When the track and field regional competition began, on May 20, it was cold, windy and spectators were bundled up as though winter had returned. The whole season had gone this way so why should mother nature change her ways now so close to the end, not just the end of the season but for some the end of their high school career.
For senior Dyllan Zakrzewski, he was running the race of his life when he went to long on the penultimate hurdle and couldn’t correct in time on the last hurdle. His plan was to just knock it down, run it over and cross the finish line, but his knee hit the hurdle, his foot caught and dragged it in the air and both Zakrzewski and the hurdle came slamming down. With a collective gasp from the crowd and all holding their breath, he picked himself up and hobbled across the finish line. With injuries to his knee, hands and head, Zakrzewski would have to pull out of the 4×200 meter relay and the 300 meter hurdle events thus ending his high school career in wild fashion.
Junior Joey Coonen who is one of the sections top sprinters in the 100 meter dash had his hopes for a sectional and state qualification dashed as he pulled a hamstring just over halfway through his preliminary heat. While the crowd could see him physically pull up in pain, two steps later Coonen would attempt a return to form and blast through to the finish line. Though it wasn’t enough to stop him on the track, it was just enough to end his season. But alas, as the preliminaries were completed and the finals about to begin, the wind died down, clouds parted and sun started to shine through for the team.
On the girls’ side sophomore Zoe Engebos and junior Lindsey Scheurer ran brilliantly in the 200 preliminaries seeing Scheurer run a personal best 28.01 seconds and both runners moving on to the finals race. Engebos finished third in the finals which qualified her to move on to sectionals and two more races away from a possible state championship qualification. Scheurer finished sixth in the final and missed sectionals qualification by only three-tenths of a second. If you blinked at the finish line, chances are you missed it.
In girls’ discus, senior Mercede Heinke, junior Natalie Maufort and sophomore Kiara Lamb all threw farther than they have before setting new personal bests. Heinke finished the event in eighth place, Maufort in fifth place, missing sectional qualification by five inches and Lamb threw 118 feet 1 inch landing her in second place and moving on to compete at sectionals.
Senior Erin Schuh was back in form as she outlasted the competition to win the girls’ pole vault event clearing a height of 10 feet. Schuh is looking to make a return trip to the state competition where last season she finished third in Division 2 competition at La Crosse.
On the boys’ side of competition, senior Cody Roskom won the discus event with a throw of 140’ feet 1 inch. Junior Ty Whithuhn who has been stellar in the triple jump this season continued to perform as he placed third with a jump of 41 feet 7 1/4 inches. Competition was tight in the event as the difference between first and third place was only two inches. Whithuhn not only qualified for sectionals in the triple, but also in the long jump competition going a distance of 19 feet 3 inches for second place.
Another two event qualifier is sophomore Logan Mattson. As a freshman last season Mattson made it to sectionals in his main discipline, the high jump and ended tied for ninth with a jump of 5 feet 10 inches. However, in his 2019 season debut at the UW-Oshkosh Titan event, he led all competitors with a height of 6 feet 4 inches and hasn’t looked back maintaining a high level of competitiveness this season. During the regional event Mattson cleared his first attempt at 6 feet and waited for the remaining competitors to make their attempts. Nolan Strosenreuther from New London and Ty Brickner from Freedom would make their final jumps to force a three way jump off at 6 feet 2 inches. Strosenreuther would go out right away leaving Mattson and Brickner. Mattson missed his first two attempts and on the last attempt it looked as though he made it, barely skimming the bar with his heel, but with a slight wobble and delayed action, the bar fell. In similar fashion Brickner took his last jump and landed on the mats while the crowd gasped as the bar wobbled but stayed in place giving him the win and landing Mattson in second place with a height of 6 feet. Mattson would also qualify for sectionals in the pole vault event.
Mattson, teammate Miguel Hernandez and Peshtigo’s Matt Rauch all ended in a three way tie for first at 12 feet. Hernandez who is currently a senior, has made a trip back to the state championship a priority as he made it to the state competition two years ago but fell short of qualification last year and missed out on a return trip.
Also qualifying for sectionals are the boys 4×100 meter relay squad of Josh Molle, Daniel Krull, Aaron Geurts and Mason Vandekolk and the 4×400 meter relay squad of Molle, Jack Dudley, Mattson and Riley Volkman.
Editor’s Note: Three Seymour track members qualified for state after the sectional meet on May 23. These athletes are Erin Schuh who took second in pole vault, Cody Roskom who took third in discus and Logan Mattson who took first in high jump and fourth in pole vault.