By TRICIA HILL
It was a packed stadium at the UW-La Crosse track on Friday and Saturday, as family members and friends gathered to watch the WIAA State Track Meet with competitors in Divisions 1-3. Boscobel attended the invite with 11 competitors and four alternatives.
“The kids did an amazing job overall and represented our town and our school excellently at the state meet; they have a lot to be proud of this season,” Coach Seth Bausman said.
The girls earned their way to state competing in three individual events and one relay. Keely Foley qualified for state as a sectional runner-up in pole vault with a vault of 9’. Mackenzie Kauffman returned to state this year in the 1600 meter run and also qualified for the first time in the 3200 meter run. Kauffman earned the title of sectional runner-up in the 3200 meter run, finishing in a time of 11:53. She finished in the 1600 meter run in a time of 5:39. The girls’ 4x800 meter relay team of Mackenzie Kauffman, Molly Pegram, Rachel Davis, and Keely Foley qualified for state as sectional champions with a time of 10:14.
The boys earned their way to state competing in three individual events and two relays. Dakota Kauffman qualified for state as a sectional champion in the 1600 meter run in a time of 4:27 and in the 3200 meter run in a time of 10 minutes. Jordan Molzof qualified for state as a sectional runner-up in the 800 meter run in a time of 2:01. The boys’ also continued on to state in the 4x800 and 4x400 meter run. The boys’ 4x800 meter relay team of Seth Laxton, Zach Mindham, Jordan Molzof, and Dakota Kauffman finishing in a time of 8:12 as sectional champions. The boys’ 4x400 meter relay team of Chase Kull, Brandon Mindham, Marcello Andrade, and Seth Laxton qualified for state finishing in third place with a time of 3:33 at sectionals.
Mackenzie Kauffman earned a spot on the podium for the 3200 meter run, as she finished in sixth place overall in a time of 12:13. The state champion for the 3200 meter run was Nora Keller of Lourdes Academy in a time of 11:16. Mackenzie finished the 1600 meter run in 13th out of 16 competitors in a time of 5:34. The state champion was once again Nora Keller from Lourdes Academy in a time of 5:08. Mackenzie Kauffman competed in the 1600 meter run in 2014 at State and finished in 10th place with a time of 5:31.
“Mackenzie Kauffman making the podium was big and will ultimately be a big motivator for her in the years to come; she will have big shoes to fill but will without a doubt fill them,” Bausman said.
Keely Foley participated in pole vault against 16 other competitors and tied for 11th place with a vault of 9’. She improved on her vault from state in 2014, when Foley placed 13th overall with a vault of 8’6”. The state champion for girls’ pole vault was Emily Heil of Marathon with a vault of 11’.
“Keely Foley ended her career with a great performance in pole vaulting and will be missed dearly by everyone on this coaching staff,” Bausman said. “She gave her all to this program and she exemplifies everything a Bulldog athlete should be.”
The girls’ 4x800 meter relay team returned to state this season with Molly Pegram replacing Shaniah Peer. The team consisted of Molly Pegram, Mackenzie Kauffman, Keely Foley, and Rachel Davis. In 2014 the girl’s 4x800 meter relay team finished in 12th overall, finishing in a time of 10:37. This year the girls’ 4x800 meter relay team finished in 15th place with a time of 10:36.
Dakota Kauffman was a shining star for Boscobel at the State meet, in the 3200 meter run, and the 1600 meter run as he finished as the state champion in both events. He competed in the 1600 meter run in 2014 and finished in fourth place in a time of 4:21. He returned this season and finished in first place in a time of 4:20.63, with a final push to help him overcome Chequamegon’s Kevin Koski, who finished in a time of 4:20.66. Dakota Kauffman competed in the 3200 meter run in 2014 and finished in fifth place in a time of 9:40. He returned this season and placed first overall in a time of 9:21.
“Dakota Kauffman has done something that not many young men can ever say they have done by being a state champion in track in two events in the same year,” Bausman said. “His dedication to the sport of running, his work ethic in the weight room, and his icy resolve to dominate on the track are the reason why he was able to accomplish such a feat. He is truly gifted and a true leader for all students and athletes at BHS; he proves that hard work and determination are all you need to achieve greatness. I look forward to seeing him in La Crosse next year and attempting a repeat performance in both events.”
According to the Wisconsin State Journal, Dakota Kauffman had the quote of the day on Friday after stating, “It wasn’t easy. It’s worth it, though. It’s nine minutes and 20 seconds of pain, but it’s worth it in the end.”
Jordan Molzof competed as an individual for Boscobel in the 800 meter run. He competed against 16 other runners and finished in 14th overall in a time of 2:03. The state champion in the 800 meter run was Xavier Lechleitner of Marathon, finishing in a time of 1:56.
“Jordan Molzof ran a great 800 meter run at the meet and he will be having several more runs like this at the state meets in the future with the work ethic he has and his love for running,” Bausman said.
Boscobel’s boys’ 4x800 meter relay team made a return to state with Zach Mindham replacing graduate Logan Wacker. The team consists of Zach Mindham, Seth Laxton, Jordan Molzof, and Dakota Kauffman. In 2014 Boscobel’s 4x800 meter relay team placed eighth overall in a time of 8:25. They returned to state and podiumed with a third place finish in a time of 8:09. The state champion of the 4x800 meter relay team was Cambridge with a time of 8:04.
The boys’ 4x400 meter relay team included Chase Kull, Brandon Mindham, Marcello Andrade, and Seth Laxton. They competed against 16 teams and finished in 13 overall. The state champion team was Cambridge finishing in a time of 3:24.
“Our 4x800 relay teams did an excellent job; the boys team taking third amongst such strong competition was a great huge feat considering and the girls performed admirable overall,” Bausman said. “Our young 4x400 team performed well in the preliminaries and I am looking forward to big things from them next year considering we are returning three of the four runners.”
It was a successful day for the members of the Boscobel track and field team that were competing. The boys’ finished in sixth place out of 60 teams in the Division 3 team rankings scoring 26 points. The girls’ finished in 45th place out of 57 teams scoring a total of three points. The Division 3 state champion team for the girls’ were Cuba City with 53 points and Marathon for the boys with 42 points.
“This group of kids did something truly amazing this season and made their town, student body, and coaches proud. They proved that great things can be achieved if you simply choose to rise above of what is expected,” Bausman said. “This group of kids has kept me going through some very trying times during this season, on and off the track. They proved to me that there are great people in this world during a time when I doubted there were; they are truly model citizens for this community.”
Bausman is thankful for the great season he has had with his athletes and hopes they keep up the hard work in the off season, so they can continue to live by the team moto “Win the Day” next season and throughout their fall and winter sports season as well.