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Track: Sectional meets are Thursday at D.C. Everest, Mosinee

St. Croix Central senior Jacob Murtha (right) is shown running in the 200 meter dash at the Middle Border Conference meet last week. Dave Newman / RiverTown Multimedia

The WIAA regional track meets were held Monday, and New Richmond, St. Croix Central and Somerset all produced an excellent amount of success.

St. Croix Central produced a first, winning both team championships at the Division 2 regional meet that was held at Bloomer. Somerset provided some of the best competition at the meet, with the Spartan boys placing second. New Richmond had a strong performance at the Division 1 regional held at Menomonie, with the Tiger girls placing fourth and the boys finishing fifth.

Division 1

New Richmond competed against lethal competition, with River Falls, Hudson and Eau Claire Memorial all fielding outstanding track teams this season. The Tigers showed they could compete quite well in that hotbed of talent.

New Richmond's girls team advanced six individuals and three relays and the Tiger boys advanced five individuals and three relays. Those Tigers will compete at the D.C. Everest sectional meet on Thursday, with the top two finishers in each event advancing to state.

The Tigers didn't have any regional champions, but they produced several second-place finishes. That included Addie Zinck in the 300-meter hurdles and Ashton Unruh in the high jump for the girls, and Alex Jarchow in the triple jump and Joe Charbonneau in the pole vault for the boys.

There were a number of surprises. Tiger boys coach Roger Reuvers said the 1,600 and 3,200 relay teams weren't ranked among the top four teams heading into the meet, but both teams ran their best times of the season to earn a spot at sectionals. He said Max Blader in the 800, Emma McVitty in the 200 and Taylor Dean in the discus throw were all Tigers who improved their season-best marks substantially to get to sectionals. He said Zinck deserved to be included in that group two, after she reduced her 300 hurdles time by two seconds to get a spot at sectionals.

Reuvers said he felt bad for senior Max Fore, who narrowly missed advancing in the 3,200. Fore ran the best time of his career, 10 minutes, 2 seconds. That is the best time run by a Tiger in the event in 13 years. His time ranks eighth all-time in the Tigers' record book.

Division 2

Winning both team titles was frosting on the cake in a highly successful regional meet for St. Croix Central.

Central's girls advanced 14 individuals and three relays to the Division 2 sectional meet at Mosinee on Thursday. The boys team had 11 individuals and three relay teams advance. The top four finishers at the sectional meet in Division 2 qualify for state.

"The kids performed really well, to be honest," said Central coach Ben Lamb.

The boys championship wasn't decided until the 1,600 relay. The Panthers knew they needed to defeat Somerset to win the team title. With Central athletes all around the perimeter of the track cheering, the Central relay team finished second, one spot ahead of Somerset, to lock up the team title.

The Panther girls are advancing 10 regional champion events. That's led by the girls distance crew. Marie Hamlin won the 1,600 and 3,200 and Mya Kizer won the 800. They were both part of the Panthers' 3,200 relay team which also won. The girls also won the 1,600 relay and Kolbi Juen was the regional champion in the triple jump.

The throws produced a pair of wins for the Panther boys. Joe Hueg won the discus title and Logan Knapton was the champion in the shot put. The Panthers were also champions in the 800 and 3,200 relays.

Somerset was also a strong presence at the regional meet. Defending state champion Eve Goldstein was as strong as ever, winning the regional titles in the shot put and the discus throw. Somerset's other regional title came in the boys triple jump, where the Spartans finished 1-2-3, with Ty Madden, Roy Hale and James Schachtner all advancing.

Somerset's boys produced the second place finish by getting 11 individuals and three relay teams to the sectional meet. The Spartan girls have four individuals and two relay teams advancing.

Osceola wins MBC

The challenge for the 2019 Middle Border Conference track meet was to see if any team could catch Osceola.

Osceola defended both of its championships by winning both team titles again in 2019. New Richmond put up the strongest competition in the meet, which was held Tuesday at St. Croix Central. The Tigers placed second in the boys competition and third in the girls meet. St. Croix Central took second place in the girls meet and fifth in the boys half. Somerset finished fourth in the boys' meet and eighth in the girls' meet.

New Richmond boys

The Tiger boys put up an excellent battle in competing for the team title. Osceola won the boys' meet with 189.5 points, with New Richmond placed second with 151 points.

The highlight for the Tigers was their ability to win six events, with five titles coming in individual events.

The titles were from a mix of sources. The distance runners were counted on heavily in this meet and they produced. The Tigers took the top three spots in the 3,200 with Cale Bishop, Tyler Harris and Max Fore combining efforts to sweep the top spots. They also made a major impact in the 1,600, with Fore taking second, Bishop fourth and Harris fifth.

The distance success carried down to the 800, where Joey Kidder was the event champion, with Max Blader in fourth place.

The Tigers also got a championship in the hurdles, with junior Joe Powers edging Amery's Mason Bosley by three-hundredths of a second for the 300 title.

The field events also brought the Tigers a number of points. That started in the pole vault where Charbonneau and Cayden Henning finished first and third. Charbonneau won by clearing a personal best height of 12 feet, 3 inches, and Henning took third by clearing 11-6.

