with a 200 meter track. The venue and competition was the perfect combination for great performances. The Giants had many!


The field events produced several personal bests for the HP athletes. 


In the long jump, Malachi Calliste had a huge personal best as he jumped 20’2.25”! His mark just missed the HPHS sophomore indoor record of 20’6.5”. He took 9th in the event and was the second sophomore. Junior Darius Robinson was near his best with a jump of 18’5”. 


Robinson came back in the triple jump to get a new personal best of 36’2.75”. Senior Peter Soutsos was unable to get a mark and will look to bounce back at the next meet in this event.


Sophomore Nolan Schott had the difficult task of competing in the 4X800 meter relay while the high jump competition was taking place. He was able to get a personal best after he ran the 4X800 by clearing 5’1.75”. That took a great deal of focus and determination to do well in two such different events. Junior Christian Billetdeaux was unable to clear opening height, but continued to show the discipline and work ethic needed to be a major contributor on this team. He is still dealing with a nagging hip issue that hopefully will be better soon.


In the shot put, sophomore Dmitry Derbedyenyev had a solid 36’.75” throw. Not his best this season, but still ahead of last year. As he gets in more reps this season, look for him to throw over 40’ soon. Junior Gabe Goldstein got a personal best on his final throw with a 27’2” attempt. This was his first time over 27 feet. 


Due to not having a pole vault pit at HPHS, the vaulters have not had the opportunity to get work going over a bar. Juniors Enrique Lipezker and Geoff Buck got to go through warm-ups at this meet to prepare them for the next meet. They both were able to watch some very talented vaulters compete at this meet. Look for these two juniors to make a positive impact for the team in this event.

On the track, HP had some fast record breaking performances.


The 4X800 meter relay was led off by sophomore Connor Edelstein. He had an aggressive start and battled tough to put his team in position to be successful. Edelstein ran an impressive 5 second personal best 2:21.7 split. Schott was next and ran a 7 second PR. He then had to go right back to the high jump after his race. Sophomore Andrew Kern tied his PR from last year with a 2:30.5. Finally, freshman Brian Hatoum finished with a strong kick for the team in 2:29.6. The team ran 9:48.31.


Junior Angel Zeferino and freshman Usiel Rodriguez raced the 3200 meter run. Both runners had solid efforts. As their training progresses, their times will drop significantly. Zeferino ran 11:04.3 and Rodriguez was at 11:35.58.


In the 60 meter high hurdles, senior Peter Soutsos hit several hurdles and was unable to run the fast time he was hoping for. He showed great strength and balance as he hit two hurdles near the end that almost caused him to go down. Junior Finn Davis is still trying to get to consistent 3 stepping the hurdles as he finished in 10.64. 


Calliste raced to a fast 60 meter dash time of 7.44 to be the second fastest sophomore in the race. Robinson came across the line in 7.64 in his heat. 


Both HP runners in the 800 meter run were in the same heat. Sophomore Barak Goldstein and junior Noah Jackson worked together as they raced just behind the leaders early in the race. As they came into the final 2 laps (400 meters), Goldstein made an aggressive move to work his way up to the lead on the backstretch with Jackson not far behind. With the lead going into the final lap, Goldstein kicked hard and began to extend his lead. He crossed the line first in the heat with a personal best time of 2:05.88 (10th overall). Jackson ran 2:08.07 for an indoor personal best and was 14th overall. This was Goldstein’s best race he has run and it inspired his teammates to compete with the same level of determination and confidence. 


In the 4X200 meter relay, the Giants got a fast start from Calliste. He handed it off to senior RJ Guhl in the lead. Guhl had to hold off an opposing runner as he got the baton to sophomore Tyler Rosenthal. Rosenthal had to also fight to keep the lead as the runner behind him closed the gap. Sophomore Zach Liss ran well and fought hard all the way through the line, but got passed down the final stretch by one team. The relay ended up with a time of 1:43.19.


The 400 meter dash was an event the coaches knew had the potential to produce some very fast times by the HP runners. This was a showdown of the team’s two fastest 400 runners. Sophomores Doug Anderson and Lukaas Nales were in back to back heats for the event. Anderson went first and won his heat with a blazing :52.67 to break the sophomore school record of :53.1 from 1974. Nales was up next with the pressure on to try and beat Anderson’s time. Nales crossed the line in an incredible :51.91 to break the record. Anderson took 6th overall and Nales was 3rd as the two fastest sophomores in the event at the meet. These fast times put Anderson as the 8th fastest indoor 400 runner in HP history and Nales as the 2nd fastest with only a 51.24 (FAT converted time) ahead of him. These two runners will continue to push each other to even faster times as the season progresses. 


Sophomore Nate Wehner was looking to break the sophomore 1600 meter run record of 4:31.9 set in 2013. He had the perfect set up to do so with a very fast field in the event. Wehner got out into great position and battled tough as other runners dropped back. He fought hard to come across the line in an amazing time of 4:23.99 to shatter the sophomore record and take 3rd place. This puts Wehner as number 3 on the all time list behind the school record holder Jim Weinert (4:21.0) and a 4:23 by Mike Boughdiri run on a Distance Medley Relay. Senior Alex Brown raced in another heat and finished in 4:56.55. As he continues to train, his time will drop. He will also need to focus on making the choice to take more risks while racing so that he can have the breakthrough races he is capable of. 


Nales attempted to come back in the 200 meter dash and break that sophomore record, but was unable to do so. Despite a blazing start, the 400 had taken too much out of his legs to get the record, but he still ran a fast 24.43. He was the fastest sophomore in this event at the meet. Rosenthal ran 26.98 in his heat. He will look to get that time down even more as he continues to put in the hard work at practice. 


Anderson had a strong lead-off for the 4X400 meter relay with a :55.0 split. Jackson battled tough but had to go wide on the hand-off for a :57.3 split. Guhl ran the third leg with a solid :56.4. Wehner closed out the relay with a :55.4 anchor leg for the Giants. The team ran 3:42.23 to take 8th overall. 

This was a great learning experience for the young Giant team. They got to compete against 21 other teams including some of the top programs in the state. The team saw where it has gaps and needs to improve. It also saw some of the strengths it has in many of the events. Finally, the sophomores showed that they are a special group that has the opportunity to continue to break records and lead the program to big team successes. It will continue to take commitment to being a track & field athlete. It will also be necessary to trust the process and the training that the coaching staff creates for them to be successful. HP track & field is moving in the right direction. More big things to come this season and for years to come.


The nominations for Giant of the Meet included:

Malachi Calliste - long jump PR of 20'2.25" for 9th place, 7.44 in the 60 meter dash, strong lead-off leg for the 4X200 meter relay

Connor Edelstein - took a risk and ran a great lead-off leg for the 4X800 meter relay with a 5 second PR

Nolan Schott - had to go from high jump to 4X800 and back to high jump, was able to get a PR in both events

Nate Wehner - 4:23.99 for 3rd place in the 1600 meter run, sophomore school record, within 4 seconds of varsity school record, also ran :55.4 anchor leg for the 4X400 meter relay

Barak Goldstein - huge PR in the 800 meter run with a 2:05.88 to win his heat and inspire his teammates with a great race and monster finish

Doug Anderson - set the sophomore 400 meter run record with a :52.67 for 3rd place and led off the 4X400 with a :55.0

Lukaas Nales- broke Anderson's 400 record with a 3rd place :51.91 for number 2 all-time in the indoor 400 meter dash at HPHS, also ran a :24.43 200 meter dash


Giant of The Meet: Barak Goldstein