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Track teams gear up for conference

Hardisha White takes off in the long jump at the New Richmond Relays Friday in New Richmond. White, the school record holder in the triple jump, finished third in the long jump and second in the triple jump to help the Raider girls to a second-place finish. Photo by Dave Newman1 / 2
Jacob Ball runs to a third-place finish in the 1600 meter run with a time of 4 minutes, 36.7 seconds at the New Richmond Relays Friday. Photo by Dave Newman2 / 2

Next up -- the Big Rivers Conference Championships.

That's the immediate focus of the Raider track and field teams after the boys took first and the girls finished second by one point at the New Richmond Relays Friday in New Richmond. The Raiders will host the BRC meet Tuesday, May, 19, at Newton Field with field events beginning at 3:30 p.m. and running events at 4:15.

"We would like to invite everyone out to see the girls compete for their fifth straight conference title," girls' coach Jami Holum said.

Boys' coach Tom Klatt proclaimed his team healthy and ready after winning the New Richmond Relays Friday.

"The boys looked great and we are healthy right now," he said Monday. "We're going to take a week off and go into conference at home strong and healthy."

The boys displayed their form by posting four first-place finishes and one second on their way to winning the New Richmond title with a total of 113 points, far ahead of second place New Richmond's 84.5. Osceola placed third in the 15-team standings with 61.

The Raiders' first victory of the day came in the 4 X 200 meter relay, where Zac Becker, Nicholas Cadwallader, Mark Tully and Tucker Malecha combined for a winning time of 1 minutes, 33.7 seconds.

Jacob Ball, Mathew Rudquist, Nicholas Schumacher and Luke Wusterbath followed with a first place time of 8:25.3 in the 4 X 800 meter relay, and Dan Schlosser, Michael Congdon, Schumacher and William Johnson combined to win the 1600 sprint medley in 3:42.5.

Brody Swenson took first in the high jump by clearing 6-feet, 2-inches, and also posted a personal best throw of 141-4 in the discus to take sixth place, while Mitch Patrick finished second in the pole vault with a height of 12-feet.

Ben Wilen and Joshua Robers were part of a five-way tie for second in the high jump with heights of 6-0.

The Raiders also scored well in the 1600 meter run, where Ball finished third in 4:36.7, Rudquist was fourth in 4:37.6, Dan Schloesser finished sixth in 4:43.3, and Wusterbath placed seventh in 4:44.7.

In the 4 X 100 meter throwers relay, Mike Ludgatis, Swenson, Mathew Krier and Anthony Titera combined for a third place time of 49 seconds. Ludgatis also took third in the shot put with a throw of 46-11.75 and fourth in the discus with a distance of 147-0, while Nicholas Lubinski finished third in the triple jump with a total distance of 40-10.75.

In the long jump, Jenish Bhakta placed eighth with a personal best leap of 19-2.

In the girls' competition, Danni Krinke, Angela Tipp, Erika Tipp and Rachael Saathoff broke their own school record in the 4 X 100 meter relay to take second with a time of 50.14 seconds, while Alicia Bower took first in both the shot put (38-2.25) and discus (111-3).

Jamie Lindstrom added a second place throw of 36-7 in the shot put and a third place toss of 108-4 in the discus while freshman Ashley Akey set personal records in both events--finishing sixth in the shot put (31-9.25) and 11th in the discus (92-9).

Somerset won the girls' title with a total of 94 team points while Hudson was second with 93. Osceola placed third with 63.

"The team was second to a fantastic Somerset squad, who should vie for the Division 2 state title this year," Holum said. "It is great to run against such a competitive and tough squad, and the girls have been lucky to do so four times this season."

The Raider girls' were boosted by a pair of top three performances from Hardisha White. The senior placed second in the triple jump with a distance of 33-7.25 and third in the long jump with a leap of 15-11.75. The girls also received a second place finish in the 140 meter low hurdle shuttle, where Kelsey McNamee, Rachael Knoke and Cori Vought combined for a time of 1:02.0.

McNamee, Knoke and Kierstin Guenther teamed up to take third in the 3 X 100 meter hurdle shuttle with a time of 54.4 seconds, while Maddie Drewiske, Lindstrom, Akey and Bower took third in the 4 X 100 meter throwers relay with a time of 58.1 seconds.

Other third place finishes came from Katie Thielman, Krinke, Angela Tipp and Erika Tipp in the 4 X 200 meter relay (1:48.1) and Shannon Hartzell, Catie Weese, Vought and Nicole Bruegger in the 4 X 400 meter relay (4:18.0).

Katie Wetzstein and Hartzell both turned in personal best times in the 1600 meter run. Wetzstein finished fifth in 5:26.1 while Hartzell was seventh in 5:33.7.

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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