BELMONT — When Tucker Wedig started the recruiting process last summer, there was one school he hoped would come calling for his throwing skills.
When the University of Wisconsin finally offered the Belmont senior a spot on their track and field team, he could not wait to sign his name on the dotted line.
Wedig got the opportunity to do just that on Monday afternoon when he made it official by signing his National Letter of Intent to join the Badgers next fall in front of his family and the entire Belmont School District at a special ceremony in his honor in the Belmont High School gymnasium.
“I knew it was Wisconsin. If everything worked out, that was where I wanted to be,” said Wedig, who noted that his other two choices were the University of Northern Iowa and Illinois State. “Everything else was just a back-up plan. I mean, it’s Wisconsin. I grew up watching every football game and every basketball game. There was no way I could turn down Wisconsin.”
Starting next school year, his friends and family can make the short drive up U.S. 151 to watch him compete as a Badger.
“I get five more years of athletics, which for starters is a lot of fun,” said Wedig. “When I started track and started competing at a high level, this isn’t what I planned on. I just planned on doing my best every opportunity I got. Now, it has turned into something more and I couldn’t be more excited to see where it takes me.”
Wedig, the son of Lisa and Brian Wedig of Belmont, broke onto the track and field scene as a sophomore, placing fifth in the discus (143’1”) and sixth in the shot put (50’5”) — two events usually dominated by upperclassmen — at the WIAA Division 3 State Meet in 2013.
That success fueled Wedig’s competitive spirit and, after spending the off-season in the weight room and the gym improving his strength and his footwork, he came into his junior season ready to be named among the best throwers in the state.
Wedig broke Belmont’s shot put record early in his junior year and then topped it several more times, including a top throw of 57’8½” at last year’s WIAA regional meet in Darlington, which currently stands as the school record.
He continued to excel in both events throughout the season until returning to the WIAA State Meet in June. Wedig opened the meet by adding more than 26 feet onto his discus mark from the previous year to capture the Division 3 state title in that event.
His winning throw of 169’5” not only would have won him a state title in D2 and placed him third in D1, it also set a new record at Belmont– breaking the record of his throwing coach Dave Kamps, who had held the mark for 30 years.
Then, Wedig added seven feet onto his shot put mark from his sophomore year to take home the D3 state title with a throw of 57’5”– a distance that would have also won a state title in both Division 1 and Division 2.
“Coach Kamps has turned out numerous throwers who have succeeded at whatever level they have competed at (beyond high school). I’m happy I’ve had the opportunity to work with him,” Wedig stated.
Going from a small high school of 80 students that competes in the state’s lowest prep division to a world-class, NCAA Division I university of more than 40,000 which competes in the Big 10 Conference could be intimidating to a lot of athletes, but Wedig likes the opportunities it will bring him.
“It’s definitely going to be a different situation,” he admitted.
Now, with his collegiate choice behind him, Wedig can turn his focus to finishing out his senior season and defending his state titles.
“I’m extremely excited for what I have left here at Belmont and everything that can happen in the future with all the opportunities I’ll get,” said Wedig.
Wedig capped his signing day in impressive fashion by winning both the shot put (53’10.5”) and the discus (146’3”) at the Prairie du Chien Invitational on Monday afternoon.
His efforts helped the Braves finish 11th at the 14-team meet with 25 points.
Jacob Wedig, Tucker’s freshman brother, placed fourth in the discus with a toss of 124’6”.
Senior Keegan Kamps led the Lady Braves by placing fifth in the girls’ discus with a mark of 100’1”. The Lady Braves finished 13th with four points.
T. Wedig also swept the throwing events at the North Crawford Invitational on Tuesday, April 14, taking the shot with a throw of 53’7” and the discus with a toss of 143’7”.
J. Wedig took third in the discus (119’9”) and eighth in the shot (35’7.5”), while Josh Adams added an eighth-place finish in the high jump (5’2”).
Holly Rath finished first in the 200 (29.45), third in the 400 (1:07.1) and fourth in the high jump (4’6”) to lead the Lady Braves.
Taylor Reuter placed second in the 800 (2:47.04), third in the 1,600 (6:14.99) and tied for eighth in the HJ (4’2”).
Kamps took second in the discus (96’8”), Jannie deHaan was third in the HJ (4’8”) and Taylor Foecking was eighth in the 800 (2:54.28) for Belmont.
At the Lancaster Invitational on Thursday, April 16, T. Wedig won the shot (53’5”) and was second in the discus (150’6”) for the Braves.
Kamps was fourth in the discus (102’10”), deHaan tied for fifth in the high jump (4’8”) and Reuter took sixth in the 1,600 (6:08.08) and eighth in the 800 (2:46.96).
(from Thursday, April 16 @ Lancaster)
Team scores — 1.Dodgeville/Mineral Point 134, 2.Platteville 115, 3.Boscobel 98, 4.River Valley 77, 4.Cuba City 77, 6. Lancaster 68, 7.Viroqua 62, 8.Prairie du Chien 18, 8.Belmont 18, 8.Fennimore 18, 11.De Soto 9.
Shot put — 1.Tucker Wedig 53–5. Discus — 2.T. Wedig 150–6.
Team scores — 1.Dodgeville/Mineral Point 165, 2.Platteville 146, 3.Cuba City 113, 4.River Valley 63, 5.Lancaster 58, 6.Viroqua 53, 7.Boscobel 37, 8.Fennimore 29, 9.Belmont 12.5, 10.Prairie du Chien 10, 11.De Soto 9.5, 12.Southwestern/Cuba City 4.
Belmont’s top finishers (Top 9)
200 — 9.Holly Rath 29.73. 400 — 9.Rath 1:11.46. 800 — 8.Taylor Reuter 2:46.96. 1,600 — 6.Reuter 6:08.08. High jump — 5.Jannie deHaan 4–8. Discus — 4.Keegan Kamps 102–10.
North Crawford Invitational
(from Tuesday, April 14 @ Soilders Grove)
Team scores — 1.Kickapoo/La Farge 127, 2.North Crawford 107, 3.River Ridge 105.33, 4.Cassville 102, 5.Riverdale 63.33, 6.Brookwood 56, 7.Wonewoc–Center 33, 8.Hillsboro 29, 9.Belmont 28, 9.De Soto 28, 11.Wauzeka–Steube 12.33, 12.Kickapoo/La Farge JV 6, 13.De Soto JV 2.
Belmont’s top finishers (top 8)
High jump — 8.Josh Adams 5–2. Shot put — 1.Tucker Wedig 53–7, 8.Jacob Wedig 35–7½. Discus — 1.T. Wedig 143–7, 3.J. Wedig 119–9.
Team scores — 1.River Ridge 144.33, 2.North Crawford 104.33, 3.Wauzeka–Steuben 103, 4.Brookwood 92, 5.Kickapoo/La Frage 60.5, 6.Hillsboro 59, 7.Belmont 51.33, 8.De Soto 32, 9.De Soto JV 13, 10.Riverdale 10.5, 11.River Ridge JV 5, 11.Wonewoc–Center 5, 13.Cassville 4, 14.North Crawford JV 3.
Belmont’s top finishers (top 8)
200 — 1.Holly Rath 29.45, 9.Maddy Travis 31.89. 400 — 3.Rath 1:07.01. 800 — 2.Taylor Reuter 2:47.04, 5.Taylor Foecking 2:54.26. 1,600 — 3.Reuter 6:14.99. High jump — 3.Jannie deHaan 4–8, 6.Rath 4–6, 8(tie).Reuter 4–2. Discus — 2.Keegan Kamps 96–8.