Tags: Feature Sports Story, Sports
|Gaugert (click for larger version)|
|Ruzga (click for larger version)|
May 22, 2012 | 05:37 PMThe sound of Badger girls track coach Jenn Jaeger's voice over the phone said it all Monday night.
Her team had just won the Badger Regional to cap off a banner week which started May 15 with a Southern Lakes Conference championship.
"The girls were outstanding," Jaeger said after the meet Monday. "The list is too long. We had PRs (personal records) everywhere. It was awesome. I am really proud of this group. This year, it has felt great. A lot of girls have put in a lot of work in the offseason."
Badger won first place overall with 128.5 points, comfortably ahead of second-place Kenosha Tremper's 113.
Jaeger said it truly was a team effort. The top four places in each event will move on to Thursday's Waterford Sectional, and the Lady Badgers had a litany of sectional qualifiers.
Badger senior Aaryn Edge was one of several multiple qualifiers. She grabbed first in the 1,600 run (5:29.83) and second in the 3,200 run (11:51.29).
"I just wanted to go out today and try to qualify," Edge said after her 1,600 win. "It feels pretty good. I worked hard this season. Everyone on our team did, and it's starting to pay off."
Badger nearly qualified in all events. All four relays will move on, including the 400 relay (Carly Beil, Ariel Altergot, Bri Kincaid, Annie Gaugert, second, 51.61), the 800 relay (Kincaid, Beil, Olivia Asta, Gaugert, second, 1:50.42), the 1,600 relay (Tristan Sproul, Alyssa Olsen, Elle Adams, Karina Reeves, fourth, 4:18.92) and the 3,200 relay team of Sproul, Olsen, Adams and Reeves, which won with a time of 9:56.06.
Liberty Wieseman won the discus with a toss of 103-5, and she took third in the shot put with a 31-0. Also, Allison Paleka notched two personal bests to qualify in the triple jump (third, 32-4.25) and long jump (third, 16-6).
Other individual qualifiers included Maddy Gerken in discus (fourth, 89-2), Lana Wieseman in the high jump (fourth, 5-0), Beil in the 100 (13.03), Sproul in the 800 (second, 2:24.22) and Kincaid in the 200 (second, 27.26).
"Going in, we were seeded well," Jaeger said. "There wasn't a lot of room for error. It was an impressive performance. We are peaking at the right time. Even the girls that didn't qualify had great performances. They scored even if we didn't expect it."
Jaeger hopes the momentum continues Thursday.
"We want as many girls to go to state as can be," she said. "It's tough to have back-to-back bests. We will rest up and prepare like we have been."
Boys advance five
Five events qualified for sectionals for the Badger boys track squad Monday despite a key injury and a relay mishap.
Senior Eddy Ruzga took fourth in the 300 hurdles with a time of 42.07 despite competing with a pulled hamstring, according to boys coach AJ Curtis.
"We gave him the choice," Curtis said. "He's earned the opportunity to run. Eddy has earned everything he has got. He's what you want in a high school athlete."
The 800 relay was in first place before being disqualified due to a dropped handoff.
"Those guys had a chance to make state," Curtis said.
A surprise qualifier for Curtis was the 1,600 relay team of Nate Kendzior, Mike Szeszol, Collin Broderick and Andy Cychner, which took fourth with a time of 3:39.6.
"It was very unexpected for them to do that well," Curtis said. "They all had PRs. I'm proud of those guys. It was unbelievable for them."
Other qualifiers were the 400 relay team of Andrew Allen, Connor Kotula, Nick Asta and Jeremy Fischer (third, 44.80), Tomas Pecha in the 3,200 run (third, 9:59.3) and Erik Sundstrom in discus (third, 1:35.11).
For Thursday's Waterford Sectional, Curtis is hoping to get someone through to state.
"The 400 relay has a good chance," he said.
Girls win SLC crown
On May 15 in Burlington, the Badger girls track squad won the Southern Lakes title for the second time in three years, finishing 12.5 points ahead of second-place Waterford.
Inclement weather, including rain and lightning delays, couldn't derail the Lady Badgers.
"It was a blast," said Edge, who won the SLC title in the 1,600 run. "It was a crazy meet with the lightning and the delays, but it was a really good way to end our conference season."
Other conference winners for the girls were Gaugert in the 100 hurdles (15.01), the 800 relay team of Altergot, Gaugert, Kincaid and Angelina Labonne (1:49.76), Sproul in the 800 (2:26.89), the 1,600 relay team of Adams, Olsen, Taylor Ajamian and Altergot (4:25.45) and Liberty Wieseman in the discus (99-1).
"Third to first place is a great jump," Jaeger said. "Every single girl scored a point. It was so outstanding."
The boys took fourth with 82 points.
Andrew Cychner took second in the 110 hurdles with a time of 16.68.
"It was a difficult thing to swallow," Curtis said. "Our fastest guy was injured, but our guys competed well. It was an up and down meet. It's been a roller coaster ride of a season. We are looking forward to next year."