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Wachter's run makes 2017 WIAA State Track Championships memorable for New Richmond Tigers

New Richmond junior Dylan Wachter (center) was the winner in the first heat of the Division 1 boys 800 meters at the WIAA State Track Championships on Saturday in La Crosse.1 / 3
New Richmond sophomore Mallorie Brinkman was the first Tiger girl to compete at the WIAA State Track Championships in four years. 2 / 3
New Richmond senior Brandon Powers (right) competed in the Division 1 110 high hurdles for the second straight year at the WIAA State Track Championships.3 / 3

The roar that came up from the fans crowded into the stands in the home stretch spoke volumes about Dylan Wachter’s incredible charge to the finish line in the first heat of the Division 1 boys 800 meter run at the WIAA State Track Championships on Saturday.

Wachter, the New Richmond junior, ran with a plan to win his heat and that’s exactly what he did. He won the heat, setting a school record with his time of 1:55.66. It’s almost a full second over his previous best, a 1:56.65 that he ran at the 2016 Division 1 sectional meet.

Wachter competed in two races at the state meet. He also competed in the 400 meters, as did Tiger sophomore Mallorie Brinkman. The third Tiger to compete at state was senior Brandon Powers, who ran for the second straight season in the Division 1 110 meter high hurdles.

With his win in the second heat, Wachter was able to move up to eighth in the final results in the Division 1 800 meters. That’s quite an impressive jump, considering he was seeded 23rd in the state race, based upon his time in the sectional meet.

Tiger coach Roger Reuvers couldn’t say enough good things about how Wachter attacked the race.

“That was by far the best race he’s ever run,” Reuvers said. “You could see, in every part of the race, he had a plan of what he accomplished and he did it.”

The 800 is a race where the Tigers have had considerable success through the years. Wachter broke the record of 1:56.65 that had been held by Trey Brotzler. Brotzler broke a record that had been held by Dan Olien.

The second heat of the 800 in Division 2 was an amazing race to watch, with four runners finishing in under 1:54.

“The 800 is becoming much more of a speed race,” Reuvers said.

Reuvers said the decision to have Wachter try running the 400 in the postseason instead of the 1,600 may have helped his 800 time. Wachter also ran very aggressively in Friday’s 400 meter prelims, finishing in 15th overall with a 50.67 time.

Wachter has competed in four different events at the WIAA state meet during his career. He has run in the 400, 800, 1,600 and 1,600 meter relay.

Brinkman also competed in the 400 prelims on Friday, placing 20th among the 25 Division 1 entrants with a time of 1:01.21. The coaches said Brinkman was battling nerves, but still was able to perform solidly in her first appearance at state. The coaches said this was a great experience for Brinkman. After the vast improvement she made this season, the coaches are hoping that she can continue that progress into next season.

Powers got to cap his career by competing at the state meet for the second time. He placed 19th of 24 entrants in the 110 high hurdles with a time of 15.75 seconds.

This was the second straight year where Powers led the Tiger boys in team points earned. Reuvers said Powers was a rare athlete who could go into most meets and win titles in four different individual events.

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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