Freshman Alex Jarchow waited until his last attempt to pull out the victory in the triple jump. Jarchow hit a jump of 41 feet, 10.5 inches in his final attempt to win the event by more than a foot. This has been a potent event for the Tigers all season. Caleb Eastep placed fifth and Sully Weiss seventh in a closely packed field of jumpers.

The sprints were also productive, led by Jacob Parent. Parent, Kennan Stowers and Mason Burke finished second, fourth and sixth in the 400, with Parent fourth in the 200.

The performance of the 1,600 relay team of Stowers, Burke, Powers and Parent capped the evening.

"The biggest highlight was seeing our 1,600 relay battle through the race and come out with the victory right at the finish line," said Tiger boys coach Roger Reuvers.

New Richmond girls

The Tiger girls scored 114.5 points, finishing 3.5 points behind St. Croix Central in the race for second place.

New Richmond's girls were able to earn wins in three events. The first came from Zinck who ran away from the field to win the 100 hurdle championship in 16.48 seconds. She also placed fifth in the 300 hurdles. Both of her times on Tuesday rank in the top 10 times in the Tiger history book.

The Tigers were also champions in two relays. The 800 meter relay team of McVitty, Dyllan Powers, Maggie Bau, Sydney Unruh ran a season's best time of 1:50.59 to win with nearly a two-second margin.

The girls capped the night with another victory in the 1,600 meter relay. The team of Bau, Abrianna Utgaard, Angie Blinderman and Powers won in 4:19.7, edging past Amery for the conference title.

The distance races were productive for the Tigers. Barb Kling and Kayla Harris were both second place finishers, Kling in the 800 and Harris in the 3,200. Harris, Kling, Willa Rogers and Colette Harrold combined for a third place finish in the 3,200 relay.

The field events turned out to be surprisingly productive. The Tigers took three places in the long and triple jump, led by Abbie Montreal in both events. Montreal placed second in the long jump, with Powers in fifth and Cassie Dolezal in seventh. Montreal was fourth in the long jump, with Unruh seventh and Kling eighth.

The throws were a surprise source of points, too. Jessica Hampton threw the shot a personal best 32-7.75, to place sixth and put her in the Tigers all-time top 10. Gabby Langer was seventh at 32-3.5, also putting her into the top 10.

St. Croix Central

The highly respected distance runners led the Panther girls team, but it was team-wide contributions that got the Panthers up to second place in the final results Tuesday.

Hamlin and Kizer led the Panther distance runners. Kizer took first in the 800 meters and third in the 1,600. Hamlin won the 3,200, took second in the 1,600 and 800. Kizer teamed with Mariah Withuski, Sydney Carlson and Claire Moll to take third in the 3,200 relay.

The field events saw several Panthers emerge as top producers, led by sophomore Emma Osegard, who was the meet champion in the triple jump. Osegard won the event in her final attempt, bounding 33 feet, 8.5 inches. Juen was third in the triple jump, a half-inch beyond 33 feet.

Freshman Jenna Rogan is another emerging Panther. She took second place in the high jump, clearing 4-10.

Another freshman who made a big contribution was Katie Larson. She took fourth place in the discus throw and fifth in the shot put. Her discus distance of 96-6 was her best so far.

The Panther boys didn't have the horses to compete with the MBC leaders this year. The throws and the relays were the main areas of success for the boys. Hueg came away as a conference champion in the discus. His six throws were the best six distances in the event. His winning distance of 148-1 beat his nearest competitor by more than 27 feet. Hueg also took second in the shot put. Knapton also produced a strong day, finishing third in the discus and sixth in the shot put.

The other win for the Panther boys came in the 800 meter relay. The team of Austin Kopacz, Jacob Murtha, Trevor Kopacz and Gabe Siler looked strong, winning by more than a second ahead of second place Amery. Those four Panthers also took third in the 400 relay, despite not having their sharpest handoffs.

Somerset

The Spartan boys made their largest impact in a meet in several years with their fourth-place finish Tuesday.

The Spartans made an impact in more events in past years, especially in the field events. The long and triple jumps are one of the areas where the Spartans can compete with any team and that's where Somerset got its only boys' title. That was produced by Madden, who made a big push in the finals to win the long jump. He produced a winning distance of 20 feet, 5 inches. Schachtner was fourth and Hale was fifth in the event. Schachtner earned second place and Madden finished in fourth in the triple jump.

Several Spartans who have been progressing all season continued that pattern at the conference meet. Jack Cook continued to improve in the hurdles, taking third in the 110 race. Senior Ben Schmitt was part of an extremely close finish in the 1,600, taking third place. Jack Schottler took fifth in the 400, getting under 53 seconds for the first time in his career. Spencer Sindt took fifth place in the high jump by clearing 5-11.

When it comes to the Spartan girls, success started with Eve Goldstein. She repeated as champion in both throwing events, winning the shot put and discus throw by wide margins.

Berrey said he thought Keely Pitcher ran well in the sprints, placing fourth in the 100 and sixth in the 200. The sprinters also looked strong in the 800 relay, where Pitcher teamed with Gracie Lambert, Jade Atkins and Kaylee Erickson to place second.

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 more than 30 years.

(651) 301-7848
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