Janesville’s high school track and field competitors will be busy this weekend in La Crosse.
Twenty-eight athletes—not including relay alternates—combined from Janesville Parker and Janesville Craig produced 20 individual and seven relay qualifications for the WIAA Division 1 state meet, which runs Friday and Saturday at UW-La Crosse.
Even more impressive than those overall numbers, 17 of those 28 will compete in multiple events.
“It’s super exciting and means that we’re working with some really talented athletes,” Parker girls coach Kristin Collins said. “On the boys side, they’ll have a juggling act because they’re in so many races. But it’s usually even harder if you’re in a running event and a field event.
“So for (sophomore Ryann Porter) it’s a lot of time management. Her triple jump starts at 9:30 a.m., which is the same time as the running events. But she’s in the third flight of the triple, so she’ll probably end up doing the hurdles first. We’ll just have to help her out and make sure she’s warmed up properly for her first event.”
The Parker boys and girls programs each have six individual qualifications, and the boys have their two sprint relays competing at state.
The Craig boys and girls each have four individual qualifications, with the boys sending three of four relay groups and the girls sending two.
Temperatures are forecast to be in the upper 70s to low 80s over the two days, with a chance for a p.m. storm Saturday. Between the weather and the athletes’ busy schedules, coaches are preaching hydration and focus.
“Our message no matter what meet it is, if you’re in a multiple-event scenario, you’re one event at a time. Your first event is the only one you’re thinking about,” Craig boys coach Jeff Deininger said.
“And obviously every track program in the state of Wisconsin is preaching hydration in this weather.”
Here’s a closer look at the top state storylines for Janesville’s programs:
Sippy’s last high school hurrah
Craig senior Peyton Sippy’s standout high school distance running career will come to an end this weekend.
Sippy took second in the Division 1 girls 3,200 meters last year and was fourth in the 1,600.
This past fall, the University of Wisconsin signee won the D1 girls state cross country title.
She has said since that time that having her Craig teammates by her side at state cross country helped relax her nerves on the way to winning state. That Cougars team qualified for team state, and many of those same runners will join Sippy in La Crosse this weekend either in individual events or as part of qualifying 4x400- and 4x800-meter.
Junior Grace Meister, sophomore Ellie Lorenz and freshmen Mae Williams and Clare Hulick made of Craig’s 3200 relay team. Meister, Lorenz, junior Amy Groshan and sophomores Rileigh Elgas qualified in the 1,600 relay. Hulick (800) and Groshan (200) also qualified as individuals.
Could having company at state lead to another spot—or two?—atop the podium for Sippy?
There’s certainly a chance.
She enters with the second-best seed times in both the 1,600 and 3,200 but was not pushed at the regional or sectional levels. The girls 3,200 is Friday, and the 1,600 is Saturday.
Hartwig trending up podium
Parker junior Julia Hartwig has been on the podium in the D1 girls shot put in each of her first two trips to state, and she’ll look to keep working her way up the podium.
Hartwig finished sixth as a freshman and fourth a year ago, and she enters the weekend with the second-best seed distance after breaking the Parker girls program record with a put of 43 feet, 3.75 inches at sectionals. Oak Creek senior Jenna Dankert enters with a seed mark of 43-7.25.
Hartwig, who also qualified in discus for the second straight year, was not the only Vikings girl building momentum with a school-record mark at sectionals.
Porter set a program record with a jump of 37-6.5 at sectionals and enters Friday’s D1 girls state competition as the sixth seed, putting her right in the mix for a medal spot (top six). Porter also qualified in the 110-meter hurdles.
Joining Hartwig and Porter at state are junior Taylor Grams (pole vault) and junior Brooke Graesslin (400).
Murphy among D1’s top sprinters
Parker senior Seamus Murphy has been among the state’s fastest sprinters all year, and now he’ll get a chance to see where he stacks up against the best of the best.
Murphy heads to state with the second-fastest seed time (10.90 seconds) in D1 100-meter dash and the fifth-fastest time in the 200 (22.24).
It’s Murphy’s first trip to state after missing out by 0.01 seconds in the 100 last year.
He also anchors the Vikings’ 4x200-meter relay team that will attempt to make it through Friday’s prelims and into Saturday’s final heat. Murphy is joined on that team by senior Cortell Johnson, junior Brody Lippens and sophomore John Dunn. Johnson, Lippens, Dunn and Casey Vanderlinden will also run the 4x100 meters.
Senior Dakota Schmaling will race in both D1 boys hurdles events and has a chance to make the finals in both.
