The Wisconsin High School Track Coaches Association started a meet this year specifically designed to be a state meet for freshmen. The meet was held Saturday, June 8, with more than 600 athletes competing, including two from New Richmond.
The two New Richmond athletes performed extremely well. Kennan Stowers won a championship and Alex Jarchow had two second place finishes among his performances.
New Richmond boys’ coach Roger Reuvers said the idea for the meet was rolled out at a coaches clinic in February. This year’s meet was held at Mukwonago, but the goal in future years is to hold it at UW-La Crosse the week following the WIAA state championships. Reuvers said the meet was extremely beneficial for all of the athletes who competed.
“It puts them in a perspective of where they’re at for their ages. A lot of them are hoping they see each other at La Crosse in future years,” he said.
Though Stowers and Jarchow didn’t reach the WIAA state meet, they continued to work out in preparation for this meet. It showed in the results. Stowers won the state title in the long jump, becoming the first New Richmond freshman to ever clear 20 feet. His winning distance was 20 feet, 2.5 inches, which broke the Tiger freshman record that was set by Keith Gehring in 1979.
Stowers also placed second in the 400-meter dash in 52.28 and sixth in the 200 in 23.57.
Jarchow placed second in the high jump, clearing the bar at 5-10. He placed second in the triple jump at 42-3 and fifth in the long jump at 18-10.5.
The awards at the meet were presented by Kenny Harrison, the 1996 Olympic gold medalist in the triple jump. Harrison is a Milwaukee native.