For the first time in team history, the Waconia girls’ track and field team was crowned True Team Section Champion on May 8 at Orono, after dominating the competition with a meet-winning 532 points. The Wildcats topped second place Belle Plaine by just under 10 points.
Each of the 11 teams participating was allowed just two athletes in each event, and every finisher received points for their squad, making the competition a “true team” effort.
“True Team was very good to us this year,” girls’ head coach Christian Gilbert said. “Which is super for our girls, they are very deep in every position and have a well balanced attack.”
In the 100 meter hurdles, sophomores Emily Zempel and Kaitlyn Schuler were ninth and 11th, while Danielle Pioske and junior Miranda Schultz ran the 100 meter dash, finishing fourth and sixth. Schultz went on to win the 200 meter dash, while eighth grader Molly Reighardt pulled off a sixth place finish.
In the 1600 meters, junior Lexi Willems was third while sophomore Alora Rands was 12th. Willems and Rands again teamed up for the 3200 meter run, where Willems finished third and Rands was 11th.
Senior Anna Pioske was third in the 400, while fellow senior Morgan Iverson was ninth. In the 300 meter hurdles, junior Nicole Hennen and Schuler were 17th and 20th. In the 800 meter run, senior Rhi McNulty was ninth while Jennifer Haler was 14th.
Pioske and junior Kirsten Wagener were 2-3 in the long jump for the Wildcats. The duo also went 1-2 in the triple jump, with Pioske out jumping Wagener by just 2.75 inches.
Wagener went on to win the high jump at 5-02.00, while Hennen finished sixth. New WHS school record holder freshman Paige Notch won the pole vault at 9-00, while junior Samantha Paulson was seventh at 8-00.
Freshman Makayla Williams and junior Alana Kiel paired up for the shot put, finishing fifth and 12th, respectively. Williams was also 10th in the discus, while senior Jennifer Schuette was 17th.
The 4×200 team was third, as was the 4×100 team, while the 4×800 relay team finished sixth. The 4×400 team was fifth.
The Wildcat boys finished sixth at True Team Sections, a well-deserved performance for a group of hardworking athletes, Gilbert said.
“We are very excited about the guys moving into sixth,” Gilbert said. “This is a very big and needed step forward for our guys’ program, they are really starting to turn heads of the other teams.”
Senior Jacob Fettig and freshman Ryan Kruchten competed in the 110 meter hurdles, finishing eighth and 12th. Fettig also finished 19th in the 300 meter hurdles. In the 100 meter dash, juniors Mason Tuttle and Cody Ellis pulled in seventh and 16th place finishes, respectively.
The 1600 meter run saw seniors Ian Manske and Adam Kirsch finished 12th and 17th.
Junior Marcel Montiel was fifth in the 400 meter dash, while sophomore Miles Trujillo was 14th. In the 800, senior Ryan Christensen was ninth over Trujillo in 15th. Montiel was also fifth in the 200 meters, while Tuttle was ninth.
Senior Ben Vaske was eighth in the 3200 meter run and sophomore Taylor Kray was 17th.
In the field, juniors Tim Gray and David Hughes were 11th and 17th in the long jump, while Gray and sophomore Lucas Zimmer were fifth and eighth in the triple jump. In the high jump, senior Alex Herman tied for 15th position with Benilde-St. Margaret’s Chase Rizo at 5-00.00.
Senior Mark Brose won the pole vault competition at 12-06, while freshman Zach Olsem was fifth. Freshman Ben Hedtke was 13th in the shot put, and junior Jesse Vogelgsang was 18th. Hedtke and sophomore Matt Thom were 9-10 in the discus throw.
The Wildcats won the 4×100 meter relay in 44.44 seconds over Delano (44.98). The 4×800 relay team finished third behind Richfield and Jordan and the 4×400 team was sixth.
The Wildcat girls’ will compete at True Team State this Saturday, May 18 in Stillwater. This is just the third time a Wildcat team has advanced to True Team State, the first ever as a section champion. The girls last advanced as the wildcard runner-up in 2010.
Also last week, the junior varsity Wildcat squads competed at Hutchinson in the JV Conference Championships. The Wildcat girls won the meet with 188 points over second place Orono (140). The Wildcat junior varsity boys were third.
Contact Melissa Marohl at email@example.com