LA CROSSE – There were a lot of familiar faces on the state podium in the Division 1 girls shot put at the WIAA state track and field meet on Saturday.
Four girls from the Fox River Classic Conference placed, including three from the area.
Ashwaubenon sophomore Erin Dunning took second with a throw of 43 feet, 11 1/2 inches.
Dunning was joined by junior teammate Kris Lindow, who placed third with a toss of 43-3, and Green Bay Preble senior Isabella Samuels, who finished fourth with a throw of 42-3 1/4.
Manitowoc senior Margaret Wolowicz rounded out the FRCC combatants with a fifth-place finish.
“We were just sitting and looking around because we had four FRCC girls on there,” Lindow said. “It just shows the incredible athletic ability that we have up there.”
Lindow placed for the first time in her third state appearance. Samuels medaled for the second straight season in her third time competing at state in the event.
Dunning reset the school record again in what was her first state trip.
“This year it has been such a great experience and to take second it’s really an honor,” Dunning said.
Samuels, who broke Preble’s school record in the shot put this year with a throw of 44-4, was happy to end her prep career on the state podium.
“The moment is so surreal,” said Samuels, who will play basketball and compete in the throws at UW-Oshkosh. “I mean these girls are a pleasure to throw with, and I wouldn’t be throwing as far as I am without them.”
Hiedeman’s ‘crazy’ finish
Natisha Hiedeman checked off one last accomplishment before capping off her distinguished high-school career on Saturday.
After defending her D1 title in the triple jump Friday, the Green Bay Southwest senior finished fourth in the long jump (18-7 1/2) and fifth in the high jump (5-4) to bring her career total to seven state medals in four trips to La Crosse.
Despite being a four-time state qualifier, it was the first time she medaled in all three jumps in the same year. Hiedeman came within 1/4 inch of topping her personal-best in the long jump, which was incredibly tight.
The top three girls all went over 19 feet, including state champion Jade Nolan (19-8 1/2), and all broke Brittany Rusch’s 21-year-old record in the event of 18-11 1/2.
“It was crazy,” Hiedeman said. “Everybody did jump really well today. The goal was just to podium in all three events and I got it done. A good way to end senior year.”
It marks the end of her track and field career. Hiedeman will play basketball at Marquette next year. She actually has move-in day on campus in two weeks.
“It was fun,” said Hiedeman, the Green Bay metro area’s all-time leading scorer. “I had a really, really good time at Southwest. It’s a great school with great programs for all the sports. I’m going to miss it.”
Pirates take two
The Bay Port girls relay teams took some medals back to Suamico.
The Pirates 3,200 relay team started Saturday with a fifth-place finish in 9:24.86, while senior anchor Jenna Long squeezed out a narrow sixth-place finish for the 800 relay in 1:43.62.
It was a personal-best for the 3,200 relay this season, which graduates only one senior in Nicole Hohn.
“I loved these girls. They’re like my second family,” said Hohn, who was also on last year’s fifth-place team. “The fact we were able to run together last year and this year and medal again is honestly the greatest feeling ever. I love these guys.”
Long wasn’t able to end her decorated career with an individual medal, but she was happy to lead the 800 relay to a state place-finish for the third consecutive year.
“My eyes got a little teary-eyed knowing it was the last race of my high-school career,” Long said. “(That) really pushed me to do my best and make a good impact on Bay Port High School.”
Grace Matzke looked right at home in her state debut.
After finishing fourth in D1 400 in 57.76, the De Pere freshman outsprinted Milwaukee King’s Kiersten Walker in the final leg of the 1,600 relay to clinch a sixth-place finish for the Redbirds in 3:58.31.
“It’s unbelievable. It’s more than I could ever imagine,” Matzke said. “All the girls on my team and the coaches kept encouraging me and were really awesome.”
Katelyn Williams always heard the stories from her sister, Shante, about what it was like to perform at the state track and field meet.
The Algoma freshman not only got her first taste of state this weekend, but also a pair of state medals to show for her efforts. After taking fifth in the D3 shot put Friday, Williams came through with another fifth-place performance in the discus with a 114-2 heave.
“It really was my goal. I was just really hoping to make it,” said Williams, who has a twin sister, Khloe, on the track team. “I was so nervous for sectionals. Usually the goal is to make it here, but then people don’t know what to do when they get here and my coach just said try to podium.”
As Williams begins her career, Wolves senior Rachel Feuerstein concluded hers with a 10-3 height in the pole vault, which was good for fourth place and tied her school record.
“It was definitely my goal to reach at least 10, but as I kept going it just felt wonderful,” said Feuerstein, a three-time state qualifier. “To make my school best and my own school record was really nerve-wrecking, but I’m really glad I made it.”
VanGoethem ends Storm’s drought
Kewaunee junior Abby VanGoethem placed sixth in the D2 girls triple jump with a school-record leap of 35-5 1/2.
VanGoethem is the Storm’s first state qualifier since 2011 and became the program’s first place-winner since 2005.
“I just did my thing like I usually do,” said VanGoethem, who also qualified for state in the 100 and 300 hurdles.
VanGoethem finished ninth in the 300 hurdles, qualifying on Friday with a school-record time of 46.17 seconds.
VanGoethem, who also holds school records in the 100 and 200, is the staple piece of a Kewaunee program that has won two straight Packerland Conference titles.