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Sectional good for Spartan girls, tough on Somerset boys

The fates couldn't have been more different for the Somerset track teams at the 2003 WIAA Division 2 Colby Track Sectional Meet last Thursday.

Somerset's girls had three individual events and one relay qualify for sectionals and the relay and two of the individuals qualified for the 2003 WIAA State Track and Field Championships this Friday and Saturday at UW-La Crosse.

For the Spartan boys, it was a day of near misses. The Somerset boys reached sectionals in seven individual events and three relays, but the boys weren't able to qualify any of their events for the state meet.

Representing the girls at the state meet will be Whitney Langer and Emily Witzmann in the 3200 meters, where they finished first and second in the sectional race. Langer and Witzmann are also half of the Somerset 3200 meter relay team that qualified for state. They are joined in the relay by Amanda Plourde and Britany Haukom.

In the 3200 meter run, Sarah Natvig of Neillsville led for most of the race. In the late stages of the game the Somerset girls overtook her, with Witzmann making her move first. Langer then made her move and was able to pass Witzmann in the final 200 meters of the race.

Somerset girls coach Dave Praschak said this was the result he was hoping for from his veteran distance runners. He said the goal for state is to get both of the girls onto the state awards stand, which is also the goal for the 3200 relay team.

The final leg of the 3200 relay was filled with drama. Langer was running as Somerset's anchor runner. She had a lead over New Richmond's Ayla Mitchell when taking the baton, but Mitchell made up that ground and passed Langer. In the home stretch Langer made a tremendous charge and was able to pass Mitchell at the finish line.

The relay team advances to state with their best time of the season. The Spartan girls reached state because they cut nine seconds from the time they had run in the regional meet two days earlier.

Senior Carissa Colbeth was the only girl who didn't reach state. She was doing well in the early stages of the pole vault, but she couldn't clear the bar at nine feet. Colbeth's career ends as a three-time regional champion and the Middle Border Conference record holder in the pole vault.

Several Somerset boys saw their track careers come to an end at the sectional too. Jake Reuvers, Corey Cole, Bruce Baillargeon and Andrew Neumann were Spartan seniors who competed in individual events at the sectional but weren't able to advance to the state level.

Reuvers gave it an amazing try, especially in the discus throw. He blew past his previous career best, hurling the discus 159-9.75. Unfortunately, he was competing in the strongest sectional in the state in the discus.

Somerset was in Division 3 last year, and the move was most unkind to Reuvers. His discus throw that was fifth in the Division 2 sectional would have been the best in the state in Division 3.

Cole too was struck by the misfortune of competing in Division 2. He took fourth place in both of the hurdle races at the sectional, just missing qualifying for state by fractions of a second in both races. His time in the 300 hurdles was nearly a full second better than his time at the regional meet and nearly broke the school record.

Baillargeon also did well in the pole vault, clearing 12 feet. But this was such a strong event that he only was able to tie for tenth place with that effort.

The Spartans also had three relay teams compete at the sectional meet. This was a mix of younger and older athletes, but the group should have plenty of experience coming back for next season. The seniors who were running in the relay events at the sectional were Matt Parent, Brandon Pogue and Justin Fjorden.

Boys coach Richard Thompson spoke of the improvement the Spartans made this season.

"Our best 400 times last year were 57 seconds. This year we have five kids who can beat that," Thompson said. "We're losing some great seniors. We also have some great kids to fill their shoes."

2003 WIAA Division 2 Somerset Track Regional Meet

Girls Team Scores: Amery 154, Osceola 107, New Richmond 97, St. Croix Central 82.5, Prescott 61.5, Somerset 57.5, Ellsworth 57, Baldwin-Woodville 31, Unity 27.5, St. Croix Falls 27

