Whitnall celebrates return to home track for Woodland Outdoor Meet
Falcons capture trio of first places
Track and field returned to Whitnall High School on May 20, and girls head coach Michael Thompson could not have been happier.
The Falcons had not hosted a meet in a number of years due to the deteriorating condition of their old track, but with the new facilities at Falcon Field, they were finally able to put on a varsity event.
Making the occasion even more special was the fact that it was the Woodland Conference Outdoor Meet.
"This was a sweet victory," Thompson said. "This was the first varsity track meet at Whitnall in at least 13 years, and as far as I know, the first conference track meet ever contested at Whitnall.
"There was definitely a sense of pride in finally being able to host a home meet, and to have it be such an important meet only made the experience better."
Team wins three events
To top off the day, the Falcons claimed three championships on the girls side.
Sophomore Jasmine Bickerstaff captured both the 100-meter hurdles in a school-record 15.76 seconds and the 300 hurdles with 50.57, while the 4x800-meter relay unit of seniors Kim Hurst, Jenny Bahling and Alyssa Woo and junior Kristy Crivello won with 10 minutes, 21.99 seconds.
"Jasmine has been slowed lately by some nagging injuries, and we've been having problems getting her starts down for the 100 hurdles," Thompson said. "She certainly figured something out (in the outdoor) in the finals, as she shattered her school record set last year of 16.02.
"Jasmine was never a fan of the 300 hurdles, but as the season went on, she began to embrace them more and more. She completed an impressive double by winning both hurdle events."
Thompson was also happy to see the 4x800 relay win.
"(It's nice because) three of the four girls on the 4x800 are seniors, and for them to go out as conference champions on their home track was awesome," he said.
The Whitnall boys did not win any events, but Nate Schaefer placed second in both the 400 dash at 50.38 and the triple jump with 42 feet 113/4 inches.
Coming in third for the boys were Paul Howard in the 400 dash (50.50) and the 4x400 relay of Joe Alexopolus, Mike Grim, Schaefer and Howard (3:25.09).
Neve Kromhelm finished fifth in the girls 400 dash (1:02.73), and taking fifth for the boys were Nick Crivello in the shot put (43-71/2); the 4x100 relay of Alexopolus, Fred Stewart, Max Anderer and Mike Voelkel (45.71); and the 4x200 squad of Alexopolus, Grim, Nick Olson and JT Reed (1:35.56).
Snaring sixth for the girls were Hurst in the high jump (4-6) and the 4x400 group of Bickerstaff, Sam Benzinger, Hurst and Kronhelm (4:27.87).
Coming in sixth for the boys were Reed in the 200 dash (23.33), Schaefer in the 800 run (2:02.35), Alex Richardson in the 1600 (4:37.54), Ethan Harycki in the shot put (43-51/2) and Crivello in the discus (116-10).
Boys sixth, girls eighth
For the girls, sevenths went to Michelle Koklas in the 300 hurdles (54.47) and Kristine Kasper in the pole vault (7-6). Nate Dellevar took seventh in the boys pole vault (11-0).
Capturing eighth for the girls were Lani Cieszynski in the pole vault (7-6) and Benzinger in the triple jump (31-61/4). Reed took eighth in the boys 100 dash (11.31).
The boys team tallied 571/2 points for sixth place, while the girls scored 451/2 points for eighth place.
Whitnall was back at its home track for a WIAA Division 1 regional on May 27, and qualifiers will compete at Wisconsin Lutheran on Thursday, May 29, for spots in the state meet.
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