Menomonie girls track and field head coach Matthew Flug said he could not have been more pleased with his team’s effort at the Big Rivers Conference (BRC) meet held Tuesday at Menomonie High School.
The girls’ team finished in third place with 96 points, placed in every event they entered, set 28 personal best records and earned seven all-conference awards.
“I honestly thought there was very little chance we could pull out a third in this meet, but these girls have a lot of heart and completely impressed me,” Flug remarked.
A particular momentous occasion for Flug was the performance of the 4x100 relay team consisting of Tori Harmston, Tyra Boettcher, Elle Hemauer and Madison Davis, who won the event with a time of 50.48 seconds, just a tenth of a second shy of beating the BRC record.
It is the second year in a row the relay team has won the event at conference. He noted their success was particularly impressive considering the team had lost two key runners from last year’s state qualifying relay.
“While it’s not going to be easy, they have all of a sudden crept into contention again,” he said.
Two other relay teams also found success Tuesday evening. The 4x200 relay team of Boettcher, Hemauer, Davis and Lucie Sarsa finished runner up accompanied by a personal best performance on the season with a time of 1 minute, 48.01 seconds, and the 4x400 relay team of Olivia Peterson, Kaylynn Imsande, Aura Eisold and Sarsa placed third.
“I think what really epitomized how well our day was going was when the 1,600 meter relay team ... ran the race of their lives to pull out a third to end the meet. They just flat out went after it and ran our best relay time of the season by a big margin.”
Boettcher also ended with an individual event victory—and PR—in the triple jump (36-feet, 10-inches), an event she had been doing well in all season. She also set a PR in the long jump (17-06.25), good for third place.
“Tyra had a huge day,” Flug said. “For her to be involved in four events and hold up as well as she did was remarkable.”
Boettcher’s performances earned her the BRC Field MVP for her senior season.
Kylie Mogen placed in four events as well, taking fourth in three events, the high jump (4-10), triple jump (33-06.50) and long jump (16-11.75) and also ended seventh in the 300m hurdles (52.13). Mogen set a season record in the 300m hurdles and a PR in the long jump.
In throwing events, Destiny Haldeman took runner-up in the shot put (37-08) and set a PR while Teagan Bignell finished third at discus (101-04), good for a personal best on the season.
Bignell’s throw earned her an all-conference honorable mention and was her first time throwing over 100 feet. Haldeman received second team all-conference honors which, Flug noted, puts her in a solid spot to contend for State.
Boys team results
The Mustang boys’ team finished in fourth place at the conference tournament with 92.5 points, fueled by numerous placements in jump events.
Sam Zbornik led in individual events with three event placements, including a first place finish in the high jump (6-2) and runner ups in both the 110m hurdles (15.53) and 300m hurdles (41.88). Zbornik ran his best times of the season in hurdles.
“Sam was amazing,” boys’ head coach Craig Olson remarked. “That’s 26 individual points for the team and a BRC title in the high jump. A phenomenal day for Sam.”
Brenden Johnston set a PR in the long jump (20-7.50), good for third place and also took fifth in the triple jump (41-03.75). Devin Williams took third in the triple jump (42-07.50) and set a PR in the long jump (20-07) for fourth place.
Kevyn Perkins placed fifth in the high jump (5-06) and the 100m hurdles (16.07) while Dylan Boecker finished seventh in the long jump (20-0.75) for a PR. Logan Sorenson ended in sixth in the high jump (5-06) and Adam Giljohann tied for fifth at the pole vault (11-00, PR).
The 4x100 and 4x200 relay teams took third while the 4x400 and 4x800 relay teams finished in fifth place.
River Falls won the boys’ meet with a cumulative score of 149, Eau Claire North finished runner up at 126 points and Eau Claire Memorial took third with 107.5 points.
“I was pretty happy to get ahead of Hudson, Rice Lake and Chippewa,” Olson said. “It would have been difficult to catch Memorial for third ... we just didn’t have the depth to get them this year. Still, it was a solid day for our boys team.”
The Mustangs spent the remainder of the week and weekend preparing for Monday’s WIAA Division 1 regional tournament at Superior High School. The top four athletes in each event will advance to Thursday’s sectional tournament held at D.C. Everest High School.