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The Raider girls' 4 X 100 relay team of Katie Thielman and Angela Tipp, in front, and Rachael Saathoff and Erika Tipp, back, are all smiles after receiving their fourth place medals on the awards podium at the WIAA State Track and Field Championships Saturday at Veterans Memorial Stadium in La Crosse. The second place team from Milwaukee Bradley Technical is at the left and the sixth place team from Green Bay Southwest is at the right. Photo by Bob Burrows

Girls track team brings home two medals

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Hudson's girls' 4 X 100 meter relay team brought home a fourth place medal, and senior Alicia Bower capped her high school career by earning a sixth place medal at the 2009 WIAA Track and Field Championships over the weekend in La Crosse.

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The Raider boys didn't bring home any hardware, but with 13 athletes -- many of them underclassmen -- competing in eight events at the state meet, they showed a glimpse of good things to come in the future.

"What a fabulous way to end a great 'rebuilding' year," Raider girls' coach Jami Holum said. "The girls really came together as a team to focus on what needed to get done to get on the podium."

The girls' 4 X 100 relay team of freshman Katie Thielman, sophomore sisters Angela and Erika Tipp, and senior Rachael Saathoff posted a time of 50.03 seconds in Friday's preliminaries to earn the eighth of nine qualifying spots for Saturday's finals.

Running in a driving rain on Saturday, the foursome clocked in at 50.21 seconds to edge Milwaukee Custer by three-hundredths of a second and capture fourth place in the finals. Milwaukee King took first in 48.68 and Milwaukee Bradley Technical was second in 48.70 while Hamilton took third in 49.66.

"With the stiff competition from the southeast schools, the girls stepped it up to first make the finals and then run a very strong race in the pouring rain to get on the podium," Holum said. "This is one race where you need to have unity, and Katie, Angela, Erika and Rachael, along with both alternates -- Danni Krinke and Kierstin Guenther -- had it. They all contributed to the team throughout the year and I could not have been prouder to see them on that podium at the end of the day."

Bower, who finished ninth at state in the discus as a junior, earned a medal in the final meet of her high school career by throwing 123-feet, 3-inches Friday.

"She has put in four years of hard work and dedication both through each season, and in the offseason to get her to that point," Holum said about the Raider medal winner. "I really hope the team will learn from her example and use her dedication as a template to work out and prepare for next season."

For the full story and more photos, see the June 11 print edition of the Hudson Star-Observer.

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Bob Burrows
Bob Burrows has been sports editor at the River Falls Journal since 1996 and at the Hudson Star-Observer since 2009. Prior to joining the Journal, Burrows served as sports editor with Ledger Publications in Balsam Lake, Wis. A native of Bayonne, N.J. and a U.S. Navy veteran, Burrows attended Marquette University before completing his studies at UW-River Falls in 1992.
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