When Kimberly’s Weston Guilfoyle took fourth in the 200 on Saturday, Papermakers coach Steve Pratt knew his team was on the verge of something special.
That something special was the WIAA Division 1 state boys’ track team championship.
“It’s an unbelievable feeling,” Pratt said. “I couldn’t be more proud of our kids and our coaches and just the last two days, what we’ve been able to share, is just an unbelievable experience. We had an idea. We knew there were a lot of things that needed to happen and kind of fall into place and fall our way, and that happened. It was in the back of our minds, absolutely.
“Tonight, we knew going into the 200 we had a little bit of an edge. Wisconsin Lutheran and us both had competitors in the 200. Weston did a great job competing in that event and that sealed the deal for us.”
Kimberly finished first with 57 points, followed by Wisconsin Lutheran with 47.
It marked Kimberly’s first state team title since it won the Class B championship in 1960. It also was the first Division 1 title for a Fox Valley-area school since Appleton High School won it all in 1937.
“It was an unbelievable team contribution when you look at what our distance guys and our 4×800 relay were able to do, to our throwers in the shot put and discus the last two days to what we were able to do on the track with Weston in the 100 and 200 and our 4×100 relay,” Pratt said. “An unbelievable team effort.
“I couldn’t be any more proud of them. It’s a very senior-led group that I spoke very highly of the whole year and tonight shows why. They’ve done an unbelievable job of exceeding everyone’s expectations.”