New Richmond sectional qualifiers

100 Meter Dash: 3. Kori Derrick 13.4

200 Meter Dash: 1. Hannah Demulling 26.6

800 Meter Run: 1. Ayla Mitchell 2:22.1

400 Meter Relay: 2. New Richmond 54.3 (Kim Olson, Bekah Sievert, Amber Rickard, Kori Derrick)

800 Meter Relay: 2. New Richmond 1:50.7 (Kori Derrick, Kelsie Abramson, Jessica Mitchell, Hannah Demulling)

1600 Meter Relay: 3. New Richmond 4:13.3 (Jessica Mitchell, Hannah Demulling, Hannah Zimmerman, Ayla Mitchell)

3200 Meter Relay: 2. New Richmond 10:09.1 (Hannah Zimmerman, Heather Zimmerman, Kim Van Dyk, Ayla Mitchell)

Long Jump: 2. Jessica Mitchell 15-9; 3. Krista Mitchell 15-6.25

Triple Jump: 3. Jessica Mitchell 31-11

Somerset sectional qualifiers

1600 Meter Run: 4. Britany Haukom 5:50.8

3200 Meter Run: 1. Whitney Langer 12:11.6; 2. Emily Witzmann 12:14.9

3200 Meter Relay: 3. Somerset 10:14.5

Pole Vault: 1. Carissa Colbeth 8-6

St. Croix Central qualifiers

200 Meter Dash: 2. Anne Redmon 27.4

400 Meter Dash: 1. Megan Heinbuch 1:00.1; 3. Anne Redmon 1:02.5

800 Meter Run: 4. Katrina Brummer 2:30.2

3200 Meter Run: 3. Laura Skala 12:45.6

300 Int. Hurdles: 3. Megan Heinbuch 50.7

1600 Meter Relay: 2. SCC 4:12.8 (Megan Heinbuch, Anne Redmon, Darcy Tharp, Katrina Brummer)

3200 Meter Relay: 4. SCC 10:20.2 (Anna Williams, Darcy Tharp, Laura Skala, Katrina Brummer)

Triple Jump: 2. Anna Williams 32-1.5

Boys Team Scores: Amery 174, Osceola 135, Somerset 83, New Richmond 81, Prescott 68, Baldwin-Woodville 67, Ellsworth 29, Unity 21, St. Croix Central 20, St. Croix Falls 15

Somerset sectional qualifiers

110 High Hurdles: 1. Corey Cole 15.4; 3. Andrew Neumann 15.8

300 Int. Hurdles: 3. Corey Cole 42.3

400 Meter Relay: 4. Somerset 45.4 (Tom Hennessey, Jeff Klis, Jake Smith, Matt Parent)

1600 Meter Relay: 4. Somerset 3:40.1 (Tom Hennessey, Justin Fjorden, Brandon Pogue, Bill Raleigh)

3200 Meter Relay: 4. Somerset 9:13.3 (John Reyer, Lars Leemkuil, Bruce Baillargeon, Justin Fjorden)

Shot Put: 1. Jake Reuvers 48-1

Discus: 1. Jake Reuvers 147-1

High Jump: 3. Corey Cole 6-0

Pole Vault: 3. Bruce Baillargeon 11-6

New Richmond sectional qualifiers

100 Meter Dash: 1. Bryan Tschudy 11.3

200 Meter Dash: 3. Mike Powers 23.0

3200 Meter Run: 3. Alec Slocum 10:38.1

400 Meter Relay: 3. NR 45.2 (Mike Martinez, Bryan Tschudy, Garret Fletch, Mike Powers)

800 Meter Relay: 2. NR 1:33.7 (Dan Powers, Garret Fletch, Bryan Tschudy, Mike Powers)

1600 Meter Relay: 3. NR 3:36.5 (Mike Tarman, Adam Lanners, Garret Fletch, Erik Anderson)

3200 Meter Relay: 3. NR 8:50.8 (Zach Wolff, Erik Anderson, Alec Slocum, Mike Tarman)

Shot Put: 3. Richard Haffner 44-2

Discus: 3. Pete Larson 133-6

Dave Newman
Dave Newman has been the sports editor at the New Richmond News since 1988. He has covered the action in the Middle Border Conference, Dunn-St. Croix Conference and Big Rivers Conference for nearly 30 years.
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