A little taste went a long way in motivating Little Chute’s Tyler Zak.
Zak, the Mustangs’ standout hurdler, won the Division 2 300 hurdles with a time of 38.92 seconds in the WIAA track and field state meet at Veterans Memorial Stadium on Saturday, but it was his appearance last season at the state meet that provided the extra push.
“Last year, I just had a taste of it,” Zak said. “I knew I had to keep pushing this season.”
There were many familiar faces in the final, with Freedom’s Bo Casper finishing fifth (:39.88), teammate Tyler Brown finishing sixth (:40.38) and Seymour’s Josh Hopkins taking seventh (:40.41).
“I was really happy for Tyler, too, because he was pushing me all season,” Zak said. “I was happy to see him (get on the podium).”
Silver lining for their gold: The Neenah girls’ 3,200 relay team wasn’t able to break its own record in the event set last season.
So winning the event for the second consecutive season will just have to do. And that’s OK with senior Alison Parker.
The Rockets group of Alison Parker, Jessica Parker, Jennifer Parker and Claire Knaus won the event with a time of 9:23.63. Last season, the same quartet ran a 9:00.42 in setting the Division 1 record.
“We’re happy with how we finished,” Alison said. “It was in the back of our mind to try and beat our state record, but the main goal is just to win and that’s what happened today.”
Knaus said it was good to see the results of all the hard work the quartet put in pay off.
“It really means everything, because we worked so hard for this,” she said. “For really four years, it was going non-stop working and training with each other. So to top it off as seniors with Alison and I … it’s a great feeling to have it all come to fruition.”
Realizing his dream: Joseph Hinz had the final result played out in his mind countless times and in the 800, the Freedom senior made it a reality.
Hinz set the Division 2 mark in the 800 with a blistering time of 1:52, shattering the mark of 1:54 set by Monroe’s Ethan Moehn, who finished second (1:52.37) to Hinz on Saturday in an extremely close finish.
“I was ready for today,” Hinz said. “I saw a couple of other distance races go before and everyone else started way to slow. My coach told me earlier ‘You have to go hard from the start’ and I did and everybody followed me.
“Ethan Moehn, the previous record holder, was catching me right in the end. He got me at one point and I held him off enough. When I finished, I was ecstatic that I not only got the state record, but beat it by two whole seconds.”
Hungry like Wolves: Hilbert may be a small town, but there’s no doubt there’s big talent residing at the high school.
The Wolves had two boys’ relays and a girls’ relay fare well at the Division 3 state meet. Hilbert’s 400 relay team of Jordan Jones, Austin Schaffer, Mitch Gruett and Adam Mader finished first with a time of :43.86 and the 800 relay team of Jones, Schaffer, Gruett and Spencer Schulz won in 1:30.52.
Schulz also placed fourth in the 100 (:11.35), while Hilbert’s girls’ 400 relay team of Katlin Krepline, AnnLeah Jones, Taylor Schoen and Maria Gruett placed fourth with a time of :51.25
Hurdling through: Kimberly’s Nate Pozolinski placed second in the Division 1 110 hurdles with a time of :14.62.
Pozolinski also placed fourth in the 300 hurdles (:39.11). Appleton North’s Torren Peebles also reached the medal stand, placing sixth (:39.4).
“The 300, I knew I had to get out quick and I did get out quick, but I didn’t have enough at the end,” Pozolinski said. “I didn’t have the best start in the 110, so I knew I had to make up for it. I was really grinding in the middle and that work. I just couldn’t pull it out.
“It’s really nice end with all my three events on the podium. It was a great time and, looking back, I don’t regret anything.”
Luke Rohloff, a senior at Weyauwega-Fremont, finished fourth in the boys’ 110 hurdles in Division 2 with a time of :15.15.
Rohloff had hoped to finish higher, but he encountered troubles during the sprint.
“It wasn’t the best finish because I hit the second-to-last hurdle with my lead foot and that cut off a lot of time,” he said. “And I almost fell out of the blocks, so to get fourth, I’m kind of happy and kind of upset about it. But it was my last year and I was happy to get here this year.”
The track at Veterans Memorial Stadium will be Rohloff’s sanctuary for the next four years as he plans on attending UW-La Crosse to run track.
“I love this track,” he said. “It’s fast and the stands are awesome. It’s just a great facility.”
Healthy for once: Chilton junior Kayla Lisowe has been to state three times now, but for once she was nearly 100 percent and came in as the top seed. The result: a second-place finish in the Division 2 girls’ triple jump with an effort of 36 feet, 1½ inches.
Morgan Johnson of Hayward won the event, going 36-5½.
“I’m kind of disappointed, but I got to the podium, which was a good change from previous years,” Lisowe said.
Chilton coach Rocky Gozdziewski said he was pleased with her effort.
“I’m most definitely proud of her,” Gozdziewski said. “There’s definitely room for improvement there. She can do those extra things to keep getting better. I thought her technique and form were as good as any of them.
“This was her third year down here. The previous two years she was nicked up a little bit. She takes pride in her events. She works hard at them.”
Lisowe said placing runner-up will keep her focused for next season.
