Underclassmen lead Grafton in Div. 1 finals; Port paced by boys’ relay
A youth movement paid dividends all spring for the Grafton High School track and field program — and last weekend’s season finale
was no exception.
Bolstered again by strong performances from underclassmen, the Black Hawks turned in several eye-opening performances in the
Division 1 boys’ and girls’ competition at the WIAA state meet in La Crosse.SOPHOMORE SARA GRANGE crossed the finish line for the Grafton girls’ 400-meter relay team at the WIAA Division 1 state track and field meet Saturday in La Crosse. The team placed 10th in 50.6 seconds after setting a school record of 49.33 in the preliminaries. Photos by Tim Greisch
“We had some outstanding efforts, especially on the opening day,” Grafton coach Kevin Kriegel said.
“It was a great way to end the season.”
Jason Zahn led the Hawks with a second-place finish in the boys’ discus. The junior’s 176-foot, 6-inch toss trailed only Verona’s Drex
Jackson, who was first at 180-8.
Zahn also took 11th in the shot put (53-1/2).
“Jason had a really solid meet,” Kriegel said. “He had his second-best distance in the shot put and was the most consistent of everyone
in the discus.
“He was the No. 1 seed in the discus in the preliminaries. The guy who won it just happened to have the one best throw.”
The Grafton boys got a third place from sophomore Marcus Hill in the 400-meter dash (49.56 seconds) and a sixth from the 1,600 relay
team of freshman Erick Huertas, seniors Justin Tomashek and Stefan Lundgren and Hill (a school-record 3:22.18).
Tomashek finished 12th in the 400 dash (50.39) based on times in preliminary races, when Hill turned in a personal-best 49.18.
On the girls’ side, the Hawks were led by sophomores Cathy Brunette and Sara Grange.
Brunette took third in the 100 hurdles (14.88) and tied for 10th in the high jump (5-2), while Grange was seventh in the 200 dash (a
school-record 25.58) and eighth in the 100 dash (12.5).
Also taking 10th for the girls was the 400 relay team of senior Emily Schreiner, Brunette, junior Carrie Herian and Grange, which
finished in 50.6 after turning in a school-record 49.33 in the preliminaries.
“Cathy had a great final in the hurdles. The only girls she trailed (champion Elexis Fuller-Stewart of Bradley Tech and runner-up Melissa
Kriegel also praised Grange for “a tremendous effort” in two talent-laden sprint finals.
Boys’ relay team sets pace for Pirates
Port Washington wasn’t without solid performances of its own in Division 1.
The Pirates’ top finish in the boys’ competition was a sixth by the all-senior 3,200 relay team of Justin Fote, Augie Yates, Jared Sandlin
and Joe McIlree (8:00.46).
“We went in seeded 13th, and in my wildest dreams, the best I could see us finishing was sixth,” Port boys’ coach Mark Pasten said.
“I was ecstatic. That was as fast as they could go. It was a great way for them to finish their careers.”
McIlree was his team’s lone state qualifier in individual events and finished 23rd in the 400 dash (53.46). Pasten said the hot weather
and brief time between races made it difficult for McIlree to fully recover for the sprint.
Among the Port girls, senior Marly Trier took ninth in the discus (113-8), senior Payton Greisch was 15th in the 400 dash (59.96) and sophomore Bianca Benkley was 18th in the 1,600 run (5:24.53).
Pirate girls’ coach Joe Adamak said his state qualifiers had exceptionally tough competition in their events.
“It was a phenomenal meet, with a lot of state records broken,” he said.
Greisch capped her high school career with her third straight state appearance, and Trier and Benkley both made their second trips.
“They all did well to get back there again,” Adamak said. “That’s not easy to do.”
Brookfield East won the boys’ team title with 57 points, well ahead of runner-up Arrowhead’s 39.33.
Grafton had 15 points, good for 18th place. Port had three points, sharing 48th.
The girls’ champion was Bradley Tech with 64 points. Second-place Arrowhead had 40 points.
Grafton tied for 22nd with nine points. Port failed to score.