WIAA State Track and Field Preview

THE STATE MEET:  The 125th Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association Boys Track and Field Championships and the 50th Girls Track and Field Championships will be held Thursday-Saturday, June 24-26, at the Veterans Memorial Stadium Complex on the campus of the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse.

ADMISSIONTICKETS:  Ticket prices for the meet are $11 plus a processing fee for each day of the championships and must be pre-purchased. Each participating school will have five admissions per qualifying athlete. Schools will have the opportunity to provide those admissions to their athletes and coaches. On Tuesday, June 22, all remaining tickets (approximately 500 per day) will go on sale to the general public. Tickets may be purchased at:  https://www.expressoticketing.com/wiaa/pickevent.aspx.

MEET INFORMATION:  The meet features a different format than the traditional schedule because of continuing COVID-19 accommodations and guidelines. The three-day event will feature both genders in Division 3 on Thursday, Division 2 and the wheelchair division on Friday, and Division 1 on Saturday. The Division 3 competition begins at 11 a.m. Thursday. The Division 2 and wheelchair events begin Friday at 10:40 a.m., and the Division 1 schedule begins at 11 a.m. Saturday.  The competition resumes Saturday at 11 a.m. The order of the events are available on the WIAA website at:  https://www.wiaawi.org/Portals/0/PDF/Sports/Track/2020/State%20Meet%20Schedule.pdf.

MEET LIVE ON WIAA.TV:  The  live stream of the State Meet will be produced by Rush Media on the WIAA.TV portal of the NFHS Network. To purchase a subscription to the live programming, log-on to www.wiaa.tv and click on the subscription image on the home page.

2019 TEAM RESULTS-BOYS:  The last time the State Track & Field Championships were conducted was in 2019. They were canceled in 2020 in midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. Kimberly won the Division 1 championship for the third straight year by compiling 46 team points. Waukesha North was runner-up with 39 points. Freedom won the Division 2 title with 48.5 points, which was 1.5 points better  than runner-up Lodi with 47 points. In Division 3, Aquinas captured the crown by scoring 58 points, and Wild Rose placed second with 43 points. Chippewa Falls won the team championship in the wheelchair competition for the second year in a row by compiling 50 points and Columbus Catholic was runner-up with 36 points.

2019 TEAM RESULTS-GIRLS:  In Division 1, Muskego won the team championship by accumulating 51 points. Divine Savior Holy Angels finished runner-up with a point total of 49. Wisconsin Lutheran earned the title in Division 2 with 49 points in the meet, and Freedom placed second with 42.5 points. Aquinas completed the sweep of the Division 3 titles for both genders in winning the girls team championship with 36 points. Edgar finish runner-up with 33 points. Racine Horlick won the wheelchair team title, tallying 40 points. Tomah placed second with 16 points. 

BY THE NUMBERS-BOYS:  Whitefish Bay has won the most boys team championships with 18, 16 of them coming consecutively from 1937-52. Milwaukee Riverside and Kohler are second with 16 titles each. Only two competitors have ever won the same individual event four times. Dave Greenwood of Park Falls won four titles in the high jump from 1976-79, and Paul Annear of Richland Center repeated the feat in the same event from 2005-08. Three individuals have won four relay titles in the same relay. Kevin Bledsoe of Milwaukee South did it in the 400 relay (1984-87) as did Josh Dickerson of D.C. Everest (1993-96) and Greg Bracey of Milwaukee Vincent (2000-03). Justin Austin (2005-08) of Brown Deer holds the boys record for the most titles won by an individual in a career with nine. Darrell Jansen of Kimberly (1958-60) and Annear have won eight championships. Four others have won seven titles. Only Alvin Kraenzlein of Milwaukee East has won five State titles in one meet (1895), and Andrew Rock of Stratford is the only other athlete to win four State titles in the same year (2000). Joe Schubert of Marquette is the only wheelchair competitor to win the same event four times. He did it in both the 100 and 400 dashes. He leads all wheelchair participants with 10 total championships. Milwaukee South lays claim to the most event titles throughout the history of the meet with 99. Whitefish Bay is second with 97.

