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Track and Field: Raider girls run to sectional title

Hudson junior Bailee Dierks, center, clears a hurdle on her way to winning the 100 meter hurdle title at the WIAA Divsion 1 Track and Field Regional Monday, May 21, in Superior. Jed Carlson / Superior Telegram

Sophomore Rachel Ball swept the distance races, junior Bailee Dierks won the 100 meter hurdles and the Hudson girls won three of the four relay events on their way to a sectional title at the WIAA Division 1 Track and Field Sectional at D.C. Everest High School Thursday, May 24.

Ball and Dierks headline a group of 15 Raider girls who qualified for state in 11 different events. Hudson won the sectional title with a total of 138 points while Stevens Point was a distant second with 87.

“The majority of the girls continued to compete at a really high level across the board in the sprints, distance, and field events, and have some great positions going into state,” head coach Jami Holum said.

Ball won the girls' 1600 in 5 minutes, 22.88 seconds and will be joined at state by freshman teammate Alicia Belany, who placed third in the race in 5:27.89. Ball's winning time in the 3200 was 11:38.6.

The Raiders will also have two representatives in the 200 meter dash after senior Lexi LeFever won the sectional title in 25.91 seconds and junior Emma lson was third in 26.74.

“It was awesome to get two athletes through in both the 200 and 1600,” Holum said.

Dierks followed up her regional title from Superior with a first place time of 15.01 seconds in the sectional 100 hurdle finals. Dierks was runner-up at state in 2017 with a time of 14.85. She just missed advancing in the 300 meter hurdles with a fourth place time of 47.48 seconds.

The Raider's 4x200 meter relay team of senior Anna Wilgren, Dierks, senior Kady Kochendorfer and LeFever won the sectional title in 1:43.54, while the 4x100 team of Wilgren, Kochendorfer, Olson and LeFever took first in 49.32 seconds. Both enter the state meet in the top eight of the 24 qualifiers.

“It was really fun to see to the sprint relays run season bests and come out on top,” Holum said.

Kochendorfer also enters the state meet in the top eight in the triple jump after winning the sectional title with a distance of 37-feet, 7-inches and will compete in the 100 meter dash after placing third in 12.61 seconds

The Raider's eighth sectional title of the day came from the 4x800 meter relay team of senior Julia Bennett, Ball, Belany and sophomore Anna Czupryna with a time of 9:48.8. Czupryna also took third in the 800 meter run in 2:21.97 to advance, while senior Emma Newman qualified in the pole vault with a second place height of 10-06.

Sophomore Shay Wassman just missed qualifying for state in the 400 meter dash with a fourth place time of 1:02.69 while LeFever's leap of 17-10.5 in the long jump left her in fourth place, one place shy of a state berth.

Junior Carter Maack was the lone Hudson boys to qualify for state after winning the sectional title in the 110 meter hurdles with a time of 15.12 seconds. The Raiders' 4x800 meter relay team of junior Samuel Kiecker, senior Tait Saterbak, freshman Tony Weeks and sophomore Cale Wimer placed fourth in 8:19.22

The WIAA Track and Field Championships will take place Friday and Saturday, June 1-2 at Veterans Memorial Stadium on the campus of UW-La Crosse.

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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