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Topper boys 5th in 4x200m relay; Krueger takes 7th in pole vault

LA CROSSE —  Getting to state is one thing but scoring points or medaling once you’re there can be a whole other matter.

After neither Boyceville nor Glenwood City were able to earn a medal of any kind in last year’s state meet, the Hilltopper boys’ 4×200 meter relay squad was able to secure one this go-round as the sophomore quartet of Darian Multhauf, Jacob Nelson, Jacob Kopacz and Carson Strong finished fifth in Saturday’s finals after taking eighth in the previous day’s preliminaries at the 2016 WIAA State track and Field Championships held last Friday and Saturday, June 3 and 4, at the Veterans Memorial Field and Sports Complex on UW-La Crosse campus that was marked by alternating periods of sunshine and rain including a lightning-delay on the final day.

Despite qualifying four relays (two each for the Hilltoppers boys and girls) and a pair of individuals, the Glenwood City boys’ fifth-place showing in the 4×200 meter relay provided the Toppers with their only medal and points of this year’s meet. The five points garnered from that finish allowed the GC boys to finish 49th in boys’ Division 3 standings, a position they shared with five others schools.

That same set of Hilltopper boys competed in the 4×100 meter relay preliminaries on Friday but did not qualifying for the finals the next day after placing 12th.

The Boyceville boys finished in a five-way tie for 61st with two points on the strength of junior Tyler Krueger’s seventh-place showing in the pole vault. In his second straight, Division 3 state pole vault competition, Krueger bettered his height by a foot and placement by six positions in this year’s meet.

Boyceville also had its girls’ recording-setting 4×100 meter relay team competing this past weekend in La Crosse where it placed ninth in both the preliminaries and finals.

Glenwood City senior Rachel Klatt, competing in her third straight Division 3 state shot put competition capped her storied high school career by taking tenth while Darian Multhauf was 16th in the 100 meter dash.

The Lady Hilltoppers, like the boys, took a pair of relays to La Crosse. After finishing seventh in 2015 to give Glenwood City its only points of the state meet, the girls’ 4×400 meter relay team returned but finished ninth on the second and final day of this year’s meet. The team’s 4×800 meter relay squad came in tenth in Friday’s opening race.

After running a 1:34.90 in Friday’s prelims, more than a half second off its sectional-winning time, the Glenwood City boys’ 4×200 meter team shaved a second off the previous day’s clocking and jumped all the way to fifth after Multhauf, Kopacz, Nelson and Strong combined to register a 1:33.85 in Saturday’s finals.

The same members finished 12th in Friday afternoon’s 4×100 meter race with a time of :45.85. Had the team ran close to its top-sectional time of :45.46, it would have moved up to ninth and qualified to run in the finals the next day.

The Glenwood City girls’ 4×800 meter relay team opened the first day of competition while its’ 4 x 400 meter squad ran in the final event of the day.

The 4×400 meter relay team, making its second consecutive state appearance, took tenth in the prelims as last year’s holdovers, seniors Morgan Kadinger, Gabby Peterson and Maya Petersen along with newcomers Elizabeth Wink ran a 4:15.65 to grab the last qualifying spot for the next day’s finals. The aforementioned senior triumvirate along with 2015 graduate Jennifer Kopacz took seventh in the event last years to earn the Toppers’ only state points. This year’s squad was hoping to equal or better that this time around. While Kadinger, Peterson, Petersen and Wink took a whopping three second off its time in the finals, finishing in 4:12.93, they could only managed to get ninth place.

Wink and Kadinger also ran on the 4×800 meter relay team along with Megan Speiser and Taylor Drinkman. The foursome scored tenth with a run of 10:19.52.

While the long distance relays (4×800) were being run, Boyceville vaulter Tyler Krueger was getting his second straight state competition underway. The junior easily cleared the opening height of 11’ 6” and the next height of 12’ on his first attempts. It took Krueger a second try to get over 12’ 6” but he went out of the competition at 13’, knocking down the bar on all three attempts and finished seventh. Bangor senior Kellen Kravik took the D3 pole vault title for a second consecutive year with a winning vault of 15’, just three inches shy of the division record.

Prior to competing in both of the Glenwood City boys’ state-qualify relays, Darian Multhauf’s first state action came in the Division 3 boys’ 100 meter dash. The sophomore ran a :12.20 but did not qualify for the finals in the event after placing 16th.

After a disappointing 16th-place showing in last year’s state shot put competition, Hilltoppers’ senior Rachel Klatt was bound and determined to give a better accounting in her “swan-song” performance. And she did just that. Klatt threw 36’ 1”, nearly eight better than the previous year, to grab 11th. She also finished 11th in 2014.

Looking to continue its string of record-setting performances that had carried it through regional and sectional meets, the Boyceville girls’ 4×100 meter relay team was posed to break the school record for a third consecutive week. Although that did not happen at the state meet, the squad, comprised of senior Ireland McAbee-Thomas and juniors Erica Sempf, Carlee Schultz and Cassie Malean, did run to a pair of  ninth place finishes. The team ran a :52.01 in Friday’s prelims to make the finals the following day where ti had a :52.43. Had the four girls been able to equal its record-setting sectional performance of :51.84, they would have finished in the points at seventh.