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Fennimore girls 4x800 relay wins state title, smashes school record
Nelson, Larson, O’Brien earn individual medals
Fennimore state relay 6-5-19
It was an emotional moment for the state champion Fennimore Golden Eagles 4x400 relay team Saturday at the WIAA State Track Meet at UW–La Crosse. The team of (from left) Maddy Adam, Brynlee Nelson, Lauryn Bunn and Delanne Klaas won the Division 3 girls 4x400 title with a new school record time of 4:03.78. - photo by John Linden photo

LA CROSSE — The 2019 WIAA State Track and Field Championships was a smashing success for the Fennimore Golden Eagles.

The Fennimore quartet of sophomores Brynlee Nelson and Lauryn Bunn, senior Madelyn Adam and freshman Delanee Klaas won the Division 3 girls 4x400 state championship Saturday afternoon by smashing the school record in the event — set in Friday’s prelims — with a winning time of 4:03.78. Nelson also won a pair of individual medals in the 400 and 800 and competed in the triple jump. 

Senior Reid Larson capped his illustrious prep career with a third-place finish in Friday’s D3 boys long jump, while classmate Logan O’Brien reached the medal stand with a sixth-place finish in Friday’s D3 boys shot put.

The Fennimore girls finished sixth in Division 3 with 24 points, while Larson and O’Brien combined for nine points, good for 27th place in the boys’ team standings. La Crosse Aquinas swept the Division 3 team titles.

The Fennimore 4x400 relay team broke a 35-year old school record by posting a time of 4:07.07 to win a preliminary heat on Friday and the top seed for Saturday’s final. The previous school record of 4:07.1 was set in 1982 by Leslie Schellinger, Jenny Lomas, Michele Carl and Lisa Pagenkopf and was the longest standing FHS girls’ record, along with the Lomas’ high jump record also set in 1982. Bunn, Klaas, Adam and Nelson then blazed to a winning time of 4:03.78, beating runner-up Aquinas (4:06.89) by more than three seconds.

“That was absolutely amazing,” said Fennimore head coach Gregg Davis. “They broke the school record Friday during prelims, then absolutely demolished it in Saturday’s final. I’ve got a big smile on my face as I’m talking. Lauryn Bunn did a fantastic job. Her job was to keep things closest, as other teams like to run their fastest girls first and she did just that. Delanee ran about a 60-second split which was very fast and got us in the lead when she handed off to senior Maddy Adam. Maddy has struggled with injuries throughout her track career, but she got her body ready this year and was healthy all year. Maddy kept it close and we were within a second and a half of the lead when she handed off the Brynlee and Brynlee did what Brynlee does. We felt pretty confident when Brynlee got the baton and that proved true. She caught the Aquinas girls within the first 40 meters and kept building on the lead from there. It was so much fun to watch the girls success after they worked so hard all year.”

This was Fennimore’s first track and field state championship since the quartet of Alexa Nutter, Jerica Nelson, Kayla Scheckles and Chelsea Henry won the girls D3 4x800 in 2010.

Earlier on Saturday, Nelson finished second in the D3 girls 400 with a time of 58.90, just behind Johnson Creek junior Hannah Constable (58.11). She also finished third in the 800 with a new school record time of 2:15.54, 12th in the triple jump (33’11.5”) and also broke her own school record in the 400 prelims with a 58.53 on a busy Friday.  

Constable (2:14.84) also won the 800, her third state title in the event. Benton/Scales Mound/Shullbsurg freshman Kayci Martensen (2:15.07) finished second in the 800. 

“Obviously Brylnee had a fantastic state meet,” said Davis. “She broke her own 400 record in the prelims. Saturday’s final was the first time she has been beaten in the 400 all season, but Constable is an outstanding runner and Martensen is a freshman phenom. Two more school records and three state medals. That’s all you can hope for. If you are setting PRs all the time you are doing something right weather you win or lose.” 

Friday morning, Larson won bronze medal in the D3 boys long jump with a leap of 21’9.5” (PR) on his sixth and final jump of the competition. Larson reached the finals with a preliminary jump of 21’5.25”, but did not improve on his first two jumps in the finals, before uncorking his longest jump of the day.

Larson also competed in both hurdle events on Friday. He ran a 15.98 in the 110-meter high hurdle prelims to place 12th, but qualified for Saturday’s finals of the 300-meter intermediate hurdles with a time of 41.90. Larson, a Clarke basketball recruit, closed out his final track season with a ninth-place finish in Saturday’s 300 hurdles finals with a time of 42.02.

“Reid had a super busy day on Friday as well,” said Davis. “He’s been super clean all year in the 110s and we felt pretty confident that he would be able to make finals, but we knew it was going to be tough. He ended up missing finals by just  one hundredth of a second. He made two long jumps, then had to check out to run the 110s, then had to come back and finish the long jump. Reid really had to keep his focus doing two events right at the same exact time. We are just super proud of him the way he worked and on getting third in the state in the long jump.”

O’Brien, a Wisconsin football recruit, capped his prep track career with a sixth-place finish in Friday’s D3 shot put. He qualified for the finals with a throw of 48’11.75”, then improved upon the mark on his final throw, 49’2.25”.

“Logan had a bit of stressful moment right before his event,” said Davis. “He found a shot put that he really liked around the start of May. It was marked 115 millimeters by the manufacture and it was fine up to this point, but at state check it its did not pass the 117 millimeter limit. So Logan had to use one of our different shots. It put him in a tough spot mentally, but he still preformed very well. We are super proud of him that he was able reach the podium his senior year.”

“The last few weeks of track and field makes up for the poor weather early on, the long bus rides during the season,” added Davis. “State track can wipe that all away. This might be one of the best complete state meets for Fennimore, both boys and girls, that I can remember in my 35 years being involved with Fennimore. I also want to thank the Fennimore Fire Department for the escort  back into town Saturday night. Just to see the smiles on all the kids faces was a really neat moment for all of us.”

WIAA Division 3 State Championships
(from May 31–June 1 @ UW–La Crosse Veteran’s Memorial Stadium)
Top 10 team scores — 1.La Crosse Aquinas 58, 2.Wild Rose 43, 3.Cambridge 33, 4.Rosholt 30, 5.Loyal 26, 6.Spencer 21, 7.Hope Christian 20, 8.Webster 19, 8.Crivitz 19, 10.Shiocton 17...27.Fennimore 9.
Fennimore state qualifiers
110 hurdles — 12.Reid Larson 15.98. 300 hurdles — 9.Larson 42.02. Long jump — 3.Larson 21’9.5”. Shot put —6.Logan O’Brien 49’2.25”.
Team scores — 1.La Crosse Aquinas 36, 2.Edgar 33, 3.Royall 30, 4.Tree Lakes/Phelps 29, 5.Benton/Scales Mound/Shullsburg 28, 6.Fennimore 24, 7.Dodgeland 22, 7.Ozaukee 22, 9.Ithaca/Weston 21, 9.Cashton 21.
Fennimore state qualifiers
400 — 2.Brynlee Nelson 58.90. 800 — 3.Nelson 2:15.54. 4x400 relay — 1.Fennimore (Lauryn Bunn, Delanee Klaas, Maddy Adam, Nelson) 4:03.78. Triple jump — 12.Nelson 33’11.5”.