State track and field meet will feature Antigo athletes|
Antigo’s track men are state bound.
Two individuals and the Red Robins’ 4x400 relay team all advanced to next week’s championship showcase at UW-LaCrosse by finishing within the top three in Thursday’s WIAA sectional meet at Rice Lake.
Senior Tyler Lewis was sensational in his performance, taking the 200 meter title by setting a school record time, running anchor for the 1600 meter relayers which finished third overall and just missing qualification in the 100 where he placed fourth.
Justin Hickman ran his second best time in the 400 meter to finish third and earn a spot at state and along with Lewis, the pair joined fellow relayers Aeric Berner and David Ison in crossing the finish line with the meet’s third best time.
Antigo’s other sectional qualifiers — Caleb Hohensee and Colin Koss — along with girls’ team members Sarah Duff, Maddy Nelson, Emily Marciniak and Chelsie Marshall also performed well in their respective events but fell short of the cut-off to see their season end.
“Needless to say, the adrenaline was pumping all throughout the meet,” co-coach Darren Drewek said. “There we so many close races which came down to the hundredths of a second.”
Off to State
Lewis was a record-setter in the 200 meter and at race’s end, he also added the description “sectional champion” to his arsenal of titles by crossing the finish line in 22.35 seconds — two hundredths of a second faster than Wausau West’s Kallen Bentz and four hundredths of a second quicker than his personal best.
The win came following a disappointing finish in the 100 where he finished fourth overall with a time of 11.25. Hudson’s Brandon D’Andrea won the race in 11.12.
“Tyler could not recover from a bad start in the 100 but redeemed himself by winning the 200 with a school record time, beating his own record of 22.39,” co-coach Jim Alfonso said.
As Antigo’ other lone individual qualifier, Hickman held off a fast-closing Hudson runner to finish third in the 400 with a time of 51.54. Wausau’s Bentz won that race as well in 51.18.
Joining forces with Berner and Ison, the pair also scored a third in the 4x400 to earn a trip to state. Together they crossed the line in 3:26.94, edging out its closest competitor by nearly half a second. River Falls won the race in 3:25.33.
“They had to beat Wausau West and Stevens Point to qualify for the state meet and did just that,” Alfonso said. “When Tyler, running anchor, received the baton we were in fifth place. Tyler overcame both runners for a third place finish and a trip to LaCrosse.
Hohensee and Jared Rolo will serve as the team’s alternates.
The school record holder with a 13’ 6’’ leap earlier this year, Hohensee struggled on pole vault to finish fifth overall with a 12’ 9’’ jump.
“Pole vault is the most unforgiving field event,” Drewek said. “Caleb, who is usually consistent, had a hard time finding his rhythm. Even so, he had a fantastic four years. He will excel at the collegiate level.”
Koss ran a good 1600 but finished seventh overall with a time of 4:44.45. River Falls’ Trent Powell had the winning time at 4:21.2.
“Colin had a great run,” Drewek said. “You don't see many freshmen running the mile at Division 1 track sectionals. He will be at state within these next years.”
“Everyone performed at or near their best times of the year,” Alfonso added.
Girls Mark Success
Antigo’s 4x200 girls team (Duff, Marciniak, Nelson, Marshall) put in a solid performance. Coming in at 1:49.01, the effort was nearly two seconds faster than their seed time but slower than three other teams, knocking the Robins from advancement. Wausau West won the race in 1:45.8.
“The relay team got their personal best with Emily Marciniak getting her best split time,” coach Kristy Bovre said. “I was sad for the girls for missing state by one place, but you could see in their faces that they were proud of the work they did, so I couldn’t help but smile and be happy for them too.”
Duff also competed in both the 400 and 200, finishing sixth (1:03.34) and eighth (27.01) respectively.
“With no prelims and all finals, the meet moved pretty fast, and I think that played a role in Sarah’s performance in the 400 and 200,” Bovre said. “She did a wonderful job and for a sophomore running in three events at sectionals says a lot of about her athletic ability, commitment and dedication.”
“The girls did a great job this season and I couldn’t be more proud of them,” she added. “I am going to miss my seniors, Emily McGhee, Emily Marciniak, Chelsie Marshall and Maddy Nelson. It has been a pleasure and an honor to coach them.”
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