LA CROSSE — Platteville junior Austin Jentz completed his 2019 season sweep of every discus competition he entered to become the 87th Hillmen athlete to take home gold from the WIAA State Track & Field Championships.
Jentz dominated the Division 2 competition Saturday at UW–La Crosse posting the six best throws in the competition to win the state title with a winning toss of 168’1”. Jentz’s winning throw was more 11 feet better than his nearest competitor, Rice Lake junior Adam Strouf (156’10”).
Jentz joins fellow Platteville discus state champions Ryan Weber (2015), Megan Scott (1978, 1979), Bob Dennis (1944, 1945) and Leonard Hoadley (1929). Jentz was also named to the 2019 Wisconsin High School All-State Team by the Wisconsin Track Coaches Association for his Division 2 Championship throw. To attain All-State honors an athlete must rank in the top six track times or field distances for all divisions achieved at the state track meet. Jentz scaled the medal stand a second time placing sixth in the D2 shot put Friday morning with a throw of 49’10.75”.
“For Austin to win the state Championship proves that justice still survives,” said Platteville head coach Rob Serres. “This young man works so hard at his craft. When Austin throws, if you walk around the venue, you will see several coaches with their phones out videotaping his throws so they can show their own throwers what great technique looks like. Austin is powerful because of his technique. Having a state champion in your school is a pretty rare treat for most high schools. And to have a state champion as humble, respectful, and responsible as Austin Jentz is special. We are extremely proud of Austin.”
Fellow junior Izzy Carroll also scored at the state track meet in the shot put, placing eighth in the discus with a throw of 37’6.25”. Carroll fared better in the girls’ discus bringing home a silver medal with a personal best throw of 126’2”, trailing only defending state champion Eve Goldstein of Somerset, who won the event with a throw of 134’8”. Carroll ends the 2019 season ranked as the third best Platteville girls discus thrower, while Jentz ranks as the second best in PHS boys’ history.
“Izzy Carroll was an unassuming warrior coming into the state meet,” said Serres. “It wasn’t as if Izzy was a complete unknown, I simply think that people didn’t take her seriously. She quietly, but steadily got stronger and stronger as the season progressed. Coach (Joe) Schambow knew she had it in her to be one of the very best in the state but he works with her everyday. Izzy is one of the finest young ladies we have ever had. She has a deep determination that causes her to focus on the task at hand – she sets goals – and then doggedly pursues those goals.”
Gabe Tashner topped off his senior season with a personal best 13’6” jump and a 4th place finish in the Division 2 boys’ pole vault, while fellow senior vaulter Calvin Wernimont placed 10th by clearing 13’0”. Tashner and Wernimont end their Hillmen track careers ranked as the seventh and eighth best boys’ pole vaulters in PHS history.
Senior triple humper Tyler Moss narrowly missed the medal stand by 3/4 of an inch placing sevebth in the Division 2 boys’ triple jump with a distance of 42’5.25”. This year’s competition was extremely close with just four inches separating fourth through eighth place. Moss, a two-time state qualifier, completes his career as the fourth ranked triple jumper in the program;s history.
Senior Jace Serres closed out his Hillmen track career placing 10th in a tactical 800-meter run with a time of 1:59.34. The Division 2 field was extremely balanced with equal numbers of place finishers coming from both sections of the race. Jace exits the program as the third ranked 800 meter and seventh ranked 1,600 runner in Platteville boys’ history. Serres was also a three-year state qualifier in both track and cross country.
“Our Platteville athletes were all on top of their games for the meet,” said Coach Serres. “Even where some of the kids were a bit down because they didn’t compete at a PR level, they were all very competitive, and they all had great performances. We are very proud of these kids, and it was heartwarming to see the support of their teammates, friends, parents and relatives that came out to cheer on the kids.”
The Platteville boys finished 13th in Division 2 with 19 points. Freedom won the D2 boys state title with 48.5 points. Carroll scored nine team points to give the Platteville girls a tie for 28th place. Wisconsin Lutheran edged Freedom 49–42.5 for the girls D2 team title.
WIAA Division 2 State Championships
(from May 31–June 1 @ UW–La Crosse Veteran’s Memorial Stadium)
Top 10 team scores — 1.Freedom 48.5, 2.Rice Lake 47, 3.Peshtigo 34, 4.Gale–Ettrick–Trempealeau 31, 5.Wisconsin Lutheran 27, 6.East Troy 26, 7.Racine St. Catherine 25, 8.Monroe 22, 8.Lodi 22, 10.Lakeside Lutheran...13.Platteville 19.
Platteville state qualifiers
800 — 10.Jace Serres 1:59.34. Pole vault — 4.Gabe Tashner 13’6”, 10.Calvin Wernimont 13’0”. Triple jump — 4.Tyler Moss 42’5.25”. Shot put — 6.Austin Jentz 49’10.75”. Discus — 1.Jentz 168’1”.
Team scores — 1.Wisconsin Lutheran 49, 2.Freedom 42.5, 3.Lodi 30, 4.Osceola 28, 5.Gale-Ettrick-Trepealeau 5, 5.Clinton 25, 7.East Troy 23, 8.Westby 21, 9(tie).Denmark 20, Somerset 20, Lakeland Union 20, Wautoma 29, Bloomer 20...28(tie).Platteville 9.
Platteville state qualifiers (top 4)
Shot put — 8.Izzy Caroll 37”6.25”. Discus — 2.Caroll 126”2”.