|5/31/2019 9:51:00 AM|
14 from Dodge-Point track & field head to state
The Dodge-Point Track and Field Team sectional qualifiers and coaches had an outstanding night at the Division 2 Sectional meet held at East Troy on May 23rd.
The night however was an emotional rollercoaster for the athletes, fans and coaches as some athletes qualified for State instantly by placing in the top four while others waited to see if their times were fast enough to gain a potential wildcard (extra qualifier) seat(s) offered across the state. East Troy Sectional was earmarked as one of the toughest Division 2 Sectionals in the State. Top four finishers were automatic qualifiers for the State Meet that will be held at La Crosse on May 31st and June 1st.
The first event for the night was Nicole Johnson in the high jump. She leaped her best height of 5'2. placing her 5th overall. At the end of the night the height proved strong enough to qualify Johnson for a wildcard position in the State meet. The 4x800m boys' team made it look too easy as the captured first place with their best time of 8:09 and besting the competition by five seconds. The team consisted of Jeremiah Beasley, Dylan McGraw, Peyton Tranel, and Henry Keith. The relay team is currently ranked sixth in the State.
Dodge-Point had two athletes competing in the high hurdles events. Junior, Jason Gleichauf, was a returning Sectional qualifier from last year. His Regional time gave him no guarantee of qualifying. Gleichauf knew it would be a photo finish at the end. He gave it his best, hurdling his fastest time (15.36) to place3rd overall and qualify for a trip to State.
The field was stacked this year in the girls 100m hurdles and Freshman, Emma Steffes approached this race as with the mindset that is would be an experience to build off of for next year. Two of the girls in her race were on the State podium last year. Steffes gave it her best, hurdling a personal record (17.01) placing an outstanding 6th place overall. Another freshman, Will Aurit, also placed 6th in the mile with a fast time of 4:36 placing 6th overall being the lone freshman out of 16 Sectional qualifiers.
The 400m dash had two outstanding Dodge-Point athletes competing. Senior Kevin Eisenzimmer, Conference Champion and no doubt one of the best 400m sprinters in the Southwest Region, and freshman, Blaire Watters also Conference Champion. Eisenzimmer had experience, but knew he would have to post a sub-51 second time to qualify as the race was stacked with equally talented and experienced sprinters. Eisenzimmer ran a great race, but had to settle for a 6th place finish (51.3). The coaches were hoping that he could still get his ticket to State in the 4x400 at the end of the night. Blaire Watters time was fourth best in the Sectional and she would do one better in the sectional meet placing third with her fastest time of 1:00.14.
An experienced Henry Keith, andlightly experienced Allison Esch represented Dodge-Point in the 800m run. Both runners were Conference Champions; however both faced the toughest 800m Division 2 Sectional in the state. Keith ran a spectacular time of 1:57, cutting two seconds off his best time he ran three days prior. Keith, however, came in 5th place. The coaches were pretty confident that he would be an extra qualifier and later it was confirmed when his time showed that he had the 5th fastest Division 2 time in the State out of the seventeen Sectional qualifiers.
Esch had a similar story running and outstanding race from start to finish with a time of 2:22. This time was three seconds faster than her performance three days prior at Regionals, and a time that was fast enough to have won in other Division 2 Sectional meets that night. However with a 5th place finish she unfortunately did not advance to State. Esch's hope for her chance at State remained with the upcoming 4x400m relay.
Senior, Lindsay Johnston, gave it her best in the two mile, placing 10th overall (12:52). Johnston has been an outstanding distance runner for the team for the last four years and will be greatly missed by the coaching staff.
Both girl and boy 4x400m relay teams were more than ready to get the race on. The races were both stacked with some outstanding competitors. The girl's team was made up of distance senior runners, Hannah Tremelling and Sydney Judd and sprinters Watters and Esch. Each member of the team ran their fastest splits to place 4th overall with a time of 4:07.31. Esch poured it on at the end running a 59 second split and outsprinted the 5th place team who had a time of 4:07.35. The teams were left in suspense awaiting results of the photo finish. The girls were elated when the results came out and they knew they were headed to La Crosse.
The boy's 4x400 members consisting of Blaise Watters, Keith, Beasley and Eisenzimmer all ran their fastest splits and cut off combined two seconds from their best time on Monday with a 3:26.62. However, they were nudged out and the end of third place Clinton (3:26.0) and fourth place, Watertown Luther Prep (3:26.55). The team and fans did not know how to feel, excited with the girl's 4x4 advancement, but left gutted with the boy's near miss. By the end of the night the team and fans were rejoicing again as they found out the boy's 4x400m made it to State as an extra qualifier.
"In a Sectional as competitive as the one we were in at East Troy, you have to be physically and mentally prepared to run your very best and that's exactly what our athletes did on Thursday night," said Head Co-Coach Joe Hanson. "Very impressive!"
"Sectional Thursday was a great day," said Head Co-Coach Matt McGraw. "Having 14 people heading to La Crosse out of this very tough Sectional is quite an accomplishment. We had great performances across-the-board whether qualifying in the top four, extra qualifying or running a PR for the year. I am so proud of all the Dodge-Point athletes!
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