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Here’s some things to keep an eye on at this weekend’s WIAA state track and field meet, running Friday and Saturday at UW-La Crosse’s Veterans Memorial Field Complex.

A little bit of everything for Chi-Hi

The Chi-Hi track and field team offers plenty of intrigue in a few different ways. Senior and future Wisconsin Badger Cooper Barth is seeded highly in the 800-meter run and will look to end his Cardinal career on the podium. Chi-Hi has two girls relays running (4X200 and 4xX800) that bring back state experienced runners. Junior jumper Stephanie Sawicki has went from novice to state qualifier in the high jump in just a month and ends her whirlwind season competing with the best jumpers in the state on Saturday morning.

How far can McDonell go?

The McDonell boys track and field team returns in every event it went to state in last year plus the 4X400-meter relay. Those returners include three state champions (4X800-meter relay and Nick Zander in the 800 and 1,600-meter runs), a second place (Grant Pulver in the 3,200-meter run) and a third place (Pulver in the 1,600-meter run). If the cards fall correctly for the Macks, another high team finish isn’t out of the question. If the 4X400 advances to finals on Saturday, they could very well be running for a team state championship in the final event of the weekend.

Bloomer bounces back

After qualifying for state in just two events last year, the Bloomer track and field program brings plenty to this weekend’s meet. Ryan Buske (4X800-meter relay, 400-meter dash) and Kyra Arendt (long jump, 400-meter dash) head to La Crosse in two events while Matt Salm (discus), Kathrin Singvogel (200-meter dash), Caroline Vodacek (pole vault), Cora Bruxvoort (3,200-meter run) and the boys 4X800-meter relay (Buske, Jacob Anderson, Cory Zwiefelhofer, Clint Heinze) are also going to state. The normally strong Blackhawks program is back to normal with a healthy amount of athletes competing this weekend.

Cadott’s experience

At this point, it’s safe to say many members of the Cadott track and field team won’t be surprised by the environment of the state track meet. The Hornets send two athletes (Alexandria Siverling and Lauren Manier) to state for the fourth time while two more (Victoria Rykal and Ben Kyes) are making their third trip. Dylan Rothbauer is also the third member of his family to make it to La Crosse.

How high can Heuer go?

One of Chippewa County’s best chances to get a high podium finish might be Stanley-Boyd pole vaulter Deontae Heuer. The senior has come back from a broken femur he suffered during football season to set school records and dominate the area’s pole vault scene. He’s tied with Spencer’s Noah Zastrow for the second-best seed height in Division 3 (13-feet, 3-inches) and looks to be a legitimate title threat. Another pole vaulter to keep an eye on is Lake Holcombe/Cornell’s Eric Nedland. The junior has excelled in the event this season despite limited practice time due to weather and equipment malfunctions and is someone worth watching.

Where can you find everything you need to know about the state track meet? You can get updates from the meet by following Brandon Berg on Twitter (@brandon_berg) and checking out for all the results, reactions and photos from all the Chippewa County teams at La Crosse.

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