Hatchet girls soar in Eau Claire, again
The Tomahawk co-ed track team headed to UW-Eau Claire to host Thursday’s 15th-annual invite and kick off a new season of competition with a bang.
For the third time in the past four years, the Hatchet girls rose to the top of the 10-team field, finishing more than 35 points ahead of runner-up Medford. The young boys team ended up ninth.
“Ben (Yirsa), Troy (VanStrydonk), Emmy (Larson), Hanna (Meyer), Claire (Kuehn), Talyn (Jones), Jenna (Schade), Dani (Whiting), Annaluz (Fox), and Emily (Verkilen) had some solid early season meet performances, but more importantly they did a nice job in taking the new and younger athletes ‘under their wings’ at this event and it showed,” THS coach John Zuelsdorf said. “Many of our newcomers had scoring efforts, which is indicative of their athletic talent, and is going to be critical to our success as the season unfolds.
“We have a good working relationship with UW-EC and this meet is a great opportunity for our veteran athletes and some of our newcomers to compete at a nice indoor facility against some solid teams. Our girls showed their experience and had some nice early season performances in outdistancing their opponents for their third title in the last four years. We scored in every event, but one, and multiple times in seven events.”
The girls dominated in the field events, with Larson winning the high jump (5’ 2”) and triple jump (34’ 6-3/4”), while Meyer set a meet record in the long jump (16’ 8-1/4”) and ranked 2nd in the TJ (33’ 9”). Fox tied for tops in the pole vault (8’ 0”), and Whiting was 4th (7’ 6”). Schade ranked 3rd in the shot put (29’ 11”). Running event wins came from Meyer (55, :07.90), Whiting (3200, 12:46.07) and the 3200 relay (Larson, Kuehn, Jones, Whiting, 11:04.49). Other top finishes came from Kuehn (3rd, 1600, 6:29.76), ??? Renn (3rd, 55 HH, :10.63), the 800M relay (3rd, Meyer, Larson, Verkilen, Sierra Schulz, 2:01.26) and Jones (4th, 800, 2:53.73).
The boys’ best finishes came from Yirsa in the 55 HH (2nd, :09.18) and VanStrydonk in the 3200 (4th, 12:07.96).
Zuelsdorf sees some growing pains with the young boys team, but expects solid improvement.
“We knew our boys are talented, but many lack high school track and field experience,” he said. “It showed as we were able to score, but mostly 5th-8th, and lacked the 1-2 punch needed in some events to help in the overall team scoring. If the guys have patience and are willing to keep working on technique, their athletic ability will produce results they will like later in the season.”