Stendel’s title leads Lady Eagles to 5th
LA CROSSE —?Although they came up short of repeating as WIAA Division 2 State Champions, the Jefferson High School girls’ track and field team made an impressive five trips to the podium earning a respectable fifth-place finish in the 2017 State Track and Field Championships held at Veterans Memorial Field Sports Complex on the campus of UW-La Crosse over the weekend.
Emily Stendel’s title in the discus capped off yet another banner year for the Lady Eagle’s program.
Seeded No. 1 in the discus with a state-qualifying throw of 136-feet, 9-inches, the junior made it no doubt that she was the best thrower in the field when she ripped off a throw of 147-11, shattering her own school mark by over 11 feet.
“Today definitely makes up for yesterday,” said Stendel, referring to a fifth-place finish in the shot put. “It’s a great feeling.”
“I knew I wanted to win, that was my goal, but I knew I just had to stay relaxed and stay focused on myself and not worry about other people,” she added.
Stendel’s next-closes competitor was Baldwin-Woodville’s Destinee Haas who had a runner-up throw of 140-1.
On?Friday, Stendel finished fifth in the shot put with a distance of 40-8 3/4. Making things interesting, the distance came on her sixth and final throw.
“It was a little nerve racking, but my last throw was definitely my best throw,” said Stendel, who came into the State Meet as the No. 2 seed. “It’s definitely something I’ll never forget.”
Stendel was seeded behind two-time Division 2 champion Tess Keyzers of Little Chute. Keyzers blew away the field claiming her third-straight title by breaking her own State record (47-3) throwing 47-8 ½.
Also reaching the podium for Jefferson was Mariah Linse. The sophomore ran the 1,600 meters in 5:11.93 Friday to finish third, establishing a new school record as she broke her own mark of 5:16.88 set one week earlier in Sectionals.
“That was my best time ever,” stated Linse. “I knew the girls ahead of me were really strong, so I just needed to keep contact with them.”
The Eagles were far from done reaching the podium twice more.
Junior Emily Hottinger, trying to become the third Jefferson hurdler to win the 100 highs, settled for a fifth-place finish with a :16.24.
On Friday, Hottinger set a new personal best in the 100 hurdles with a qualifying time of :15.50.
Jefferson’s 4x200 relay team also had a Top 6 performance. The foursome of juniors Audry Wright, Parker Fetherston, Emily Becker and Hottinger ran a 1:46.39 to finish fifth in the Division 2 field.
The same four competed in the 4x100 Friday, but their time of :50.49 fell short of qualifying for the finals.
“This was such a great weekend for Jefferson,” said Jefferson head coach Doug Siegert. “Our motto this year was ‘Rise to the Challenge.’ That is what each of our state competitors did. There were so many personal bests. At the end of the meet to say that we have a state champion, placed fifth as team, and walked away with 11 total medals, it is something very special. We are so proud of our team.”
Jefferson’s Keith Bowling was part of a rare Jefferson County occurrence Friday, becoming one of three area athletes to reach the podium in the triple jump.
Bowling, seeded eighth, went a career-best 43-8 to finish sixth and reach the podium in his first-ever WIAA State Meet, joining champion Ben Dunkleberger (state record 47-0) of Lake Mills and Logan Rasmussen (45-1 3/4) of Rock Valley Conference rival Whitewater.
“I came out to compete today and did my best,” said Bowling.
Also competing for Jefferson:
Senior Rylee Miller, competing in his third and final WIAA State Championships, finished 10th in the 800 meters with a time of 1:58.23.
Senior Stephen Novak finished in a ninth-place tie in the high jump, clearing 6-feet.
Senior Daustin Martin placed 11th in the shot put with a throw of 47-10 3/4.