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MCDONALD'S SWNEWS4U GAME OF THE WEEK (Track & Field): WIAA State Championships
Area athletes shine at this year's WIAA State Meet
The Lancaster girls 4x200 relay team of (from left) Abby Bur, Laniee Burks, Bridee Burks and Eden Bowen repeated as Division 3 state champions in the event with a winning-time of 1:46.57.
The Boscobel girls’ 4x800 meter relay team took first place at the WIAA state meet to win back-to-back state titles in the event. Not only did the girls win, but they also broke the school record in the event with a time of 9:40.21. Pictured are the first place winners: Abri Brown and Skyler Carlin (front), Nora Jillson and Lilah Glasbrenner (back).


By Jason Nihles, The Platteville Journal / Fennimore Times / Boscobel Dial

LA CROSSE — With participants in 11 of the 18 events at this year's WIAA Track and Field State Championships, the Lancaster girls made a legitimate run at the Division 3 team state championship. 

The Flying Arrows placed in six events and finished tied with Benton/Scales Mound/Shullsburg with 36 points, just two points behind state champion Webster (38) and one back of Dodgeland (37).

"I hope everyone understands how hard that is (third place) to accomplish," said Lancaster head coach Kyle Sticklestad. "Our entire girls team gave it their all and I am proud of their accomplishment this year. They have created a culture of success and hard work that will pay off in the future."

Senior Bridee Burks, juniors Laniee Burks and Eden Bowen, and junior Abby Burr teamed up to repeat as the D3 girls 4x200 state champion with a time of 1:46.57. The Burks sisters and Bowen were on last year's 4x200 state champion, which had a time of 1:46.99.

Sophomore Mallory Olmsted joined Bridee Burks, Bowen and Burr to place third in the 4x400 relay at 4:10.24, while Bowen, Burr, senior Tatianna Place and Sadie Hollander teamed up to place third in 4x100 relay with a new school record of 51.0 seconds.

Place and Laniee Burks doubled up in the long jump, where Burks placed fifth with a jump of 17'0.25", and Place finished sixth at 16'11.5", both being personal bests in the event.

Also earning four points with a fifth-place finish in the 4x800 relay were Bridee Burks, junior Mikayla Smith, freshman Annie Martin and Olmstead, who ran the race with a time of 9:57.27. Olmstead earned another three points more with a sixth-place finish in the 800, whre she ran the two laps a time of 2:21.07.

Other state participants for the Lancaster ladies included freshman Megan Kreul, who placed 10th in the triple jump (33'10.5"), Lainee Burks, who placed 11th in the 200 with a preliminary time of 26.61 seconds, freshman Macie Galle, who tied for 14th in the pole vault (9'0") and sophomore Ava Hermsen, who tied for 16th in the high jump by clearing 4'8".

"Our girls team was a very solid team from top to bottom," added Sticklestad. "Going into state we knew it was going to be tough and would need some great performances. Missing out on a team trophy hurts because it was so close, but I look at all of our accomplishments as a team this year and it easily outweighs the hurt."

Lancaster's 4x100 relay team of senior Michael Ihm, junior Demoria Lovelady, and freshmen Max Bedward and Samaj Venson won a silver medal with a second-place finish in Saturday's final with a new school record time of 43.30 seconds, just 0.03 seconds behind champion Eau Claire Regis.

"If the race was 405 meters, I think Max would have caught the first-place team. It was exciting, and I think my hand still stings from the high fives I received after that race.


The Boscobel girls 4x800 relay team of senior Abri Brown, junior Skyler Carlin, sophomore Lilah Glasbenner and freshman Nora Jillson opened the 2022 WIAA State Championships in golden fashion, by winning the first event of Division 3 competition.

With 100 meters left in the race, Fall Creek anchor Jenna Anders made one final push to try to pass Jillson and spoil the Bulldogs’ effort to repeat as champions, but Jillson was able to hold on with a powerful finish to win Boscobel’s second straight 4x800 state championship with a winning time of 9:40.21. Brown, Carlin and Glasbrenner were all a part of last year's 4x800 state title, while Jillson replaced her older sister Ellie, a 2021 BHS graduate.

This year's relay not only repeated as state champion, but also broke the school record, which was set at the 2002 state meet by Claire Knoble, Tasha Utzig, Teesha Moret, and Elizabeth Reynolds, who placed 3rd that year with the previous school record time of 9:49.0. Boscobel's win this year also marks the first time in school history a relay has won back-to-back titles, and the first Boscobel event since Jason Wilkinson in 1990 to repeat in any sport.  

