There were highs and lows for the three area track teams during the WIAA sectional meets that were held on Thursday.
Somerset has two individuals and a relay team advancing to state and St. Croix Central is advancing two individuals. New Richmond was unable to get any athletes through to the 2019 WIAA State Championships, which will be held next Friday and Saturday at UW-La Crosse.
Defending state discus and shot put Eve Goldstein will get the chance to add to her trophy case at the 2019 state meet after winning both titles at the Division 2 sectional meet held at Mosinee on Thursday.
Goldstein, Ty Madden and the girls 800 meter relay team are Somerset’s qualifiers for the state meet.
Goldstein won the sectional title in the shot put with a distance of 43 feet, 8.5 inches. That is her best distance in the shot put this season. That’s exactly the distance she won with in her 2018 state championship. Goldstein has improved significantly in the discus throw. She won state last year with a distance of 139-5. She won the sectional title with a throw of 149-2. Somerset coach Brandon Berrey said Goldstein’s goal is to reach 155 feet at the state meet.
“She’s peaking at the right time of year,” Berrey said. “She always rises to the occasion.”
Madden advanced by placing second in the long jump. His distance of 21-3.5 is one of the best of his career. That distance is four inches short of the Somerset school record and Berrey said Madden is hoping to break that record at the state meet.
Advancing the 800-meter relay team to state was one of the surprises of the meet. Seniors Kaylee Erickson and Keely Pitcher and sophomores Gracie Lambert and Cora Atkins took fourth place at the sectional. They trimmed nearly a second off their time from regionals and they needed it. Pitcher ran the anchor leg for the Spartans. Amery’s anchor made a charge, but Pitcher was able to maintain the Spartans’ spot in fourth place.
Berrey said the girls haven’t had much chance to practice together. Lambert recently returned after a hand injury sidelined her for three weeks. Berrey said he was happy for the seniors, because they’ve been close to qualifying for state in each of their previous seasons.
The Spartans also had several near misses, particularly in the boys jumping events. Senior Roy Hale took fifth place in the triple jump, missing fourth place by 1.25 inches. Madden was seventh in that event and James Schachtner was ninth. Hale and Madden both had jumps beyond 42 feet. Berrey said any jump over 42 feet would have advanced from this sectional a year ago. Hale was also an eighth place finisher in the long jump.
St. Croix Central
Seniors Joe Hueg and Marie Hamlin will represent the Panthers at the state meet. Hueg continued to be one of the state standouts in the discus throw, winning the sectional championship. Hamlin advances in the 3,200 meters, where she was the fourth place finisher at the 2018 state meet.
Hueg made an immediate impact in the sectional discus throw. His winning mark of 155 feet, 1 inch came in his first attempt. Hueg’s winning throw ranks him fourth heading into the state meet, where he will throw on Saturday.
Central coach Ben Lamb said Hueg’s success is well deserved.
“It’s what track should be. He’s gotten better every year. It’s a credit to him,” Lamb said.
Hamlin ran up against a field of outstanding distance runners at the sectional meet. She placed third in the 3,200 Thursday, but her time of 11:34.38 ranks sixth among the 16 state entrants. Lamb said the goal for Hamlin, like Hueg, is to finish in the top six at state to earn a spot on the state awards podium.
“It’s a good chance for them to springboard into their college careers,” Lamb said.
There was plenty of sadness among the Panthers too, because they placed fifth in three events. The girls 3,200 meter relay team and the boys 800 relay team were both fifth, as was Hamlin in the 1,600 meters.
“She was destroyed after her 16, she ran a really good time,” Lamb said, crediting Hamlin for making such a strong recovery for the 3,200. He said the 3,200 relay team also ran their best, improving upon their sectional time by 11 seconds.
Another Panther who ran up against strong competition was sophomore Mya Kizer in the 800. She placed seventh, but matched her career best time.
“She lost to talent that is good. Hopefully it sparks her to keep training and improving,” Lamb said.
The top three finishers in the Division 1 sectional qualify for the state meet. The Tigers had three fourth place finishers, but they couldn’t get any into the top three in any event at the D.C. Everest Division 1 sectional meet on Thursday.
Junior Jacob Parent and freshman Alex Jarchow were the Tigers’ fourth place finishers. Parent ran the 400 meters in 51.8 seconds, missing fourth place by three-tenths of a second.
Jarchow took fourth place in the high jump and triple jump. Some events are separated by the slimmest of margins. That was the case in the triple jump, where Jarchow had a distance of 42 feet, 5.25 inches. He missed the third place jump by three-quarters of an inch. Jarchow cleared 5-6 in the high jump, but the top three finishers all cleared 5-10 or higher.