BY THE NUMBERS-GIRLS:  Madison West and Rosholt have won the most girls’ team titles with six.  Three of West’s titles came in succession from 1980-82. Arcadia, Marathon, Nekoosa and Waukesha West have won five titles with Edgar, Madison Memorial, Milwaukee Bradley, Milwaukee King, Prairie du Chien and Whitewater next on the list with four. Twenty-four girls have won the same event four times during their career. Kennedy Blahnik of Algoma, Bonnie Draxler of Wrightstown, Molly Seidel of University Lake School, Joanna Schultz of Holmen and Cami Davre of Whitefish Bay are the only athletes to accomplish the feat in two different events. Blahnik won the discus and shot put from 2011-14; Draxler won the 400 dash and pole vault from 2011-14; Seidel won the 1,600 and 3,200 runs from 2009-12; Schultz captured the titles in the 200 and 400 dashes from 2003-06; and Davre won the gold in the 800 and 1,600 runs from 2014-17. Draxler, Davre, Jaclynn Kriegl of Florence, and both Elizabeth Pospyhalla and Tess Thurs of Edgar hold the record for the most championships won in a career by an individual with 10. Dana Collins of Milwaukee Marshall, Heather Hyland of Nekoosa and Jenni Westphal of Marinette are next in line with nine. Edgar has won the most events in the history of the meet with 42 titles. Madison Memorial is next on the list with 34.

DIVISION 1 NOTES – BOYS:   Kimberly has representation in the most events with 16, including 14 individual events and two relays. Oconomowoc is next with 15 events, including 13 individual events and two relays, and Arrowhead has participants in 14 events, including 10 individual events and four relays. One individual event and two relays return champions from 2019, one of which moves up a division after winning the Division 2 title. Senior Landon Peterson of Onalaska won the 300-meter hurdles in 2019, and he returns in pursuit of his second title. He is seeded fourth in the event this year with a time of 39.74 recorded at sectionals last week. The Muskego 800 relay squad attempts to retain the glory it achieved in 2019. The Warriors enter the State Meet with the 15th-fastest seed time at 1:30.59 with two of the four runners that helped win the championship two years ago. The Wisconsin Lutheran 3,200 relay ran to the Division 2 championship in 2019. The Vikings return one runner from that team in quest of the 2021 Division 1 title. They enter the race this week with the ninth-fastest qualifying time of 8:12.17.

DIVISION 1 NOTES – GIRLS:  Muskego has representation in 17 events to lead the division, including 13 individual events and four relays. D.C. Everest has qualifiers in 15 events with 13 individuals and two relays. Homestead and Oak Creek are tied for the third-most events with representation with 12. The Highlanders have student-athletes in nine individual and three relay events, and the Knights are in 10 individual events and two relays. Five individual events and two relays feature the return of their champions from 2019, and a pair of events features the Division 2 champion moving up a division this year. Senior Danni Langseth of D.C. Everest was the 2019 champion in both the shot put and discus. She returns this year as the top seed in both of those events. She qualified with a throw of 44-5 1/2 in the shot put and 161-9 in the discus, which makes her the favorite to retain those crowns. Junior Jaiah Hopf of Wisconsin Lutheran won both the long jump and triple jump in Division 2 in 2019.  She has transitioned well to Division 1 this season with the top qualifying marks in both events. She has posted an 18-8 3/4 distance in the long jump and a 38-3 3/4 leap in the triple jump. Senior Chloe Larsen of Waunakee is essentially the defending champion in the 400-meter dash after winning the title in 2019. She returns as the third-swiftest qualifier in the event with a time of 58.02. Senior Amalia Malecek of Onalaska was the 2019 champion in the 1600 run, and she returns attempting to pick up right where she left off. She has the fifth-fastest qualifying time at sectionals at 5:12.24. Amalia’s sister, senior Kora Malecek, is the returning champion in the 3200 from the 2019 State Meet. She enters this year’s event with the third fastest qualifying time of 11:06.16. The Nicolet 800 relay team has two of its members back from the quartet that captured gold in 2019. They come into the State Meet with the 18th-fastest qualifying time this season at 1:47.26. The Muskego 3,200 relay has just one runner returning from its title-winning foursome in 2019. The Warriors enter the meet with the 10th-fastest time of 9:52.66.

