Hatchets just short at state
Despite several shots at a medal, the Hatchet track teams were unable to pull off acquiring one at last weekend’s WIAA State Track and Field Meet.
Three-time 1600M qualifier and junior distance runner Bryan Tomek positioned himself the closest, finishing ninth on Saturday, one place away from scoring a team point. The top six in each event reached the podium.
He ran a personal-record 4:27.06, nearly a half-second faster than his 6th-ranked seed time of 4:27.53, but others improved even more.
“Bryan had a great race plan going into the 1600 and he executed it perfectly,” THS coach John Zuelsdorf said. “He stayed with the leaders, always sitting on their outside shoulders, responding to every move they made for 3-3/4 laps. He was in a great position coming off the last corner down the home stretch, but his signature kick was just not to be this time and he faded from the top four to ninth in the last 30 meters. Afterwards he said that there just wasn’t anything left, he gave it his all and just came up short. None-the-less, he was our lone P.R. at the state meet and our top performance for the weekend.”
In Friday’s events, Breanna Renn was seeded 12th in the 100M dash in 12.83 and finished 13th in 13.74. The girls’ 800M relay of Hanna Meyer, Emmy Larson, Katie Koth and Renn was seeded 16th in 1:50.99, but ended up 13th in 1:50.73. The boys’ 800M squad of Jacob Ungerer, Austin Bellile, Neko McMahon and Eddie Yirsa was ranked 15th in 1:33.44, and placed 16th in 1:35.51. The boys’ 1600M team of Yirsa, Bellile, McMahon and Tomek had been seeded 15th in 3:29.62, and rated 16th in 3:35.59.
“The sprinters ran into a pretty strong head-wind on Friday,” Zuelsdorf said. “Their times were not going to be good, thus the athletes had to remember a lot of the basics-posture into the wind, arm drive, etc.-all the much more important as their times were going to be slower than their seeds.
“The athletes that made the finals rose above the elements and really exceeded their pre-state seedings, remembering to put themselves in the mix and above all compete. I’m never one for excuses, but our athletes, especially in the relays, had a big disadvantage in the outside lanes. It is so hard to gauge your competitors when they are behind you.
“One tends to wonder where they are at and all of the sudden you are behind as the stagger is made up. Then it is awfully hard not to tighten up as one sort of tends to panic. I think that may have been some of the reason why for the most part, we didn’t improve on our seeds.”
On Saturday, freshman Meyer was seeded 12th in the triple jump at 34’6 1/2″, but leaped 16th at 33’5″.
“Hanna’s steps were on in warm-ups and two of her three jumps in competition were in great position on the board, but she didn’t have her usual height and rhythm through her phases and her results were not enough to get her into the finals,” Zuelsdorf said. “The experience that she gained this weekend will be invaluable in her future as a jumper and a sprinter at this level. She is such a competitor and this experience will just propel and motivate her to a new level next year.”
The meet marked the end of another season.
“Our seniors all had great seasons and will be missed,” Zuelsdorf said. “If the under-class athletes learned from their leadership, competitiveness, and basic love of track and field, they then left their mark on our program.”