Whippets capture boys title
Special to the Gazette
The tears streaming down his face spoke volumes of the pain Jacob Dennis-Oehling was still feeling.
Moments earlier, the Whitewater High senior sprinter had been on top of the podium after winning the Division 2 boys 200-meter dash here Saturday at the WIAA state track and field meet at Veterans Memorial Stadium.
But he wasn’t feeling on top of the world, admitting that the pressure of being a defending state champion and a disqualification earlier in the day in the 100-meter finals were almost too much to bear.
Up stepped fellow senior Loussaint Minett, who quickly embraced his teammate and reminded him of what the Whippets had just done.
“We’ve got one event left, and we did it. We’re state champions,” Minett proudly proclaimed.
That brought a smile to Dennis-Oehling’s face.
“Let’s go wrap this title up now,” added Minett, who finished third in the shot put after winning the discus title on Friday.
Whitewater then did exactly when Dennis-Oehling ran a leg on the Whippets’ 1,600 relay that finished fifth.
Dennis-Oehling repeated as champion in the 200 in 22.08 seconds to help Whitewater finish with 47 points and capture its first state track and field championship since 1999 and first boys title since 1978.
“It was a very emotional day,” Whitewater coach John Houwers said. “It took a lot out of us.
“There were a lot of downs today and a lot of ups. But we ended on a high note. You never know what’s going to happen up here.”
Whitewater senior Tony Floyd had his second-place finish in the 110 high hurdles scratched when a crash forced the race to be re-run.
After a one runner tripped over a hurdle and knocked it into the lane next to him, which interfered with another athlete, meet officials had no other options but to re-run the race.
“It was very disappointing,’’ said Floyd, who then finished fifth in the do-over and was also third in the 300 intermediate hurdles. “But things happen. I just had to forget about it.”
So did Dennis-Oehling, who said it was tough to forget what happened.
“I was under a lot of pressure in the 200,’’ Dennis-Oehling said. “After all the work I put in this year and to get DQ’d (in the 100), it was tough. But this is better than last year’s title.’’
But the Whippets weren’t the only ones celebrating a championship. East Troy senior Cody Zaeske also reached the top podium after soaring 6 feet, 6 inches for the Division 2 state championship in the high jump.
Zaeske also had a third-place finish at 50.2 seconds in the 400-meter dash, where Edgerton junior Lucas Langer took fifth at 50.8.
East Troy senor Jasmine Haines couldn’t duplicate her second-place finish of a year ago in the Division 2 girls 200-meter dash, but she more than made up for it. Haines not only took third in the 400 with a 57.22 time, but she ran the third leg on the Trojans’ state championship 1,600 relay team.
Freshman Alee Schahczinski, junior Meghan Valentine and senior Tia Nowak teamed with Haines for a 3:58.52 time that gave East Troy a 1.1-second victory over state runner-up Kiel.
Other area highlights Saturday:
n Lake Geneva Badger’s team of Wes Aranda, Connor Kotula, Jarek Kunz and Justin Bowers finished fourth the Division 1 boys 400 relay at 42.52 second after entering the finals as the top seed.
n Orfordville Parkview senior Tailor Hartman took sixth at 22.84 in the Division 2 boys 200, which was won by Dennis-Oehling.
n Turner finished seventh in the Division 2 boys 800 relay with a 1:30.69.
n Whitewater sophomore Molly Griep was fifth in the Division 2 girls discus with a distance of 126 feet after taking second on Friday in the shot put.
n Janesville resident Ellen Schwartz took seventh for Lakeside Lutheran in the Division 2 girls 300 low hurdles with a time of 47.07 seconds.
n Clinton junior Laura Popanz was seventh in the Division 2 girls 100 at 12.61 seconds.
n Milton senior Leah Devries took ninth in the Division 1 girls shot put with a distance of 39-10.
n Brodhead/Juda junior Shannon Klein was fifth in the Division 2 girls 400 with a time of 57.54 seconds.