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Gertsch races to state meet
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    BANGOR – Black Hawk senior Haley Gertsch earned her first career state berth with a second-place finish in the girls’ 400-meter dash to lead the Black Hawk track and field team at the 2018 WIAA Sectional Meet held at Bangor High School on Thursday, May 24.
    Gertsch was the lone Warrior to advance to La Crosse next weekend after placing second in the 400 in 1:00.65. She also placed seventh in the 100 (13.05) to help the Lady Warriors finish in a tie for 21st-place in the team standings with 12 points.
    “Haley had a great race. She attacked the race early and ran just as she planned. She is well-deserving and has put in the time over the years to get to this point. She is seeded fifth right now, and she gets better every race.  I would love to see her get to the podium at La Crosse,” commented Black Hakw head coach Eric Erickson.
    The 2018 WIAA State Track and Field Meet will be held at UW-La Crosse’s Veterans Memorial Stadium on Friday and Saturday, June 1-2. Friday’s Division 2/3 competition will begin at 3 p.m., and Saturday’s competition begins at 9:30 a.m.
    Gertsch will compete in a preliminary race on Friday afternoon, and if she advances to the finals she will run again on Saturday afternoon.
    Junior Grace Neff added a seventh-place finish in the 400 (1:04.92).
    Junior Colby Argall was the lone place winner for the Black Hawk boys’ team with an eighth-place finish in the triple jump (40’1.75”).
    Gertsch and Neff joined with sophomores Natalie Leuzinger and Hannah Butler to place ninth in the 1,600 relay (4:24.84), while Argall teamed with sophomore Lucas Flanagan and Jaylen Rufenacht and junior Mitchell Quinn to place 10th in the boys’ 1,600 relay (3:46.22).
    Rufenacht took ninth in the high jump (5’10”) and Argall took 15th in the long jump (17’10”) for the Warriors. 
    “All of the athletes PR’d in one way or another at sectionals and you can’t ask for more than that.  There were several events that were amazingly competitive, including several that had better performances than D1 sectionals to make it through to the state meet,” noted Erickson “The season helped a number of kids get an appetite for track and field, so we have something to build upon for next year.”