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A ton of local athletes reach track sectionals

The Division 2 WIAA sectional track meet will be held at Colby on Thursday. There will be a ton of New Richmond, Somerset and St. Croix Central athletes competing in the sectional meet.

New Richmond's girls advance nine individuals and three relays. The Tiger boys advance seven individuals and all four relays. Somerset's girls advance six individuals and three relays. Somerset's boys send two individuals and all four relays. St. Croix Central has one boy and two girls advancing in individual events.

The New Richmond teams both finished in third place in the team rankings. Somerset's girls placed fourth, with the Spartan boys ending up sixth. Central's girls were seventh in the regionals with the Panther boys finishing tenth.

For the Tiger boys, things went quite well, with a few surprises and very few off days. Jeremy Weeks was a double regional champion, winning the shot put and discus throw. All four relays advance, led by the 400 relay that knocked three-tenths of a second off its school record, finishing at 43.8.

The Tigers have two sectional qualifiers at 800 meters, where Mike Tarman and Zach Wolff took the top two spots. Another surprise was Josh Jorstad, who took second in the 400 meters.

One of the off days was from senior Pete Larson. The rain affected many of the discus throwers. Larson just missed reaching sectionals after winning the Middle Border Conference title last week.

Tiger girls

New Richmond's girls had a well balanced day. Jessica Mitchell advances in four events, two relays and two jumping events. Hannah Demulling won both sprint races despite being ill.

The girls 1600 relay won the regional, with Krista Mitchell filling in for Demulling in the relay.

Ayla Mitchell had another spectacular day, winning the 800 meters and running a powerful anchor lap in the 1600 relay.

A pleasant surprise for the girls was Emily Frank advancing to the sectionals in the pole vault. Tiger girl coach Brent Aukema was pleased with how the younger members of the team ran to help get all four relays to the sectional.

Somerset boys

Jeff Klis will be competing in four events at the sectional to lead the Somerset boys. Klis was the only Somerset individual to advance, in the 100 meters and the long jump. He is also part of the 800 and 1600 relay teams that reached sectionals.

All four Spartan relays qualified for sectionals. The 400 relay ran its best time at 45.1 and the 3200 relay team knocked seven seconds off its previous best time.

Somerset girls

Somerset's girls made a substantial improvement to move up to fourth in the regional meet.

The veteran and younger girls all stepped up for the Spartans. Seniors Emily Witzmann and Whitney Langer both advanced in the 1600 and Witzmann won the 3200 meters on Monday. Langer also advances as part of the 3200 meter relay team.

Among the younger girls qualifying was Brianna Johnson in the 100 meters, Kailey Klis in the long jump and Julie Markfort in the 300 hurdles. The Spartans also should get good experience with all four relays running at the sectional meet.

St. Croix Central

St. Croix Central had three athletes advance through the sectional. Freshman Jessie Kopp continues to make a major impact in the hurdles, placing second in the 100 hurdles on Monday. Darcy Tharp also qualified for sectionals for the Panther girls after placing second in the 400 meters on Monday.

The lone Panther boy to advance to the sectional level is senior Jordan Kooiman, who placed third in the 400 meter dash.

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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