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Written by STEVE OSTERMANN   
Wednesday, 04 June 2014 14:19

Hawks’ Huertas, Weinhold, relays ready for La Crosse with sights on WIAA Div. 2 state titles

A simple philosophy continued to pay dividends for Grafton High School track and field athletes last week.

Saving their best performances for the biggest meets of the season, the Black Hawks secured high honors and state trips at a WIAA Division 2 sectional meet in Whitewater last Friday.

Sparked by senior Erick Huertas’ double win in sprints, the Grafton boys won the team title and had three individual performances and four relays qualify for this week’s state meet in La Crosse.

Huertas won the 200-meter dash (21.88 seconds) and 400 dash (48.61) and anchored a first-place 1,600 relay that also included Sam Miller, Patrick Tobianski and Matt Salm (a team-record 3:19.57). All three times are the top state-qualifying marks in Division 2.

The Grafton boys’ other state-bound efforts were a first from the 800 relay of Alex Gall, Miller, Salm and Nic Fullington (1:30.6); third by the 3,200 relay of Tobianski, Jacob Woolf, Parker White and Salm (8:12.48); and fourths by junior Alec Weinhold in the 1,600 run (4:33.32) and the 400 relay of Will Favret, Miller, Gall and Fullington (44.14).

“It was an excellent meet for us,” said Hawks coach Kevin Kriegel, whose squad scored 63 points to edge Whitewater (58.5) for top honors in the 28-team standings.

“Erick had a great day, and getting all four relays through to state (for the first time since 2004) is pretty special. The 4-by-100 was a challenge, but they came through.”

Huertas, who ran 22.13 in the sectional preliminaries of the 200 dash, heads back to state as a strong favorite in both of his individual races. At last year’s Division 1 finals, he won the 400 dash and was fifth in the 200 and returns even more determined to best that showing.



Huertas, who will take his talents to Central Michigan on a track scholarship this fall, has a solid shot at three gold medals and at breaking his own school marks in the 200 (21.69) and 400 (47.53) in the season finale, Kriegel said.

The 1,600 relay, which has owned the state’s fastest time throughout the season, broke the school record set in 2012 and will be a heavy favorite in La Crosse.

Winning the sectional title “was a nice surprise,” Kriegel said. “We got a number of points with Erick, but there were a lot of other good performances, too.”

Grafton’s other scoring finishes were sixths by Jon Lindeman in the pole vault (12 feet) and White in the 3,200 run (9:56.04) and an eighth by Zach Greenwood in the pole vault (11-6).

The Grafton girls, who shared seventh place in the sectional with 31 points, will be represented in La Crosse with two individuals and two relays.

The Lady Hawks’ state-qualifying finishes were a first by the 1,600 relay of Alina Dillahunt, Adele Danner, Nikki Kreutzer and Katie Boehm (4:02.64), third by Dillahunt in the 100 dash (12.96) and fourths by the 800 relay of Anya Dillahunt, Danner, Kreutzer and Alina Dillahunt (1:46.51) and Danner in the 300 hurdles (46.71).

The 1,600 relay edged a Catholic Memorial team that was second by two one-hundredths of a second.

“The girls had a nice finish,” Kriegel said. “We were hoping to get two relays through, and were able to do that.”

The Lady Hawks’ other scoring finishes were a sixth by Boehm in the 400 dash (1:01.02) and seventh by Hannah Weber in the 300 hurdles (47.61)

The Hawks’ approach of continuing to improve as they aim for a late-season peak is paying off, Kriegel noted.

“They’ve been pushing hard. At this point, they just want to run their best and try to break some records in the process,” he said.

The state meet will be held Friday and Saturday, June 6 and 7, at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse.


Will’s school-record triple jump tops list of four Div. 1 qualifying efforts by Port Washington boys

First-place finishes eluded the Port Washington Pirates on a trip to the Fox River Valley last Friday.

The chance to extend their season at this week’s WIAA Division 1 state meet didn’t.

Led by a school-record performance by Darius Will, the Port boys’ team turned in four state-qualifying performances in a sectional meet at Oshkosh West High School.

Will, a senior, earned his trip by placing second in the triple jump with a leap of 44 feet, 2-3/4 inches, breaking a team mark that had stood for more than two decades. The previous record of 44-2-1/4 was set by Brad Esselmann in 1993.

The Pirates’ other state-worthy efforts were seconds by senior Marty Franz-kowiak in the 200 dash (a personal-best 22.61 seconds) and junior Nick Micha-lowski in the 3,200 run (9:36.94) and a third by the 3,200 relay of Taylor Godersky, Bill Ernest, Eli Olson and Eagan Norman (8:07.92).

“It was a pretty good meet for us,” said Port coach Mark Pasten, whose team scored 48 points, good for seventh place in the 16-team standings.

“The guys knew what it would take to get through to state. They’ve worked hard in the off-season, and it’s paid off.”

Will has been among the area’s top triple-jumpers this spring and qualified for state for the second straight year in the event. On Friday, he trailed only Neenah’s Chris Van Dyke (45-1).

Franzkowiak earned his first state trip, narrowly losing to Sheboygan North’s Michal Baca (22.55).

“Marty had been to the sectionals for four years but never got through before,” Pasten said. “He came through and had a great race.”

Michalowski made a serious push for a sectional title, leading most of his race before being passed by West Bend West’s Aric Miller (9:35.76) on the last lap.

The state-bound relay missed its goal of a 8:05 finish but still turned in a season-best time by eight seconds. All four runners had personal-best splits, Pasten said.

The Pirates will make their second straight state appearance in the relay, having qualified last year with a lineup that includes Godersky, Ernest, Norman and Jack Skelton-Miller.

“We did about as well as I expected,” Pasten said of the team’s overall showing. “About the only one we thought might qualify was Josh Reisimer in the discus.”

Reisimer, a senior, placed fifth at 142-6, about two feet behind the third-place and final qualifying distance.

The Pirates’ other sectional scoring finishes were a fourth by Godersky in the 1,600 run (4:29.21), sixth by Norman in the 3,200 run (9:59.8), sevenths by Alex Masters in the 100 dash (11.74) and Godersky in the 800 run (2:06.92) and eighths by Will in the long jump (20-4) and Quentin Lueck in the 300 hurdles (42.31).

Fond du Lac won the boys’ team title with 83.5 points, edging runner-up West Bend West (83).

The Port girls’ lone sectional qualifier was the 1,600 relay of Kristen Smith, Kristina Rossi, Elise Benkley and Anna Sandberg, which placed seventh (4:21.84). The finish was good for two points and a share of 15th place.

West Bend West won the girls’ title with 140 points.

The state meet will be held Friday and Saturday, June 6 and 7, at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse.


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