Locals ride relays to state
Those relay teams will join 12 individual qualifiers to give Janesville another strong contingent at the state meet.
Parker’s boys will rely on a talented senior class. Senior Ryan Shelton will compete in the 200, 800 relay and 1,600 relay, while classmates Calvin Nauer and Cody Speaker will compete in two events.
“It’s no secret that even though it’s not a very big group, our seniors have been the strength of our team this season,” Parker boys coach Joe Dye said.
“Shelton’s an outstanding three-sport athlete. Speaker is a three-time conference champion in the pole vault, which does not happen very often, and Nauer is a great student/athlete that is making the most of his senior season.”
Nauer, after missing out on the postseason a year ago with a back injury, qualified in the shot put and discus.
Speaker cleared 13-9 in the pole vault and is the eighth seed going into the state meet. The top six finishers in each event earn medals and a trip to the podium.
The Parker boys also will be represented by sophomores Brad Money in the 800 and Erik Albeck in the 110 high hurdles.
Paige Demos is the lone representative for the Parker girls. Demos qualified in the 100 high hurdles and the high jump.
The Craig girls 800 relay team of sophomore Katie Bagley, senior Caroline Shea, junior Ally Wirkus and freshman Maggie Slatter has a legitimate shot at a medal. The team broke the school record in the event at the sectional meet with a time of 1:45.39 and heads into the state meet as the No. 7 seed.
“Sometimes when you put a team together on the fly, like we did with the 800 relay team, it doesn’t work out,” Craig girls coach Mark Marsden said. “But that’s not the case with this team.
“They continue to drop more time each time they run, and I really think they’ve got an excellent chance to be running in the finals on Saturday.”
Shea, Wirkus and Slatter will join junior Ciarra Sroda on the 400 relay team.
Craig senior Hailey Smith qualified for state in the 3,200 in her first season out for track and field.
“It’s a pretty amazing story,” Marsden said of Smith’s run to state. “If there was a 10,000-meter race in high school, Hailey would be really, really good because she seems to get stronger as the race goes on.
“She PR’d by about 20 seconds at the sectional meet, and our sectional was loaded. For her to make it to state in her first year is really incredible.”
Craig’s Cy Badertscher is the fourth seed in the boys long jump. The junior qualified with a jump of 22-2. Justin Bowers is the top seed coming in at 23-1. Badertscher also qualified in the triple jump.
“I’ve been very impressed with Cy this season,” Craig boys coach Jeff Deininger said. “He has worked very hard and has really been focused on making himself a much better track athlete.”
Sophomore Tommy Meister will represent in the Cougars in the 1,600-meter run, as well as anchoring the 3,200 relay team. Meister is the sixth seed in the 1,600 with a time of 4:20.20. Joining Meister on the 3,200 relay is senior Alex Crandall, sophomore Joe Sarow and freshman Spencer Hrycay.
In the first year of the wheelchair division, Craig sophomore Devon Radloff will compete in the 100 and 1,600.