GAME OF THE WEEK (April 21–27)
TRACK & FIELD: 50th Platteville Relays, Friday, April 22, 3:30 p.m.
A grand tradition will continue Friday afternoon at Platteville High School, when the Hillmen track and field teams will host the 50th running of the Platteville Relays.
The Platteville Relays has now become one of the oldest continuously run track meets in the state of Wisconsin. Hillmen head coach Rob Serres finds himself at the helm of his 30th Relays.
The relays have held true to the course set by Coach Bob Dungay 50 years ago as a display of team effort and competition, with all events requiring a combined effort from teammates, including all field events (teammate distances and heights are combined to make one score), as well as the 100-meter shuttle relay and the shuttle hurdle relays.
Events continue to evolve with many changes over the years resulting from requests from competing schools, many with declining enrollments. The Shuttle Hurdle Relay is now two members running only high hurdles.
On Friday, May 12, 1967, the inaugural Platteville Relays was run near the old high school (current middle school) on a grass track that had been chalk lined earlier in the day. The Platteville Relays was the brainchild of then Hillmen head coach Bob Dungay and was modeled after the Prairie du Chien Relays — the oldest track relay meet in the state of Wisconsin.
The first Platteville Relays consisted of only two non-relay events‚ the 100-yard dash and the mile run. It also had two three-member shuttle hurdle relays — the 330-yard high hurdle relay and the 180-yard low hurdle relay.
Each field event — pole vault, high jump, long jump, shot put and discus — was made into a relay by adding the best distances
of a three-member team.
The field of teams at the first Platteville meet consisted of Platteville, Prairie du Chien, Mount Horeb, Dodgeville, Mineral Point, Fennimore, Cuba City, Iowa–Grant, Boscobel and Lancaster.
This year’s list of participating teams looks very similar as Platteville, Dodgeville/Mineral Point, Cuba City and Lancaster, along with Belmont, Cassville, Lena–Winslow (Ill.), Potosi, Richland Center, River Ridge and River Valley are all schedule to compete.
Field events begin Friday at 3:30 p.m.
Belmont (3–2, 3–0 SRC) at Cassville (2–5, 2–2 SRC), Monday, April 24, 5 p.m.
The Braves and Comets both had aspirations for winning the Six Rivers West crown entering the season. Belmont and first-year head coach Alan Seabrooke are still in good shape after starting 3–0 in conference play, including a 3–1 win at Potosi on Monday. But first-year coach Tony Leibfried’s Cassville team is two games down in the loss column at a 13–6 loss to league-leading Highland (6–0, 4–0 SRC) on April 7 and a 6–5 loss to Shullsburg/Benton on Monday. The Comets need a win to stay close to the top of the league standings. The Braves need a win to keep pace with Highland. Monday’s showdown could feature a match-up of two of the league’s top senior pitchers, Lane Kamps from Belmont and Cam Jensen of Cassville.
Prairie du Chien (5–0, 2–0 SWC) at Dodgeville (5–1, 1–0 SWC), Tuesday, April 26, 5 p.m.
The two-time defending Southwest Wisconsin Conference champion Blackhawks are looking to three-peat in the SWC and are off to a 2–0 start a year after running the table in conference play. The Dodgers, who finished third at 6–4 in the SWC a year ago, are off to a 5–1 start this season and armed with three talented pitchers in Jordan Olson, Jordan Larson and Cole Sullivan. Tuesday’s SWC showdown will be a good early-season measuring stick for coach Michael Cleary’s Dodgeville ball club.
Prairie du Chien (3–2, 1–1 SWC) at Platteville (7–0, 2–0 SWC), Thursday, April 21, 5 p.m.
The Hillmen will look to keep their season-opening six-game winning streak going today against the visiting Blackhawks. First-year Platteville head coach Becca Lowe’s team is outscoring its opponents 73–26 in seven games behind the pitching of junior KD Hoyer (5–0, 2.33 ERA, 45 K, 36 IP) and the hot bats for seniors Sierra Brecke (.484, 4 HR, 13 RBI) and Claire Tashner (.600, 3 HR, 16 R, 8 SB) and freshman Kaycie Wagner (.800, 2 3B, 12 RBI, 7 R).
Iowa–Grant (5–1, 3–1 SWAL) at Southwestern (8–2, 5–1 SWAL), Monday, April 25, 5 p.m.
Monday’s rematch will give one team sole possession of first-place in the Southwestern Wisconsin Activities League. The Wildcats have fought back from a 9–8 loss to coach Deanna Fulton’s Panthers in the SWAL opener for both teams on April 1. Senior pitcher Madison Kuhl is 7–1 since that loss to Iowa–Grant three weeks ago, her only loss coming to Belmont on April 12, 4–1. I–G junior pitcher Maranda McCarthy is 5–1 on the season, including a 9–6 victory over Belmont on Tuesday.
Highland (6–3, 4–0 SRW) at Belmont (7–3, 3–0 SRC), Tuesday, April 25, 5 p.m.
The first of two regular season meetings between the Cardinals and Braves will give one team a leg up in the Six Rivers West. The Braves are the defending SRW champion, but Highland is expected to contend for this year’s title. A win on Tuesday will give one team a slight edge in the race for this year’s crown.
Richland Renter SWC #3, Thursday, April 21, 4 p.m.
Quail Run will play host to the third of six regular season SWC mini meets today at 4 p.m. The Platteville Hillmen and River Valley Blackhawks are tied atop the conference standings through two events. Platteville won the Prairie du Chien SWC meet last Friday, while River Valley edged the Hillmen by seven strokes at Monday’s Lancaster SWC meet.
Southwestern SWAL #1, Thursday, April 21, 4 p.m. (at Galena Golf Course)
The Southwestern Wisconsin Activities League will open its golf season Thursday at the Southwestern SWAL mini meet at Galena Golf Course. SWAL member teams will compete in seven regular season conference meets in advance of the year-end SWAL Championships May 17 at the Edelweiss Chalet Country Club in New Glarus.
Dick McKichan Platteville Invitational, Saturday, April 23, 8 a.m.
The Hillmen will host their annual Dick McKichan Platteville Invitational, named after the former Hillmen coach, Saturday at the Platteville Golf and Country Club. The 18-hole event will begin at 8 a.m. Participating teams include Argyle/Pecatonica, Barneveld, Cuba City, Dodgeville, Fennimore, Iowa–Grant, Kohler, Lancaster, Mauston, Mineral Point, Prairie du Chien, Richland Center, River Valley, Shullsburg, Southwestern