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On to state! Vikings send four individuals, two relays to La Crosse

With the top four places moving on to the WIAA State Track and Field meet this weekend, there were some highs and some lows when the Colfax boys’ and girls’ teams finished off the sectional meet at home May 29. The highs certainly came from the two boys and two girls who qualified for state along with two girls’ relay teams, and the lows were several fifth places that left athletes just short of moving on to the big show. The first half of the meet took place with a steady drizzle coming down before the skies finally cleared later.

Running a personal best time, the girls’ 4 X 800 relay team started the meet off with a bang as they won the race in 10:11.92. Dannielle Dachel led off with a brisk pace and was ahead in the race when she handed off to Courtney Dressel who held her own while battling a Glenwood City runner and a Unity runner. Mackenzie Jensen ran the third leg and allowed the Unity girl to pass her up and when the baton was passed to Dempsey Fogarty, there was a lot of empty track in front of her. Trying to make up a good 100 meters or so may have been a problem for some girls but Fogarty just plugged away and made up ground meter by meter, and coming down the stretch hung on the Unity runner’s heels before passing her at the finish line to win by a second.

“I just stayed focused and ran my pace,” Fogarty said. “I saw the girl pretty far ahead and didn’t know if I could catch her or not. I guess I had a better kick at the end,” Fogarty said with rain dripping off her face. Fogarty will also compete at state in the 800 m run after finishing third with a pb time of 2:29.21.

Katie Christoffel picked a great time to run her personal best in the 300 hurdles, placing second in 50.20, and helped the 4 X 100 relay place fourth along with Megan Schleusner, Bryana Buchanan and Ally Heidorn with another pb time of 52.91.

Fogarty just missed qualifying in the 400 after placing fifth in 1:01.79 and Dachel finished sixth in the 1600 in 5:50.79. Christoffel added an eighth in the 100 m hurdles in 17.50 while Marianne Scharlau placed 12th in the shot put with a toss of 30-03.50. Heidorn did not make the finals in the 200 m dash with her time of 27.28.

After already breaking the school record in the 200 m dash, Andrew Adix ran a time of 23.00 to place third for the boys and Jelani Smit needed to run a pb time of 42.15 in the 300 hurdle event to qualify for state, also in third place. Smit was one spot away from moving on in the 110 hurdle race with his time of 17.22 and both sprint relays felt the agony when they had some problems with their handoffs and both finished fifth. The 4 X 100 with Jeremiah Wait, Jacob Steinke, Brad Foyt and Adix finished with a time of 45.99 while conference rival Elmwood-Plum City ran a 45.51 to claim the fourth spot. The same four Vikings ran the 4 X 200 in 1:35.99 and were beat out by Elmwood-Plum City again with their time of 1:35.59.

After competing at state a year ago, Ben Kragness finished sixth in the shot put with a throw of 46-00 and the 4 X 800 relay also took sixth with their time of 8:39.16 as Tucker Hovde, Jacob Larson, Brett Prince and Zack Arvold ran the race. Hunter Leiffort tied for ninth in the pole vault at 10-00, Arvold was 11th in the 800 at 2:13.07 and Wait did not make the finals in the 100 m dash with his time of 12.00 in the preliminaries.

With the top eight spots earning team points, the Colfax girls were sixth out of 30 teams with 37 points with Eau Claire Regis winning with 73 points. The boys were ninth of 31 teams with 30 points as Athens won with 56 points.

“I was happy with the times our kids had who will move on to state,” coach Ryan Krall said. “But it’s a big disappointment to know that we have several kids that could be going with better  times, distances or heights then many of the kids who will be competing at state. But you have to be at your best at regionals and sectionals to move on. It just shows how strong the competition is and how every tenth of a second or inch makes a difference,” he added.