Senior Palmer Goodwick will compete at state in pole vault for a third time.
And junior Von Olson will compete in high jump.
Craig boys ready for the big time
Most all of Craig’s boys state qualifiers seem to have one thing in common: They love a big-time atmosphere.
Junior Trevion Moore wasn’t even sure he was going to try the 110-meter hurdles this year, but since he made the decision to give it a go, his times have gotten faster at every progressive level of the postseason. His 14.75-second seed mark is fourth-fastest in Division 1.
Junior Aaron Leverson is coming off a sectional title in the 800 meters and enters state with the eighth-fastest seed time.
And freshman Bryan Bloomquist loves the postseason. He made a surprising run in cross country last fall and turned in the fastest time there for a freshman. Now he’s seeded 10th in the 3,200 and could move up from there.
Moore will run leadoff ahead of senior Orion Mitchell, junior Gabe Rubine and senior Alijah Jones in both the 400 and 800 relays that have hopes of making the finals. Leverson runs anchor behind senior Blake McCann, junior Zander Arena and sophomore Matthew Dillon in the 3200 relay.
Jones also qualified in the 100-meter dash.
WIAA state track and field
Janesville qualifiers and top seeds in their events
100—Gavin Buergi, Green Bay Preble, 10.80; Seamus Murphy, sr., Parker, 10.90; Alijah Jones, sr., Craig, 11.14.
200—John Ford, Nicolet, 22.01; Seamus Murphy, sr., Parker, 22.24
800—Steven Potter, Oak Creek, 1:54.34; Aaron Leverson, jr., Craig, 1:57.00.
3200—Matthew Meinke, Neenah, 9:23.10; Bryan Bloomquist, fr., Craig, 9:41.38.
110 hurdles—Jacob Biewer, Arrowhead, 14.36; Trevion Moore, jr., Craig, 14.75; Dakota Schmaling, sr., Parker, 15.05.
300 hurdles—John Ford, Nicolet, 38.52; Dakota Schmaling, sr., Parker, 40.06.
400 relay—Muskego 41.96; Craig (Trevion Moore, Orion Mitchell, Gabe Rubine, Alijah Jones) 43.78; Parker (John Dunn, Brody Lippens, Casey Vanderlinden, Cortell Johnson), 44.19.
800 relay—Muskego 1:27.47; Craig (Trevion Moore, Orion Mitchell, Gabe Rubine, Alijah Jones) 1:29.91; Parker (John Dunn, Brody Lippens, Cortell Johnson, Seamus Murphy), 1:29.96.
3200 relay—Kimberly 7:59.45; Craig (Blake McCann, Zander Arena, Matthew Dillon, Aaron Leverson), 8:08.59.
High jump—Nolan Woehrer, Slinger, 6-5; Von Olson, jr., Parker, 6-1.
Pole vault—Kaleb Schuster, DC Everest, and Cameron Bauer, Brookfield East, 15-3; Palmer Goodwick, sr., Parker, 13-0.
200—Amari Brown, Milwaukee King, 24.36; Amy Groshan, jr., Craig 26.45.
400—Maddie Frey, Waukesha West, 56.32; Brooke Graesslin, jr., Parker, 1:00.52.
800—Haleigh Reindl, Waterford, 2:14.65; Clare Hulick, fr., Craig, 2:24.34.
1600—Kate Jochims, Muskego, 5:04.99; Peyton Sippy, sr., Craig, 5:06.28.
3200—Katie Rose Blachowicz, Sun Prairie, 11:07.99; Peyton Sippy, sr., Craig, 11:16.17.
100 hurdles—Alexis Jackson, Oregon, 14.45; Ryann Porter, so., Parker 15.77
1600 relay—Waukesha West, 3:57.06; Craig (Amy Groshan, Rileigh Elgas, Ellie Lorenz, Grace Meister), 4:08.73.
3200 relay—Waukesha West, 9:23.43; Craig (Ellie Lorenz, Mae Williams, Grace Meister, Clare Hulick), 9:49.35.
Shot put—Jenna Dankert, Oak Creek, 43-7.25; Julia Hartwig, jr., Parker, 43-4.75
Discus—Natalie Mohring, DC Everest, 154-11; Julia Hartwig, jr., Parker, 118-4.
Pole vault—Hailey Orlowski, Wisconsin Lutheran, 12-7; Taylor Grams, jr., Parker, 10-0.
Triple jump—Armoni Brown, Waukesha South, 40-8; Ryann Porter, so., Parker, 37-6.5.