Track stars moving on up ... to sectionals
May 25, 2011 | 08:37 AMWaterford — The WIAA Division 1 Waterford Regional proved fruitful for both the Badger girls and boys track squads Monday night.
The two teams combined to advance athletes in 23 events to Thursday's sectional at Badger, including champions in five events.
Starting with the girls, the team took second in the nine-team tournament with 120 team points behind champion Waterford's 152.
Individually, 13 qualified for sectionals including two champions, Megan Mulligan in the 100 (12.87) and the 3,200 relay team of Alyssa Olsen, Aaryn Edge, Karina Reeves and Tristan Sproul (10:09.03). Badger girls coach Jenn Jaeger was pleased with the overall performance.
"We got a lot of girls through," she said. "That's what is fun about the postseason. I'm proud of all the qualifiers."
The top four from each event qualified for Thursday's sectional. Other sectional qualifiers for the girls included the 800 relay team of Ariel Altergot, Annie Gaugert, Carly Beil and Alyssa Humphrey (second, 1:52.20), the 400 relay team of Gaugert, Beil, Humphrey and Mulligan (second, 51.81) and Sproul in the 800 (second, 2:30.30). The 400 relay just missed first place by .04 seconds.
Mulligan also made it in the 200, taking third with a time of 27.06. More sectional qualifiers included Gaugert in the 100 hurdles (fourth, 16.77), Maria Dillman in the 1,600 (third, 5:41.78) and 800 (fourth, 2:36.89), Colleen O'Neill in the 300 hurdles (fourth, 51.30), Liberty Wieseman in the discus (third, 97-8), Lana Wieseman in the triple jump (fourth, 32-92.5) and Edge in the 3,200 (third, 12:29.84).
The boys had a tougher time as a team, taking fourth place with 83 points. But several athletes had a huge day. Mario Blanquel won the discus with a 158-7, only one inch under his personal best. Also, Blanquel won the regional title in the shot put with a launch of 47-3, his second furthest throw of the season.
"We had a pretty good night," boys coach AJ Curtis said. "It was pretty exciting for us. Mario has been coming on at the right time. He's expecting more from himself at sectionals. He competed well."
Eddy Ruzga also nabbed first place in the 300 hurdles with a time of 39.6 seconds. Curtis said Ruzga has been very consistent with his times. Ruzga also qualified in the 110 high hurdles, where he took second with a time of 15.2.
In the 1,600 relay, the team of Corey Nevin, Jose Nova, James Szeszol and Ruzga qualified by grabbing second, posting a season-best time of 3:29.00. The 400 relay team of Connor Kotula, Nick Asta, Andrew Allen and Christian Sontag also qualified, taking fourth with a time of 45.5 seconds.
"It was the first time we stacked the 400 relay with our fastest guys," Curtis said. "It was our best time of the year. The whole group is freshmen and sophomores. They have a bright future."
Another first-time team made it to sectionals, the 3,200 relay of Nevin, Nova, Dan Sepe and C.J. Morris. They took fourth with a time of 8:36.00. Tomas Pecha qualified by taking fourth in the 3,200 with a time of 10:17.00, shattering his personal best by 12 seconds.
"Pecha had a great day and ran really hard," Curtis said.
Rounding out the sectional qualifiers was Romo Barriga in the discus, where he took fourth with a personal-best throw of 128-0. Also, Barriga placed fourth in the shot put with a toss of 45-1, his second best mark of the year.
Curtis is excited about Thursday's sectional in the team's backyard.
"We are all peaking at the right time," he said. "It's been a fun year, and I commend our coaches on how they have taught these guys. It should be a great sectional. Ruzga and Blanquel will lead the way. We hope to advance as many as possible to state. Our home track will help."
Both squads third at conference
On May 17 at the Southern Lakes meet at Burlington, both the boys and girls squads took third place.
The girls had two champions, Mulligan in the 200 (26.61) and Gaugert in the 100 hurdles (16.27). Mulligan just missed the title in the 100 by .08 seconds (second, 12.88).
On the boys side, Eddy Ruzga nabbed the conference title in the 300 hurdles (39.68). Ruzga also nabbed second in the 110 hurdles, missing first by less than a second with a time of 15.03.
Also, Blanquel had a solid tune up for the postseason, placing first in the shot put (48-3) and discus (158-8).