St. Croix Central track teams make big impact at Rice Lake; Pabst breaks 34-year-old recordThere were plenty of highlights for the St. Croix Central track teams at the Rice Lake Invitational last Friday, but none was going to top the performance by sophomore Kayla Pabst.
By: Dave Newman, New Richmond News
There were plenty of highlights for the St. Croix Central track teams at the Rice Lake Invitational last Friday, but none was going to top the performance by sophomore Kayla Pabst.
Pabst shattered one of the longest-standing records at Central, breaking the 34-year-old record in the girls discus throw. Pabst launched the discus 127 feet, 7 inches at Rice Lake on Friday. That breaks the record of 117 feet, 11 inches that was set by Cindy Grupe back in 1980.
Pabst’s throw was one of several highlights for the Panthers in a strong tournament field on Friday. Central’s boys took second place among eight teams. Rice Lake won the boys meet with 131 points, followed by Central with 106.5 points. The Panthers finished ahead of two talented programs in Elk Mound with 79 points and Bloomer 78 points.
The Panther girls placed sixth among eight teams with 60 points.
Pabst’s school record throw was part of one of the best competitions of the meet. Three girls, all sophomores, threw the disc at least 124 feet. Pabst finished in second place, behind the 134 foot, 4 inch throw from Altoona’s Kali Belonga. Belonga placed sixth at state as a freshman with a throw of 116-1.
Central coach Amanda Webb said she hopes that Pabst can add the school’s shot put record to her resume during her career. The school record is 37 feet and Pabst has already thrown beyond 35 feet.
Pabst’s discus effort was one of four place finishes for the Panther girls during Friday’s meet. The jumping events continue to be a source of points for the Panthers. Senior Jenna Ganther took second place in the triple jump by bounding 32 feet, 6 inches. Junior Laura DeSmith took second place in the long jump by leaping 15 feet, 6 inches.
The fourth of the second place finishes was produced by the 800 meter relay team of DeSmith, Jenna Buckel, Brooke Kopacz and Alyssa Melby.
Webb said she was also pleased with the progress shown by sophomore Hope Hoolihan who placed third in the 200 and fourth in the 400.
The Panther boys recorded four victories during Friday’s meet. Senior Steve Brunshidle was the champion in the 800, with teammate Carl Moll in second place. Brunshidle nearly added a second win in the 1600 meters, getting edged out by inches at the finish line.
Senior Lauden Wood recorded the win in the discus throw, with freshman Decker Grass placing sixth. Wood also took second place in the shot put.
The Panther 3200 meter relay team of Brunshidle, Moll, Alex Halvorson and Brett Briggs rolled to a victory with a five-second margin over Elk Mound.
Junior Jag Johnson was Central’s fourth champion, winning the 110 high hurdles. Johnson and freshman Jason Matteson also performed well in the jumping events, but their hopes of winning were blocked by Rice Lake standout Wally Ellenson. Johnson had an excellent long jump effort, going 20 feet, 8 inches. That was nearly two feet short of the mark set by Ellenson, the defending WIAA state Division 2 high jump champ. Matteson cleared 5 feet, 10 inches in the high jump, which is an impressive height for a freshman. It still couldn’t compare to the 6 feet, 7 inches that Ellenson cleared.
The Panthers were without seniors Korey Jacobson and D.J. Haas for this meet. Webb said that if those two seniors had been in the lineup, the Panthers would have given Rice Lake a real battle for the team championship.
Last Thursday the younger members of the Panthers got to compete in a small meet at Elk Mound. Central sent its freshmen and first-year track athletes to the meet.
“It was nice to get those kids some experience and show them the ropes,” Webb said.
Some of the young Panthers who showed promise in this meet were Derrick Holm, Tony Berg, Dante Carlson, Rose Baker and Madison Malecek.
Several of the older field event athletes also took part in this meet. Sophomore Becca Isnardi set the school record in the pole vault, becoming the first Panther girl to clear the 7-foot, 3-inch mark.
The Panthers resume their schedule with a meet at Colfax this Thursday. Next Tuesday the Panthers will be part of a quad meet in New Richmond.