The Watertown-Mayer track and field teams wrapped up another successful season earlier this summer, a season in which the Royals sent 10 athletes to compete in eight events at the state meet, finished fifth in the state as a girls team, had nine athletes earn all-conference or honorable-mention all-conference athletes, and broke two school records.
Both the Royals’ teams also finished in the top three in the conference, with the girls’ finishing second and the boys’ third. Nineteen Royals’ athletes combined to win six events and place in 32 at the conference meet.
Individually, the Royals enjoyed a number of spectacular seasons, including another one from freshman Katie Heilman, who was crowned the state champion in the triple jump, finished third in the 400 meters, and was part of the Royals’ third-place 4×800 meter relay team that also included seniors Laura Hertzog and Hannah Johnson and junior Liz Miller.
Not only did Heilman earn first-team all-conference honors, but she was also named the conference’s Most Valuable Athlete. Her jump of 37-feet-4.5 inches in the state triple jump competition also broke the school record set last year by Caitlin Duske.
Miller also set a school record this year for the Royals with her time of 5:08.69 in the 1,600 meters. She also finished fourth in that event at the state meet, while also making the podium in the 4×800 relay and competing in the 300-meter hurdles.
The Royals’ Hunter Hulley also made the podium with an eighth-place finish in the state high jump, clearing 6-feet-2-inches. Other Royals to compete at the state meet included junior Erica Cleckler in the shot put, as well as senior Dan Raiter and juniors Luke Sandquist, Nick Hix and Tyler Nelson in the 4×200-meter relay.
In addition to Heilman, who earned all-conference honors in the triple jump (37-feet-2.5-inches) other Royals to earn all-Minnesota River Conference honors were Hulley in the high jump (6-0), Raiter in the 200 meters (23.37), Miller in the 300-hurdles (48.47) and Johnson in the 800 meters (2:26.96). Sophomores Michael Burns and Caitlin Duske were also named honorable-mention all-conference.
At the team’s award night, 47 varsity letters were given out, as well as plaques to Sandquist, Miller and Heilman. Sandquist and Johnson were named the team’s “Ironmen.”
Nelson and Karen Vanderlinde were named “Carries of the Royal baton”, and Wyatt Tatge and Ify Nwankuo were the freshmen of the year. Logan Cooper and Mackenzie Kratch were named the Rookies of the Year.
The best jumper awards went to Hulley and Duske, the best weights awards went to Ethan Thonn and Cleckler, the best hurdler awards went to Ian Klas and Miller, the best sprinter awards went to Duske and Hix, and the best distance awards went to Burns and Johnson.
The team said goodbye to 12 seniors, including Amanda Anthonsen (sprints), Jay Boerner (distance), Olivia Cardel (sprints), Chase Durand (sprints), Caleb Fails (distance), Casey Fails (distance), Davion Franklin (sprints, weights), Hertzog (distance), Johnson (distance, jumps), Jalen Keavy (jumps), Hendrik Kinscheck (hurdles), Klas (hurdles), Josh Loomis (hurdles), Raiter (sprints) and Shawn Wasser (hurdles).
Contact Matt Bunke at [email protected]