No rust for Ely’s Heiman; Back from injury, senior takes three firsts at Chisholm Early Bird

HURDLING AHEAD - Eli Conaway, a freshman for the Ely boys track team, stayed ahead of teammates Henry Dirks and Raif Olson during action on Tuesday. Conaway finished second in the 300 meter hurdles, with Dirks in fourth and Olson taking sixth.

by Tom Coombe -

The defending Section 7A champion Ely Timberwolves all but exploded out of the starting blocks on Tuesday.
Senior Josh Heiman returned to action with a vengeance, freshman James Schwinghamer had a breakthrough performance, and the high school boys track team showed off its athleticism and depth in a season-opening victory at the Chisholm Early Bird Invitational. Ely was first among eight teams.
Heiman, who finished fourth in the state in the triple jump last spring, injured his ankle in December and missed the entire boys basketball season.
The standout made a dramatic return this week, blowing away the field in the 100 meter dash (11.1 seconds) leaping to first place in the long jump (20-10) and dominating his signature event - the triple jump - with a 43-6.5 outing.
Those weren’t Ely’s only firsts, as Schwinghamer transferred his distance skills from Ely’s state meet cross country team over to the track. He pulled out a win in the 3,200 meter run in 10:30.
Those were Ely’s only firsts of the day but the Timberwolves piled up points in nearly every other event.
That’s how they claimed the 7A team title last year and Ely picked up where it left off.
“I’m really happy with the spread of points over a lot of different events,” said Ely Head Coach Will Helms. “It was nice to see some new guys like Braxton Casey and Blaise Lah scoring some points. We had some really good 200, 400 and 800 meters.”
In a relay event, Casey, Ethan Hasz, Schwinghamer and Stouffer combined to take second in the four-by-800 meter.
Hasz came up third in the 1,600 meters while senior Adam Porthan opened his final prep campaign by taking third in the 400 and second in the triple jump.
“Adam Porthan is beginning the season in very strong form, with a 55.8 for a very competitive third place in the 400 and a good second place in the triple and strong anchor in the four-by-400,” said Helms. “With so many runners so fast at 400 meters we should be able to put together a strong foursome by season’s end;
Fellow senior Izaak Nosbisch was fourth and Lah took fifth in the same event, and it was Lah, Nosbisch,, Casey and Porthan on the Wolves’ second-place four-by-400 crew..
The Wolves had a two-three showing in the 110 hurdles, with freshman Eli Conaway the runner-up and Henry Dirks in third.
Senior Augie Richter had the best day of any Ely thrower, shattering his previous best toss in the discus by 20 feet and setting a personal record with a throw of 117 feet. Spencer McEntyre was second in the same event.
“Augie Richter made an impact in several events (1st in discus, 6th in 200m and high jump, and a strong lead-off leg in the 4x100m race), displaying a lot of versatility on the track on Tuesday,” said Helms. “Expect big things from Spencer McEntyre this season—he had a couple of scratches in the discus, but still came away with a second place. He’s way ahead of where he was last year in the shot and should be a leading thrower by the end of the season.”
.The Wolves were back in action Thursday, at International Falls, in a meet completed after deadline.