LA CROSSE — When the going got tough, Tucker Wedig got throwing.
The Belmont senior scored state championship throws on his final attempt in the discus and second-to-last attempt in the shot put to repeat as state champion in both events at the 2015 WIAA Division 3 State Track and Field Meet held at UW–La Crosse’s Veterans Memorial Field Sports Complex on Friday and Saturday.
“The last two years I couldn’t have asked for more,” said Wedig, a UW–Madison recruit who caps in career with four gold medals among his six state medals. “I’m really happy to put a bow on it with the way it happened.”
Wedig came into the state meet as the defending champion in each event and he had the extra stress of being the top seed in both events as well. He added to his stress a bit by going into the finals in the discus sitting in fourth place and in the shot put sitting in sixth place, but in the end he found the throws he needed to come out on top.
“I told one of my friends that I’m going to die early if I keep putting this much stress on myself,” joked Wedig. “After doing it last year, it’s what was expected of me. It was actually more stressful than enjoyable to be honest. To get it done was a relief. It was fun to get back and get it accomplished again.”
In Friday morning’s discus competition, Wedig went into his final attempt still sitting in fourth when he unleashed a throw of 164’11” to overtake leader Sam Welsh, a sophomore from Flambeau, and that mark held up as the winning one.
“I had enough throws in to work out the kinks I guess. I was able to get it done,” Wedig said. “Coach [David Kamps] told me what I had to improve and I knew what I had to get done. I went in and it worked out. I was happy to get the throw down.”
Welsh finished in second at 163 feet, while Princeton/Green Lake junior Branden Drews topped Newman Catholic senior Jeff Ford, 156’4” to 156’2”, for third-place.
Wedig returned to the meet for the shot put competition on Saturday afternoon, and once again the Brave had work to do once he got to the finals.
After scratching his first throw of the finals, Wedig launched his winning throw of 57’0½” to jump from sixth-place into first.
“I knew it felt good. I saw it hit, but with the way things were going I wasn’t sure if it was 52-feet or 57-feet,” admitted Wedig.
The rest of the field tried to play catch-up from there, but no one could top his throw as he went out a champion in his final prep event. Ford took second at 56’2” and Welsh was third at 54’¼”.
“It has been stressful, but everything got done at each level that I needed to get done. I couldn’t be happier,” said Wedig.
With his successful prep career in the record books and his collegiate career on the horizon, the Belmont senior took a moment following his final event to acknowledge Coach Kamps for all he did for him to get him to this point.
“Everything the last four years I owe to my coach,” said Wedig. “I’ve had rough days, but he’s told me what had to happen to work through it. I owe everything I’ve accomplished to him.”
Wedig’s efforts at the state meet placed Belmont in a tie for ninth in the final team standings with 20 points. Marathon edged Wausau Newman Catholic, 42 to 41, for the D3 boys’ team title.
WIAA Division 3 State Championships
(from Friday–Saturday, June 5–6 @ Veterans Memorial Stadium, UW–La Crosse)
Team scores — 1.Marathon 42, 2.Wausau Newman 41, 3.Cambridge 37, 4.Athens 32, 5.Princeton/Green Lake 29, 6.Boscobel 26, 7.Eau Claire Regis 23, 8.Loyal 21, 9(tie).Belmont 20, 9(tie).Iola–Scandinavia 20.
Belmont state qualifiers
Shot put — 1.Tucker Wedig 57–0½. Discus — 1.T. Wedig 164–11.
Team scores — 1.Cuba City 53, 2.Fond du Lac Saint Mary’s Springs 44, 3.Oshkosh Lourdes 41, 4.Reedsville 40, 5.Cambridge 37, 6.Wild Rose 29, 7.Cashton 28, 8.Benton/Scales Mound/Shullsburg 26, 9.Wausau Newman 23, 10.Columbus Catholic 20.
Belmont state qualifiers