By Murray Gleffe
DE PERE-Erica Conrad, Jose Guzman, Kiley Harju, Mabel Kirst, Mara Schroeder, Emilie Van Sluys, and Sage Wagner all qualified for State Thursday afternoon at the WIAA Boys and Girls Track and Field Sectional held at Schneider Stadium on the campus of St. Norbert College.
Kirst came into the shot-put event having thrown over 38-00.00 feet during the season.
In the finals, she laced a throw of 35-06.00 in an early attempt and saw it hold up for second place at the end.
Appleton West Senior Lauren Lietzke won with a fling of 37-08.25.
The Jaguars 4×800 relay team didn’t have much time to think about their race in the blistering conditions.
They were the first race out at 4:45 and didn’t disappoint the onlookers.
Schroeder was the first leg out.
Conrad and Harju set blistering paces in the middle two positions to put the Jaguars within shouting distance of making it to LaCrosse.
Wagner then brought the anchor leg home to push well ahead of fourth place Kaukauna to qualify for State in the final position.
Schroeder and Wagner had to enjoy the success of the relay very quickly as they had to prepare for individual races in the 400 Meter Dash and 800 Meter Run collectively.
Schroeder came into the race as the third seed and tore around the track in just under a minute to take second place honors.
“Mara has been really consistent this year,” said Cal Kromm, Jaguars Track and Field Coach. “I am just really happy for her because she fought through many injuries her junior season. To qualify in two events is quite the accomplishment.”
A short time later, Guzman took to the track.
The senior has had to endure pain and suffering himself in his final season as a Jaguars speedster.
In fact, after finishing second at the State Championship last year in the 200 Meter Dash, he didn’t even enter the event because of an injury late in the 2018 season.
He chose instead to concentrate on just one event in the postseason; that being the 400 Meter Dash.
As he rounded the corner amongst seven other athletes, Guzman stood outside of qualifying contention.
He then poured it on the final 100 meters to finish third and qualify one last time in the lap event.
Up to the final few races, the Jaguars had not won a Sectional Final.
As light was fading, and dusk setting in, Wagner stepped onto the track for the 800 Meter Run.
With the stands still jammed pack, Wagner took control during the second part of the race and won comfortably over second place finisher Olivia Eisch of Kimberly.
“Our goal was to get Sage in the fast heat at State,” added Kromm. “We obviously knew we had to qualify first, but after she won it, I was extremely proud of her and the dedication she has put into this program.”
It was a fitting ending to the day in which the Jaguars will be well represented on the banks of the Mississippi River.
Full Event Results can be found below.
WIAA Sectional- Boys Track and Field Team Results
1 Kimberly 221, 2 Green Bay Preble 84, 3 Bay Port 66, 4 Appleton North 52, 5 West De Pere 42.5, 6 Pulaski 37, 7 Shawano 31, 8 De Pere 27, 9 Notre Dame 26, 10 Green Bay East 24, 11 Hortonville 20, 12 Ashwaubenon 19, 13 Green Bay Southwest 18, 14 Appleton West 17.5, 15 Green Bay West 13, 16 Appleton East 2
WIAA Sectional- Girls Track and Field Team Results
1 Kimberly 101, 2 Green Bay Preble 82, 3 Kaukauna 73, 4 Appleton North 68, 5 Pulaski 55, 6 Bay Port 52, 6 De Pere 52, 8 West De Pere 40, 9 Ashwaubenon 38, 10 Appleton West 33, 11 Green Bay Southwest 27.5, 12 Notre Dame 27, 13 Hortonville 18, 14 Shawano 12.5, 15 Appleton East 10, 16 Green Bay West 8, 17 Green Bay East 1