It wasn’t the finish that either Emily Reichenberger or Stephen Finley were hoping for entering the final day of the WIAA Division 1 State Track and Field meet on Saturday.
But both Oshkosh West runners came away having proved they were among the fastest sprinters in the state.
Reichenberger and Finley each finished ninth in their respective 100-meter races, each falling just short of bringing home a medal.
“I thought the race went really well,” Reichenberger said. “I’m glad I just made finals and I’m okay with getting ninth. I’m very happy.”
Reichenberger dropped nearly two-tenths of a second off of her preliminary race time and finished ahead of her seed time for the finals, covering the distance in 12.88 seconds. She was about two-tenths of a second short of a podium finish.
Hannah Rohde of Waukesha West won the race in 12.44 seconds.
Finley was disappointed with his finish, having entered the finals with the sixth-fastest preliminary time. His finals time of 11.29 seconds was more than three-tenths faster than his preliminary race, but not enough to hold his seed position.
“I dont know, It wasn’t as bad as yesterday but I know I can run much better than that,” the senior said.
Regardless, he’s happy he was able to make it to the finals and run against a talented group.
“It’s very exciting making finals, running with some of these kids and knowing you’re one of the fastest in the state,” Finley said. “It’s just disappointing not making the podium.”
Jester Weah of Madison Memorial won the race with a time of 10.70 seconds.
Butler did it
After making it to La Crosse three straight years, Wildcats’ senior Jackie Butler finally left with a little something in her luggage.
Butler broke 46 seconds in the 300-meter hurdles and earned her a medal in her final high school race.
Butler’s finals time of 45.93 put her comfortably in fifth place, two-tenths ahead of the sixth-place runner. Valerie Thames of Milwaukee Riverside set a state record in winning the race with a time of 43.04.
Oshkosh West’s 400-meter relay team reached one of its goals for the state meet when it finished sixth in Saturday’s finals to make the podium.
The team of Reichenberger, Maddie Leske, Ally Ryan and Alyssa Weiler finished with a time of 49.49 seconds and climbed into the final medal-earning spot after entering the race seeded seventh.
The quartet was about four-tenths of a second off a top-three finish in the race, which was won by Milwaukee King in a time of 48.51 seconds.
Weiler was the only field event entrant on the day for West, competing in the high jump where she finished 15th overall with a height of 5-feet.
She was one of 13 jumpers to clear the height but placed 15th based on number of jumps.
Khadiya Hollingsworth of Brookfield East cleared 5-7 to win the event.