LA CROSSE — When Belmont’s Tucker Wedig left the WIAA State Track and Field Meet a year ago, he was pleased with his fifth-place medal in the discus and his sixth-place medal in the shot put, but he also felt that he wanted more. He wanted to be a state champion.
This year, it was mission accomplished — twice — for the Belmont junior.
Wedig put in the work during the offseason and throughout the year, and his dedication paid off with a pair of gold medals at the 2014 WIAA Division 3 State Track and Field Meet held at UW–La Crosse’s Veterans Memorial Stadium on Friday and Saturday, June 6–7.
“It’s great to accomplish what I set out to accomplish at the end of last year, so I couldn’t be any happier,” said Wedig. “It feels great. It’s something I’ve been working hard for, so I’m happy to get it done.”
Wedig kicked off the weekend by winning the D3 discus event with a winning toss of 169–5, which not only gave him the gold medal but also the school record that had stood for 30 years.
One of the first people to greet Wedig after his winning toss was the previous record-holder, his throws coach at Belmont David Kamps, who held the record of 168–11 since 1984.
“I had some time to think about it and it’s time somebody else takes over,” admitted Kamps on Saturday afternoon. “I’m happy it’s Tucker. It’s pretty exciting for him.”
Edgar senior David Kornack set the pace with a throw of 167–0 on his first throw of prelims, which was five and a half feet better than Wedig’s previous best mark this season. Undaunted, Wedig grabbed the lead with a throw of 167–4 on his second preliminary attempt, and then he let fly the winning throw of 169–5 on his third throw of the first round.
That mark stood through the finals as no one got closer than six feet of Wedig’s record-setting throw.
“Now that it’s done, it’s pretty exciting. It’s a good day,” said Wedig.
Things got even better for Wedig on Saturday when he picked up his second goal medal of the weekend, and fourth state medal of his career, with a winning toss of 57–5 in the D3 shot put.
Wedig trailed Kornack (55–3) by three inches heading into his final throw of the finals, and the last one of the competition, but the Belmont junior dug deep at uncorked a heave of 57–5 to take home the gold. The mark was just three and a half inches off his school record toss of 57–8.5 he recorded at the Darlington Regional 11 days earlier.
“Tucker threw some amazing throws out there,” said first-year Belmont head coach Amber Eisele. “We knew he could do it. He’s been training so long for this.”
As team the Braves finished ninth in the D3 boys’ standings thanks to Wedig’s two state title performances.
Belmont senior Jordyn Kamps also competed at the state meet in two events for the Lady Braves, while junior Keegan Kamps participated in one event.
Jordyn Kamps’ third career state meet appearance got off to a bit of a rough start after she committed a false start and was disqualified in her preliminary race in the 100-meter dash. She was seeded eighth in the event going into the meet.
The senior bounced back to place seventh (26.58) in the 200 prelims to advance to Saturday’s finals. In the finals, Kamps finished ninth in 26.68 seconds to finish one place out of medal contention in her final state event.
“She was a little down after her false start, but she picked herself right back up and didn’t let it get her down in the 200,” said Eisele.
Keegan Kamps, a cousin to Jordyn and daughter to coach David Kamps, competed at state her the second time in the discus, finishing 12th overall in the event with a top toss of 101–2.
It was the ninth consecutive year one of coach Kamps’ daughters competed in La Crosse at a WIAA State Meet and the eighth straight year a Kamps has competed in the discus at state.
“Keegan threw really well. She’s been battling some health problems all season, but she showed she was where she was supposed to be,” said Coach Eisele.
WIAA D3 State Championships
(from Friday-Saturday, June 6–7 @ Veterans Memorial Stadium, UW–La Crosse)
Top 10 team scores — 1.McDonell Central 30, 2.Marathon 38, 3.Darlington 30, 4.Spring Valley 27, 5.St. Mary Central 26, 6(tie).Melrose–Mindoro 24, 6(tie).Pardeeville 24, 8.Loyal 20.5, 9(tie).Belmont 20, 9(tie).Iola–Scandinavia 20.
Belmont’s state qualifiers
Shot put — 1.Tucker Wedig 57–5. Discus – 1.Wedig 169–5.
Top 10 team scores — 1.Oshkosh Lourdes 50, 2.Cuba City 46, 3.Algoma 42, 4.Wild Rose 38, 5.Wausau Newman Catholic 30.75, 6.Eau Claire Regis 29, 7.Benton/Scales Mound 28, 8(tie).Saint Mary’s Springs 26.75, 10(tie).Black Hawk 20, 10(tie).University Lake School 20, 10(tie).Burlington Catholic Central 20.
Belmont’s state qualifiers
100 — Jordyn Kamps FS. 200 — 9.J. Kamps :26.68. Discus — 12.Keegan Kamps 101–2.