“I’m very hungry,” she said. “I just feel I need to get in the weight room and work on my strength,”
Staying upbeat: Freedom’s 3200 relay team of Alison Bos, Liz Bloy, Kendra Johnson and Lauren Peters felt they had a great chance at winning the Division 2 event, especially after finishing second in the event last season.
The team finished fourth with a time of 9:37.09, but nagging leg injuries, the bane of any track team, derailed their title hopes and left Bloy wondering what might have been.
“Last year, we took second and thought ‘All right, we’re going to be seniors and have the same team coming back.’ ” Bloy said. “But we had some sickness and some injuries come through. Our goals were still pretty high, but we fell short.
“I don’t like to have regrets. It’s been a real great four years and I wish I had a state championship, but that’s OK.”
Exceeding expectations: Not much was expected of Bryson Kasper of Kimberly and Stephen Idlas of Appleton North in the Division 1 boys’discus. Henry Uslabar in the D1 boys’ pole vault or Jade Mader of Appleton East in the D1 girls’ shot put. But all had solid showings.
Kasper came in as the eighth seed but, after a rain delay, recorded a throw of 165-8 to take third, while Idlas came in as the 16th seed but placed eighth with a throw of 151-6.
Uslabar came in as the 21st seed, but took seventh with a vault of 14-0, while Mader was a 17th seed but took seventh with a put of 38-6¼.
“Just got one off there at the end,” Kasper said of his farthest toss. “I was struggling early on. It came at the end there, so that’s good. The circle was dry and everything. It was more of a mental thing.”
Kimberly assistant coach Dean Matsche said he was worried the rain delay would hurt him.
“He did an awesome job, being that we had the delay,” Matsche said. “He had to wait a long time with the bad weather and the ring conditions and then it dried up. His last throw, he had a huge one and beat the guy (Riley Budde) from Beaver Dam and got in the top three. It was an awesome performance by Bryson.”
Despite the success, Matsche said he sees Kasper doing even better next year.
“There’s more to build on,” Matsche said. “Hopefully, we can get him a little bigger. He’s a little out-manned with these big boys but, for his size, he does an unbelievable job. Great technique.”
For Idlas, it was about taking advantage of the situation.
“I came in hoping to do my best and I guess I did with the PR, but a lot of the top guys faltered and didn’t real do as well as they could have or should have,” Idlas said. “That provided an open door for me. I was sixth going into finals, which would have been really cool to podium, but it doesn’t always go your way.”
North assistant Chris Sievert said Idlas beat his previous best by two feet.
“I’m really happy with the way Stephen threw,” Sievert said. “For about the third week in a row where it’s been a big meet, he PR’d. He performed well when other people faltered and he stepped up and moved up a lot of places.”
Did you notice?
» Appleton North’s Connor Seiler battled to a third-place finish in the 200 with a time of :21.83 in a strong field that included standout sprinters Jake Wallenfang of Green Bay Preble and Jester Weah of Madison Memorial.
» Xavier’s girls’ 400 relay team of Lillian Johnson, Peyton Ufi, Sabrina Wolter and Kelsey Worachek finished third with a time of :49.87.
» Freedom’s 1,600 relay team of Bo Casper, Jacob Green, Collin Hofacker and Joseph Hinz finished fourth with a time of 3:23.03.
» Fox Valley Lutheran’s girls’ 800 relay team of senior Malik Thompson and sophomores Mary Kolell, Danielle Voss and Bailey Diersen placed fourth (1:46.11) after entering as the No. 10 seed.
“Our coaches have trained us so well and our teammates have worked so hard to get our times lower and lower,” Thompson said. “To come in as the 10 seed and finish fourth is phenomenal. All we talked about the race is ‘the worst we could do is 10th so we’re not losing anything. Why not go out there and give it our all?’ “
» Brillion’s 1,600 girls’ relay team of Rebecca Van Thiel, Amber Piepenburg, McKinzie Fischer and Monica Geiser finished third in Division 2 with a time of 4:01.7.
» Kimberly’s Weston Guilfoyle finished fifth in the 100 with a time of :11.01.
» Manawa’s Molly Loughrin finished sixth in the Division 3 100 hurdles (:16.71).
» Appleton North’s 800 relay team of Will Jordan, Connor Seiler, Torren Peebles and Parker Witt finished second with a time of 1:27.99 and the 400 relay team of Jordan, Seiler, Max Ritzow and Witt finished third (:42.62).
» Xavier’s boys’ 400 relay team of Jinan Lee, Brent Mantzke, Nick LaCroix and Nick Bradish finished fifth with a leap of 43.58.
» Seymour’s Alex Bloom, who won the D2 boys’ high jump, made the podium in the long jump by placing fifth (21-6¼), while Xavier’s Brent Mantzke was sixth (21-5¾).
» Chilton’s Vince Propson took sixth in the D2 boys’ shot put with a toss of 53-3.
— Dan Kohn: 920-993-1000, ext. 305, or email@example.com; On Twitter @PCDanKohn; Ricardo Arguello: 920-993-1000, ext. 558, or firstname.lastname@example.org; On Twitter @PCRicardo