PREP TRACK AND FIELD: Baraboo’s Lexi Johnson takes 15th in the state in the discus
LA CROSSE — Baraboo’s Lexi Johnson was one of the first athletes to see action at the 2018 WIAA track and field state championships.
Johnson took her spot in the opening flight of the girls discus event and made the most of her first trip to the state meet. The junior used a throw of 114 feet, 3 inches to place 15th overall in the Division 1 girls discus on Friday morning.
“I thought it went well. I didn’t PR like I had hoped to but it was a really amazing experience that I’ll never forget,” Johnson said. “The atmosphere was incredible. Everyone came in with a lot of energy.
“I’m really thankful for the opportunity to perform on such a high level and have the support of so many people: my coaches, friends and family.”
Johnson, who had the third-best throw in her flight, moved up in the field after entering the meet seeded 19th.
“She did a really good job,” Baraboo girls track coach Nick Geiger said. “She threw 114, right at her qualifying mark. She has thrown better than that earlier in the season, but she has no reason to hang her head. She had a really good first state meet and I think she had some fun up here with the competition.”
Johnson entered with a qualifying throw of 115-4, which won her the Middleton sectional on May 24 and made her the lone Baraboo girl to qualify for state.
“To get at least one athlete through (to state) is a plus. It’s Division 1 ... it’s tough to sneak athletes in here,” said Geiger, who just finished up his first year as the Baraboo girls track head coach. “I knew right away that she was going in the throwing. We were hoping to get a couple other kids through, but that didn’t work out and it was nice to have Lexi there. ... We knew that we could count on her.”
Johnson will take on an even bigger leadership role as a senior next season.
“She definitely learned a lot from handling her nerves and handling a situation like this,” Geiger said. “With the young team that we have, next year she can bring some experience and say ‘These are some things that helped me.’”
Individually, Johnson is intent on getting back to state and making the most of her senior year.
“It was really humbling seeing all of the best throwers in the state and realizing that, although I have won some meets this year, so have all of them,” Johnson said. “My goal is going to be to get back to where I was and hopefully get a little higher in the rankings.”
D.C. Everest swept the top two spots in the girls discus with Natalie Mohring (141-7) and Danni Langseth (137-6).
The boys will take their turn on Saturday, as Baraboo senior Maverick Klitzke and freshman Jake Schaefer will both compete in the discus.
Schaefer is seeded 18th in Division 1 and will step in the circle first, competing in flight one of the event with a qualifying throw of 148 feet. Klitzke, who is seeded 11th, will throw in flight two with a qualification mark of 157-9.
Around the area
Friday was a special day for James Bockhop.
The Sauk Prairie senior qualified for the 110-meter high hurdles state finals before heading back to Prairie du Sac to walk across the stage at graduation.
“It’s awesome. I’m hoping to go just a little bit faster tomorrow,” Bockhop said immediately after Friday’s hurdles preliminaries.
Bockhop had the fourth-fastest preliminary time, crossing the finish line in 14.49 seconds to finish behind Hartland Arrowhead’s Jacob Biewer (:14.29) and Kimberly’s Austin Wallace (:14.31) and D.J. Stewart (:14.43).
“Especially in the middle of the race, it felt fast, felt clean,” said Bockhop, who entered the meet seeded 13th in his lone event. “One hurdle my trail leg hit again, but it didn’t slow me down too much. I’ll have to clean that one hurdle up tomorrow to get that 14.39, or faster.”
Bockhop entered the race with an eye on Biewer, who was the only person to finish ahead of Bockhop in their heat.
“That’s the guy I was looking to stay with and I was actually real close with him,” said Bockhop, a first-time state qualifier. “It’s a little weird not being up front with no one around you, but I just took it as another race.”
Bockhop entered the meet with the goal of ending his high school career hurdling in the state finals. With that goal down, he’ll look to lower his time on Saturday.
First, he planned to soak in the state experience.
“I’ll walk around and watch some of the meet and then head back down to Sauk for graduation,” Bockhop said. “I’ve got a few friends here from camps that I’ve gone to, so hopefully I’ll be able to watch them.”
Sauk Prairie’s Ethan Schad will join Bockhop on Saturday. Schad is seeded 11th in the boys pole vault with a qualifying time of 13-6. The senior is making his third appearance at state.
Reedsburg athletes were all over the track on Friday.
Brooklyn Schyvinck was the most active, competing in the preliminaries of the 100, 200 and 400.
A sectional champion in four events, Schyvinck got off to a bit of an unfamiliar start on Friday. The senior edged her way into the finals in the 100, taking the 10th and final spot with a personal-record time of :12.29.
Schyvinck was in a familiar position in the 200 and the 400, getting out front early and winning her heat in both events. Schyvinck will be seeded second in the 200 on Saturday, as her personal-best time of :24.46 trails only Milwaukee King’s Amari Brown (:23.76). Schyvinck’s time of :56.73 has her seeded third in the 400 finals, trailing Wausau West’s Brooke Jaworski (:54.04) and Monona Grove’s Ali Dorn (:56.38). Schyvinck will also compete in the long jump on Saturday. She enters the long jump seeded 14th after her jump of 17-4½ won the sectional title in Middleton.
Luke Rapisarda will also represent Reedsburg in Saturday’s finals. The senior crossed the finish line in :49.99 to earn the seventh seed in the 400. Neenah’s Colin Enz is seeded first with a time of :49.00. Rapisarda also competed in the 200 preliminaries, finishing 21st in :22.49.
Jacob Dregney came up one spot short of advancing to finals in the 110 hurdles. The junior tied the school record with a time of :15.04. Dregney took 11th in the prelims, finishing just three-hundredths of a second behind Franklin’s Cole Stugelmeyer, who took the final qualifying spot in 15.01 seconds.
Bryce Bierman represented the Beavers in the high jump. The senior cleared 6 feet to take 22nd. Whitefish Bay’s Nolan Wollmer won the state title by clearing 6-4.