DIVISION 2 NOTES – BOYS:  Catholic Memorial has the most event entries in the meet with 10. The Crusaders have qualifiers in eight individual events and two relays.  Freedom and Lodi have representation in nine events. The Irish have competitors in five individual events and four relays, and the Blue Devils have entries in seven individual events and two relays. There are no individual events that claim a former champion returning to retain their titles. However, there are a pair of relays that won the gold medal in 2019 that have qualified this year. The Freedom 800 and 1,600 relays are back  this year after winning the events two years ago, but neither of the relays have anyone returning that ran on those winning relays. The Irish 800 relay has the sixth-quickest qualifying time at 1:32.85, and the 1,600 relay is ranked second with a seed time of 3:29.42.

DIVISION 2 NOTES – GIRLS:   Freedom is represented in the most number of events with 15, including 11 individual events and four relays. Shorewood is next on the list with 12, including 10 individual events and two relays. Osceola will be competing in nine events, including seven individual and two relays. One individual event in the division features a former champion returning to challenge for another title this year. Two relays also return after winning championships in 2019. Junior Sylvia Johansen of Clinton was the 2019 champion in the 100-meter dash. She qualifies this year with the chance to retain the title with the fifth-best qualifying time of 12.73 in the event. The Lodi 1,600 relay has qualified in pursuit of another title; however, the Blue Devils have nobody that contributed to that effort returning to run this year. They enter with the fourth-fastest seed time of 4:10.97. Osceola is the reigning champion in the 3,200 relay, having won the title in 2019. The Chieftains are seeded third in the event with a time of 9:53.71. They have two members returning from the quartet that captured the title in 2019.

DIVISION 3 NOTES – BOYS:  Aquinas possesses the most event entries with 12, including nine individual events and two relays. Cumberland and Lancaster both have eight events with entries. The Beavers are in six individual events and two relays, and Lancaster is represented in five individual events and three relays. There are two individual events that return a champion along with four relays. The two individual events with their returning champion were won by the same person, senior Lukas Beck of Aquinas. He won both the 100- and 200-meter dashes in 2019. Beck qualifies in those events with the fastest qualifying times. He turned in a sectional time of 10.88 in the 100 and a 22.42 in the 200. Aquinas also possesses the reigning titles in both the 400 and 800 relays. However, there are no qualifying members of those relays that contributed to winning the events in 2019. The Blugolds have the third-fastest qualifying time in the 400 relay at 44.16 and the 10th-quickest time in the 800 relay at 1:34.02. Wild Rose seeks to defend the crown it captured in the 1,600 relay in 2019. The Wildcats enter the State Meet with the seventh-fastest qualifying time of 3:32.21 with a different four participants than the ones that ran in 2019. St. Mary Catholic has two runners returning from the quartet that ran to the 2019 championship in the 3,200 relay. They enter the race this year with the second-fastest seed time at 8:28.23.

DIVISION 3 NOTES – GIRLS:  Lancaster has representation in 10 events, which leads the division. The Arrows have entries in six individual events and four relays. Ozaukee has nine events, including eight individual events and one relay. Royall and Sevastopol have qualified in eight events. The Panthers are in eight individual events and one relay, and the Pioneers are in five individual events and three relays. A pair of qualifiers are champions in two events. Senior Jessica Brueggeman of Royall jumped to the titles in both the triple and long jumps in 2019. She returns as the top qualifier in the triple jump with a distance of 36-5 3/4, and she ranks third on the list of qualifiers in the long jump with her best sectional mark of 18-0 3/4. Junior Kaci Martensen of Benton/Scales Mound/Shullsburg swept the titles in the 1,600 and 3,200 runs in 2019. She enters both events this year as the top qualifier with a time of 5:17.39 in the 1,600 and 11:11.45 in the 3,200. Senior Delanie McFadden of Ozaukee is back to defend the title she won in the 200 dash in 2019. She has the fourth-fastest qualifying time in the event at 26.72. Junior Miranda Firari of Dodgeland looks to retain her title in the pole vault. Her height of 10-6 at sectionals last week ranks her third among qualifiers in the event. The Aquinas 800 relay attempts to defend its title with two runners from the 2019 team that won gold. The Blugolds enter the State Meet with the fourth-swiftest qualifying time of 1:48.97 in the event. The Fennimore 1,600 relay returns three participants back from the 2019 championship-winning team, and the Golden Eagles appear poised to retain the title with the fastest-qualifying time of 4:04.20.

