Germantown track programs to send nine entries to WIAA state meet
Girls advance five, boys four
The concept of a single joint coach for the Germantown track program is still a work in progress admitted coach Greg Siegert.
But despite some hiccups, the initial results are promising as the Warhawks advanced three individuals and two relays for the girls and three individuals and a relay for the boys to this weekend's WIAA State Meet in La Crosse.
"We figure we're taking about 19 kids," Siegert said. "That's a lot of kids. What we're doing here this season is laying down a foundation, a foundation built on discipline and hard work."
The Warhawk boys, who were a surprise winner of the WIAA regional meet on May 27, advanced repeat state qualifier Nick Holcomb in the long and triple jump, as well as Trevor Becker in the 3200-meter run. They also will send the 4x800 relay team that will include Nick Foti, Preston Yahr, Cory Rhind, Lucas Sbragia and Brett Dzik.
For the girls, seniors Khia Kurtenbach and Jayne Bertieri will shepherd to state a large group of freshmen and sophomores. Kurtenbach, a first-year track athlete who had experienced great success on the swim team, will lead freshmen Molly Baus, Calli Lemke and Alyssa Goesch on the 4x800 relay, while the senior three-time state qualifier Bertieri will pace sophomores Rosalie Campbell and Erika Bethhauser and freshman Kenzie Schmitz to see if they can better their new school record in the 4x200 relay.
Schmitz will also advance in the high jump, and Goesch will enter state as the second seed in the 800.
Everyone is looking forward to the experience.
"I didn't have a lot of track experience," Kurtenbach said, "so this feels like I worked for it. It's been a really fun thing, trying a different sport, be a beginner again and watch my times drop."
D1 state meet competition will get underway at about 9:30 a.m. Friday, June 6 at UW-La Crosse's Memorial Stadium. All trials and most finals will start then. The remainder of the finals will start at 10:30 a.m. Saturday, June 7.
For some, this is the just reward for years of hard work while others are just trying it out. All of it came to a head at the WIAA sectional qualifying meet at Sussex Hamilton on May 30.
Take the case of Becker, who had advanced to state cross country in the fall, but despite a stellar effort of four minutes, 4:27.18 in the 1600, just short of the 25-plus-year-old school record, he came up short of a state track berth.
Walking frustrated along the inside of the fence alongside the track, he had to regroup in a hurry for the 3200.
He choked off his ire, listened to his event coach and refocused, and despite a mistimed gun lap shot (it was a lap early), Becker still found a way to get to La Crosse with another personal best runner-up showing of 9:43.66
"My coach came up to me and said 'Forget about it (the 1600); go out and run mad and run smart,'" Becker said.
He did, even despite the official's error.
"I was tired, and I didn't want to run another lap (after the mistake)," he said, "but I wanted to get to state more, so I fought right through it. I feel so relieved right now. I get one more race (at state)."
He will be joined by other members of his distance team as the 4x800 team took third with a season best of 8:18.56. That group is grateful for the opportunity.
"We sort of came together late in the season," Dzik said. "The coaches told us whoever pulls it together first (will get to run on it). We came in seeded first today, so we figured we absolutely could do no worse than third.
"It feels good going to state. This relay (without him on it) missed by something like .37 of a second last year. So we feel awesome about this. For me and others, this is our only opportunity at going to state. A once in a lifetime chance."
Yahr was also on the team last season.
Holcomb earned his repeat berths in the triple jump (second place, 43 feet 5 inches) and with a victorious effort of 21-71/2 in the long jump. Siegert is proud of Holcomb as he continues to move out of the shadow of his former state high hurdles champion brother Ben.
"I come from a large family, so I know what that's like," Siegert said. "He did what he had to do in a very competitive field."
Siegert said that the boys team winning the regional qualifying meet May 27 was a major step forward as he noted that many of the athletes on the team had not been able to enjoy such a feeling before.
Meanwhile, success has been with the girls most of the season. Kurtenbach and Goesch led the way on the 4x800 relay for the girls, as they turned in a season best of 9:37.22 — good for third.
"We really wanted this," Goesch said. "We've been running good people in it from the beginning so this doesn't surprise us."
Goesch turned around put in a scorching 2:17.23 runner-up showing in the 800.
Kurtenbach earned her spot in the 3200 with a runner-up personal best showing of 11:11.73, which puts her among the leaders going into state.
Bertieri was ill but still had enough as she helped the 4x200 relay drop still more time from their school record set earlier this season with a third place 1:44.62.
Schmitz claimed her high jump spot with a third-place effort of 5-0 in the high jump.
Other sectional efforts for the girls, who finished fourth of 16 in the team standings, included the following: discus — Maddie Stewart, fifth (97-2), and Olivia Verdin, sixth (95-0); high jump — Emily Viduski, fourth (4-11); 4x100 relay — Bethhauser, Schmitz, Tatum Gallenberger and Bertieri, fifth (season best 50.11); 300 low hurdles — Megan Hedinger, fourth (personal best 47.88); 4x400 relay — Campbell, Gallenberger, Schmitz and Goesch, fifth (season best 4:02.45); 1600 — Julia Schroder, seventh (5:44.65).
Other sectional efforts for the boys, who were also fourth of 16 in the team standings, included the following: shot put — Michael Cooney, eighth (46-101/2); 4x200 relay — Connor Schulz, Shon Pratcher, Clay Knapp and Quintin Fliss, seventh (1:33.77); 4x100 relay — Austin Mozdzen, Holcomb, Fliss and Pratcher, fifth (43.92); 300 intermediate hurdles — Jacob DeBonis, sixth (41.96); 800 — Dzik, sixth (2:10.08); 4x400 relay — DeBonis, Anthony Brooks, Marshall Grimm and Nick Montag, eighth (3:39.45); and discus—Alex Schlee, fourth (133-6), and Cole Karcz, sixth (132-1).
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