Greisch, Brunette finishes set pace for local qualifiers in Div. 1 state track meet
Youth had its day for Port Washington and Grafton athletes at the WIAA Division 1 state track and field meet in La Crosse last weekend.
Although scoring was limited, there were plenty of solid performances for the local squads, particularly among underclassmen.
The top area finishes came in the girls’ portion of the meet, where Grafton freshman Cathy Brunette placed sixth in the 100-meter hurdles and Port Washington junior Payton Greisch was eighth in the 400 dash.
Brunette, who advanced to the state level with a qualifying time from the tough Homestead Sectional, posted a time of 15.74 seconds, her third-fastest effort of the season. She scored three points as the Grafton girls’ lone state participant, giving the Black Hawks a share of 51st place among 63 teams that scored.
“It was really nice to see her do well after coming through that sectional,” Grafton coach Kevin Kriegel said.
“Three of the girls she finished behind were from the same sectional.”
Homestead’s Marissa Savitch won the event in 14.52.
Greisch rose to the occasion by turning in personal-best times in the preliminaries (eighth in 58.87) and finals (58.45). She scored the Pirates’ only point, giving them a share of 62nd place.
Brookfield Central’s Chidera Obasih won the 400 dash in 55.18.
The Port girls had three other individual state qualifiers. Junior Marly Trier took 10th in the discus (115 feet, 7 inches), freshman Emma Shelander was 13th in the triple jump (34-6-1/2) and freshman Bianca Benkley was 16th in the 3,200 run (11:41.05).
Greisch participated in her second state meet, while her teammates made their debuts there.
“They all did well and gained valuable experience,” Port girls’ coach Joe Adamak said. “It’s nice to know all of them will return next year and want to get back up there.”
Milwaukee Bradley Tech won the Division 1 girls’ team title with 70 points, and Arrowhead was second with 57.
In the boys’ portion of the meet, sophomore Jason Zahn was Grafton’s lone participant and finished 11th in the discus (157-10). Oregon’s Jake Ninneman won the event (180-0).
“That was one of his top four distances of the season,” Kriegel said of Zahn. “He did a solid job.”
The Port boys had two boys’ state qualifiers — the 1,600 and 3,200 relay teams, which turned in their fastest and second-fastest times of the season, respectively.
The 1,600 team of Joe McIlree, Justin Fote, Adam Prom and Steven Nelson placed 15th (3:25.9), as did the 3,200 team of Fote, McIlree, Jeff Bartow and Jared Sandlin (8:08.51).
Homestead won the 1,600 relay (3:18.78) and 3,200 relay (7:46.82) on its way to the overall championship with 54.5 points. Milwaukee Marquette was second with 35 points.
“I was pleased with the way they ran,” Port boys’ coach Mark Pasten said of his relay teams.
“The 3,200 team was seeded 12th, so I expected them to do well. The 1,600 was only seeded 21st, so we knew they were a long shot, but they really came through.”
Prom, Nelson and Bartow are all seniors. McIlree, Fote and Sandlin are juniors and will provide a strong relay corps next year, Pasten noted.
“It was also nice to see Adam Prom, a four-year letterwinner, make his first trip to state,” he said.
This was the fourth straight year in which the Port boys qualified for state in the 3,200 relay.
JUNIOR MARLY TRIER, one of four Port Washington girls who qualified for last week’s WIAA Division 1 state track and field meet, placed 10th in the discus. Photo by Tim Greisch