New Richmond, Somerset, St. Croix Central all send large groups to track sectionalsGet the buses ready, all three local track teams are taking large groups of athletes to the WIAA track sectional meets on Thursday.
By: Dave Newman, New Richmond News
Get the buses ready, all three local track teams are taking large groups of athletes to the WIAA track sectional meets on Thursday.
New Richmond will be competing in the Division 1 sectional meet in Rice Lake on Thursday, while Somerset and St. Croix Central make the trek to the center of the state to take part in the Division 2 sectional meet in Medford.
The Tigers performed quite well in front of their home crowd as the New Richmond track program hosted its first WIAA tournament at the new high school facility on Monday. The Tiger girls were able to advance seven individuals and three relay teams through the New Richmond Division 1 regional tournament on Monday, while the New Richmond boys got three individual events into the sectional meet.
New Richmond’s girls scored six event victories in the regional meet. Senior Kat Keller ran away from the competition in all three sprint races. Senior Amy Kukacka earned the victory in the high jump and junior Anna McShane took the top spot in the 100 hurdles. New Richmond’s 3200 meter relay team also was a regional champion.
The rest of the Tigers advanced on third place finishes at the regional meet. Those include Morgan Kelly in the 800, Nicole Hedlund in the long jump, and the 800 and 1600 meter relay teams.
Senior Eli Kelley won the regional championship in the 400 meters to lead the performances by the Tiger boys on Monday. Senior Colton Simpson advanced with a third place finish in the regional meet. Junior Gabe Harvieux moved on to Rice Lake after placing third in the high jump at the regional meet.
The top three finishers in each event at the Division 1 sectional meet level advance to the state meet, which will be held on June 1-2 at UW-La Crosse.
The Spartans had a big day at the St. Croix Central Division 2 regional meet, with the Somerset girls winning a regional title and the Spartan boys finishing second in the meet.
The biggest concern was getting athletes through to the sectional level and that’s where the Spartans shined. The Somerset girls have 13 individuals advancing, along with three relays. The Spartan boys were able to get all four relay teams to the sectional level, along with seven individuals.
Somerset’s girls were able to get a mix of veteran athletes and younger athletes to the sectional level. Leading the troupe to sectionals is junior Sarah Krig, who will compete in four events. She was the regional champion in the pole vault and triple jump, she placed third in the 100 hurdles and fourth in the high jump. Senior Sara Henry will also be involved in four events. She took second place in the high jump and third place in the 100 meters. She was also part of the 400 and 800 meter relay teams that advanced.
Juniors Sarah Northey and Natalie Broome both had impressive accomplishments. Northey upset Ellsworth’s Lydia Kuhl to win the championship in the 100 hurdles, the first time Northey has defeated Kuhl. Broome finished second behind Osceola standout Aimee Rice-Strand in the 100 and 200 dashes and she was part of the 400 relay that advanced.
Distance runners Tia Belter and Grace Becher were both able to get to the sectional meet in the 3200 meters. Two events where young members of the team advanced were the 400 meters and the 1600 relay. Susan Schmitt took third place in the 400 and she was part of the 1600 meter relay team that qualified.
Getting all four relays to the sectional was a goal for the Spartan boys. The sprint relays looked especially strong, winning the 400 and 800 relay titles.
Leading the individual winners was junior Robbie Lang, who topped a talented field of runners in the 200 dash. Luke Praschak and Shane Miller continued to be an unbeatable tandem in the 110 high hurdles, sweeping the top two spots. They also advanced in the 300 hurdles.
Two surprises for the Spartans were senior Luke Peters and sophomore Aaron Joppru. Peters bounced back quickly from a hamstring injury to advance in the shot put. Joppru is a first-year pole vaulter who was able to clear 11 feet, 9 inches to advance.
The top four placewinners in each event at Thursday’s Division 2 sectional meets will advance to the WIAA state meet.
St. Croix Central
The Panther boys were able to advance eight individuals and two relays to sectionals, tying or breaking five school records in the process. Seniors Korey Jacobson and Steve Brunshidle continued their winning ways, Jacobson taking the top spot in the 100 and Brunshidle in the 800. Brunshidle also advanced in the 1600 and as part of the 1600 relay. Jacobson is also part of the 400 relay that moves on. Both those relays moved on with second place finishes and their handoffs left room to improve their times on Thursday.
Senior Lauden Wood set a Central school record while advancing in the shot put, as did junior Jag Johnson in the triple jump. More field event success came with D.J. Haas advancing in the triple jump and Jason Matteson in the high jump.
Field events also brought the majority of the success for the Panther girls. Seniors Jenna Ganther and Alyssa Melby kept their hopes of a second trip to the state meet alive by advancing in the triple jump. Sophomore Kayla Pabst remains a top thrower, advancing in the discus and shot put. Laura DeSmith advanced in the long jump, as did Becca Isnardi in the pole vault.
The Panthers have performed well all season in the sprint relays and they did again on Monday, advancing in the 400 and 800 relays.