Benton senior Kayci Martensen solidified her place among the top runners in state history by pulling off her second straight distance triple crown at the 2022 WIAA State Track and Field Meet last week at UW-La Crosse’s Veterans Memorial Stadium.

Martensen raced away with her third career Division 3 state title in the 3,200-meter run on Friday afternoon as she charged away from the pack over the final three of the eight-lap race to post a winning time of 10:59.07.

The Iowa-State recruit returned to the track on Saturday afternoon and blew away the field to earn her third straight D3 title in the 1,600-meter run with a winning time of 4:57.05. Later in the day, Martensen finished off the triple crown by winning her second straight D3 800-meter state title as she worked her way through traffic midway through the race and out-kicked the competition to the finish line to win the race in 2:17.47.

The three titles this season gave Martensen eight gold medals in the nine state races she competed in during her career. If COVID-19 had not cancelled her sophomore season, she may have surpassed the state record of 10 first-place finishes held by five former WIAA female athletes. The Benton runner also earned three state titles in cross country for a total of 11 golds.

In the boys’ D3 state meet, Scales Mound senior Collin Fosler celebrated his 18th birthday in style as he became the program’s 17th all-time state champion with his first-place finish in the boys’ high jump in the rain on Saturday morning. Fosler was the first of four competitors to clear the height of 6’4” and the only one to do without a miss. All four remaining jumpers missed each of their three attempts at 6’5”, which left Fosler alone in first-place.

“It feels unreal," said Fosler. "This is a great birthday present. I didn’t expect to come in and jump that well, but it worked out perfect,” said Fosler. “This is something I’m never going to forget. It’s a special moment.”

Fosler is the third BSMS boys’ state champion, joining fellow high jump champions Jeremiah Bailey (2017) and Matt Davis (2019). He is also the third athlete from Scales Mound to winning an individual WIAA state title, joining M. Davis and his sister, Brittany Davis (2014-15).

The Knights’ 4x800-meter relay team of senior Joelle Sigwarth, juniors Ella Woodworth and Anna Richardson and sophomore Hanna Martensen opened the state meet with an exciting third-place finish in a time of 9:44.05 to help the girls finish tied for third with Lancaster in the race for the WIAA D3 team state title with 36 points.

Cuba City senior Beau Kopp closed his storied prep career by winning the boys’ Division 3 discus title. Kopp, who was seeded second in the event coming into the competition, wasted no time pulling in front of the field by uncorking a throw of 167’5” on his first attempt, and that mark stood through the finals as he won the event by more than 12-feet over runner-up Manny Kingston of Fall Creek. His father and Cubans’ throws coach Guy Kopp was right there to give Beau a congratulatory hug following his state championship performance.

“It felt amazing to wear that gold medal around my neck. I really can’t explain it with words,” said Kopp. “Having all my family members there supporting me the whole way was very special.”

Kopp added to his state medal count and his thrilling weekend by finishing second in the D3 shot put on Saturday afternoon. The Cuban senior was seeded third to start the day, but pulled into the lead after his first throw of 50’10”. Athens junior Aiden Janke, the top seed, passed Kopp with his first throw of 51’0.25” and then extend his lead to 54’8.5” on his third throw. Kopp, who topped the 50-foot mark on each of successful attempts, solidified his runner-up position when he recorded a personal-best mark of 52’1.5” on his second-to-last throw and that mark held up the rest of the way to give him a silver to go along with his gold in the discus.

The Cubans’ 4x800-meter relay team of senior Drew Robson, sophomores Jordan Gile and Evan Matthews and freshman Noah Wood also made an appearance on the awards’ stand after opening Saturday’s meet with a stunning performance to place second in a season-best time of 8:28.37.

Despite tweaking her knee in Friday's prelims, Ithaca/Weston's Kaylee Peterson came back to win Saturday's final of the girls D3 400 meters with a personal-best time of 58.75 seconds to win a state title. Peterson fought off a strong challenge from Newman Catholic freshman Mel Severson, who finished second at 58.86. Peterson also added a fifth place finish ni the 800 at 2:21.06.

North Crawford senior Stephen Munson had an outstanding two days at UW–La Crosse's track and field complex at this year's WIAA State Championships. Munson placed second in the boys D3 long jump (21'7.75"), fourth in the 100 (11.45) and sixth in the 200 (23.02) Saturday. He also placed fifth in the triple jump (43'1.75") and ran in the prelims of the 100 and 200 on Friday. Munson earned 20 team points, which gave the North Crawford boys' a ninth-place team finish.

Richland Center senior Karrisa Craddock garnered second place finishes in both the wheelchair 100 (23.17) and 400 (1:24.81), while finishing third in the 800 at 3:23.65. Her three state medals gave the Hornets third place in the wheelchair division with 22 points.