WHEELCHAIR NOTES:  In the boys competition, senior Noah Eckelberg of Columbus Catholic returns to defend the titles he won in the 400- and 800-meter races in 2018 and 2019, and the championship he won in the 1,600 in 2019. He has the fastest qualifying time in each of those events. Eckelberg has qualified with times of 1:00.47 in the 400, 2:07.09 in the 800 and 4:32.32 in the 1,600. Senior Isaac Morris of Parkview enters competition with the second-best qualifying toss of 25-1 in the shot put, an event he won in both 2018 and 2019. Eckelberg has the top qualifying throw at 26-3. On the girls side, senior Gabi Berthiaume of Racine Horlick is the returning champion in three events. She won the 100 and 400 races and the shot put in 2019. She enters the State Meet ranked fifth in the 100 at 41.51, fourth in the 400 race at 2:37.30 and third in the shot put at 11-3 1/2.

NEED THE QUALIFIERS?:  Qualifiers and qualifying performance lists, along with meet schedule, heats and lane assignments are available on the WIAA website by navigating to the boys or girls track & field tournament page at: https://www.wiaawi.org/Sports/Spring/Boys-Track-Field/Tournament or https://www.wiaawi.org/Sports/Spring/Girls-Track-Field/Tournament.

STATE SOUVENIR PROGRAMS ONLINE:  The souvenir programs for the 2021 spring State Tournaments are available online and available to download and print at no cost. The complete State Track & Field Championships program with rosters of qualifiers, history and schedule information can be accessed at: https://wiaa1.app.box.com/s/q0is2yemy9kp6d9brxg005br61az4ay7

NEED CREDENTIALS:  Requests for media credentials for the 2021 WIAA Boys and Girls State Track & Field Championships must be submitted in advance by completing the online credential request form on the restricted media area of the WIAA website by noon Tuesday, June 22. Verification of approved credentials is also available in the restricted media area. Please verify credential requests have been approved before planning to cover the event. Credential pick-up will be located at the media Will-Call office just inside main entrance to the Veterans Hall of Honor at Veterans Memorial Stadium. 

NEED RESULTS?:  The quickest way to get results of the 2021 State Track and Field results is to access the WIAA website at www.wiaawi.org and access either the boys or girls tournament track and field pages to choose the links to live updates as the meet unfolds, provided in cooperation with PrimeTime Event & Race Management, LLC.

FOLLOW THE TOURNEY ON SOCIAL MEDIA: Receive the updates of the Boys and Girls State Track & Field Championships on the WIAA State Tournament Facebook and Twitter accounts. The Twitter account is @wiaawistate with the hashtag #wiaatrack. Also like us on Facebook and follow us on Instagram at wiaawi.

ORDER STATE MEET APPAREL ONLINE: WIAA licensed apparel is available online for the 2021 State Track & Field Championships. To browse and purchase branded merchandise, visit the WIAA Store at: https://gppsports.chipply.com/wiaastatetrack/store.aspx. Online purchases will be shipped after the online store closes at 11:59 p.m. on Wednesday, June 30.

MEDIA LOCATIONS:  Following each award ceremony, student-athletes receiving medals will be escorted to the track access gate on the southwest corner of the track (south end of the grandstand). The announcement of each event will be at the gate entering the track. Media is asked to adhere to location guidelines as indicated on the map provided in the credential envelope. Access to the infield is ONLY available in designated areas at each event location. No interviews or loitering are permitted on the infield during the meet.

MEDIA COVID ACCOMMODATIONS:  There will be a limit to 30 members of the media in the media room at the stadium. To accommodate as best possible, an area under the grandstands near the media room will serve as an extended media area. That area is planned for photographers and television personnel, and the 30 in the media room will be assigned on each day posted at the media room entrance both days based on coverage and deadline expectations. Therefore, when submitting your credential request, the team or division you are covering will be credentialed for that day only. If multiple days are needed, based on your coverage area, please identify that on the request. Members of the media that have not been fully vaccinated for COVID-19 are encouraged to wear appropriately worn masks for their protection.

PARKING AVAILABILITY:  Parking is available in a number of general public lots surrounding the stadium on event days. Cost of parking is $8 per day. To order parking online, access the link on the boys or girls track and field pages on the website or go to the UW-La Crosse website:  https://www.uwlax.edu/wiaa/spectators/parking/.

 

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David Keech
Author: David Keech

David Keech is a math teacher in Wisconsin Rapids and public address announcer for Abbotsord High School. He officiates basketball, baseball, and softball in central Wisconsin. He has reported on amateur sports since 2011, known as 'KeechDaVoice.' David can be reached at [email protected]