Brodhead-Juda looks for clean sweep
There aren’t likely to be repeat team champions, at least for the season, but that doesn’t call for an all-new look in Rock Valley Conference track and field.
As defending champions, Clinton’s boys and Evansville’s girls have some catching up to do after going 4-3 and 5-2, respectively, in dual competition. Meanwhile, Brodhead-Juda’s boys and girls head into Tuesday’s conference meet at Palmyra-Eagle as the favorites after going 7-0 in duals.
The season champions again will be determined by a combination of dual records and the conference meet. That puts the Brodhead-Juda boys in a dominating position after finishing two notches ahead of Beloit Turner and Walworth Big Foot (both 5-2) in duals, while the Cardinals girls could finish second to dual runner-up Orfordville Parkview (6-1) in the conference meet and still share the season championship.
If the Brodhead-Juda boys prevail, it will be their eighth title in nine years. Clinton broke their seven-year streak last season by going 7-0 in duals and winning the conference meet.
Brodhead-Juda’s girls are looking for their second title in three years. The Cardinals finished third last season, but they gained the upper hand for 2008 by beating Parkview and Evansville in a pivotal triple dual last week.
Evansville’s bid to put the heat on the Brodhead-Juda and Parkview girls will be led by returning champions in three events. They include Alicia Kopp in the shot put and discus, along with Leah Heimerl in the long jump.
Parkview senior Charissa Drake, who led the Vikings to the conference cross country title last fall, returns as defending champion in 1,600 and 3,200. Walworth Big Foot senior Kasey Keeler also is a returning champion in the 100 high hurdles, 300 low hurdles and triple jump, as is Clinton’s Emily Buchanan in the high jump.
Big Foot junior Sarah Thune won the 100, 200 and 400 last year, but she is out with a knee injury that also forced her to miss the basketball season.
Evansville senior Ryan Ammerman heads the returning boys champions as he bids for a repeat in the 1,600 and 3,200. He also is a two-time conference cross country champion.
The returning boys champions also include Caleb Frost, Brodhead-Juda, 300 intermediate hurdles; Elias Klar, Brodhead-Juda, pole vault; Phil Behrens, Big Foot, 200; Cody Campbell, Clinton, shot put; and David Kueltz, Evansville, high jump.