Janesville relay teams lead parade to state
Led by victories in the 3,200 relay by the Craig High boys and the Parker boys in the 800 relay, three Janesville relays qualified for next weekend’s state meet at La Crosse. The Parker girls 800 relay team also advanced on what turned out to be a productive meet for Janesville athletes.
Janesville will be represented in 12 individual events at state, along with the three relays.
The Parker boys, after winning Monday’s regional, finished second to Waterford in the sectional.The Wolverines won the team title with 76 points, while the Vikings were right behind with 73.
The Craig boys finished fourth and advanced five individuals and one relay.
In the first event of the meet, Craig’s 3,200-relay team of Ryan Ahrens, Matt McDonald, Alex Crandall and Joe Kennedy won with a time of 8:16.75. With the top seed coming in, the Cougars won the race by almost two seconds, thanks to Kennedy's strong final 800.
The Craig junior was battling a hamstring injury that he suffered at Monday’s regional, but he was able to run through the pain.
“It hurt on the last lap, but not enough to keep us from having a chance to run at state,” Kennedy said. “We knew we had the fastest time coming in, so it was a matter of running our race, which we did.”
McDonald ran the second leg and had a simple strategy.
“All I try to do is make sure that the guy behind me doesn’t pass me,” McDonald said. “If I don’t let him close the gap, I know I’ve done my job.”
The team hopes the state meet brings out the best.
“Somewhere around 8:09 is the time we’ll be shooting for,” Kennedy said. “I think we can get it.”
Craig had two other individual winners. Junior JoJo Pregont won the triple jump with a leap of 42-feet, 6 inches, while senior Greg Pedersen threw the shot put 50 feet, 10 inches to lead a 1-2-3 Janesville finish in the event. Parker’s D’Merius Holbrook was second, and the Vikings’ Harold Lloyd was third in advancing to state.
Pregont also qualified for state in the long jump by finishing second, and in the high jump, thanks to a third-place finish.
“It’s not often you see someone qualify in three events,” Craig coach Jeff Deininger said of Pregont. “And with our 3,200 relay team winning, and Pede winning the shot put, it was a great night.”
Ahrens also qualified for state after finishing third in the 1,600. Fort Atkinson’s Spencer Agnew won both the 1,600 and 3,200, while teammate Jake Burow was second in both races.
The Parker boys got their lone win in the 800 relay. The team of Enio Filho-Perez, LaVell Hewlett, Cody St. Michael and Ryan Shelton, despite having only the fourth-fastest seed time, won with a time of 1:31.49.
The Vikings had two other individual qualifiers besides Holbrook and Lloyd. Senior Riley Grafft finished second in the high jump, and Nick Cahill was third in the triple jump.
Parker’s Shelby Demos will be going back to state in two events. The junior remained unbeaten in the high jump after winning the sectional title with a jump of 5-6. She also finished second in the high hurdles behind three-event winner Shelby Schaal of Waterford.
The Vikings’ 800 relay team of Emily Mauermann, Niquisha Kenerson Kaynesha Zinn and Kelsey Jones will run at state after finishing second.
Craig’s Nikki Scieszinski qualified for state for the third year in a row with a third-place finish in the 400.
Elkhorn’s Nate Lockwood won the 100, and Delavan-Darien’s 400-meter relay team of Mitch Wiser, Jarrett Fowlkes, Jeff Turbett and Zach Cervantes also sprinted to victory.
Milton’s Tasha Randall qualified in the shot put, while Hank McIvor of the Red Hawks finished third in the 100 to advance to state. The Red Hawks’ 800-relay team of Justin Spaulding, Shawn Jensen, Malachi Heder and McIvor advanced with a third-place finish.