Not even a sore ankle could keep Devin Peterson from leaving his mark at his final high school track meet.
The Iola-Scandinavia senior made it to the Division 3 medal podium three times at the WIAA State Track and Field Meet, held Friday and Saturday, June 3-4, in La Crosse. He ran the fourth leg of the second-place 1,600-meter relay team that also included Ben Hoffman, Jordan Beyersdorf and Tamas Peterson; placed third in the triple jump; and took fourth in the 110-meter hurdles. He also placed seventh in the 200-meter dash.
“It swelled up pretty bad instantly,” Peterson said after injuring his ankle June 3 during the triple jump finals. “I landed on the side of my foot and rolled it. I felt it pop all the way up in my leg. It’s really stiff and sore right now.”
He ended up with a personal-best leap of 44 feet, 4 inches.
Peterson wasn’t done for the day, however, as he helped the 1,600 relay team qualify for the finals. He ran the fourth leg during the preliminaries and caught Wausau Newman’s Luke Hruska near the finish line to help put the Thunderbirds in the final.
“I had to fight through it and do what I can,” he said. “It’s for my team. It’s not an individual event, so I really had no other choice but to fight through it and do what I could to get us in the finals. I could feel it, but I feel like I still ran a pretty good time for having a bum ankle.”
The relay team qualified for the June 4 final with a time of 3:33.6 and was able to shave more than 7 seconds off of that time for a 3:26 effort in the final.
“I was actually OK with sitting behind him through the whole race, but I saw the Wausau (Newman) kid right next to me,” Peterson said. “I wasn’t going to get third, so I kicked it in and ended up catching the kid.”
Peterson also competed at state last year as a junior and placed fourth in the triple jump and fifth in the 400- and 800-meter relays.
“It’s exciting,” he said. “It’s my first year of doing the 110 hurdles and I’m ranked No. 1 going into the finals.”
He ended up placing fourth in that event in 15.1.
“I haven’t really sat down and had it all soak in yet,” said Peterson, who hopes to walk on and play college football this year, perhaps at the University of Wisconsin-Platteville.
“I refuse to let it set in that this is my last time down here,” he said. “I don’t want emotions to get the best of me before I’m able to go out and do what I need to do.”
Teammate Tamas Peterson also made it to the medal stand twice, as the senior placed fifth in the 300-meter hurdles with a time of 40.5. He also took seventh in the 100 hurdles in 15.9.
Another teammate, sophomore Lidia Frias, placed 16th in the long jump with a leap of 14 feet, 9 inches.
“It was really fun,” she said. “I’m really surprised that I made it and really glad that I made it. Even though I didn’t jump my best, it’s still good experience. I hope it’ll work out next year. There’s some pressure, but I’m just going to do it and whatever happens happens.”
Amherst junior Katy Rutz followed her ninth-place finish last year in the Division 3 shot put with a fourth-place finish this year in Division 2. She also took 12th in the discus event.
She came up with her season-best effort of 40 feet, 3 1/2 inches in her second attempt in the preliminary round.
“I was pretty excited about that,” Rutz said. “That’s the wall I was trying to break down. I was like, ‘Well, if I don’t do it at sectionals, that’s my goal for state.’
“My goal this year was to get in the top six,” she added. “That was a harder goal to reach now that we’re in Division 2, but I’ve been working in the weight room and trying to work on my technique. There were a couple of girls that were throwing 43s. I was a little concerned because I was throwing 38s and 39s. When I hit 40, I was like, ‘Yes, finally.’ I’m hoping to get in the top two or three next year.”
Rutz entered the competition seeded sixth.
“I was a little nervous coming in,” she said. “I wasn’t sure how everyone was going to react to the pressure at state, but I took it with a grain of salt and went out there and threw. Hey, I’m at state, I have nothing to lose. I might as well just go for it.”
She was the only Amherst athlete to compete at the event, which draws hundreds of athletes from throughout Wisconsin.
“We had a lot of seniors graduate last year who came to state with us,” she said. “It’s definitely a lot nicer when you can have teammates there, but my little sister came with me, my mom came down today and my coaches are here for support. It’s still a good time even without teammates.”
Wild Rose had the largest contingent of area athletes, as the Wildcats sent 10 individuals and seven relay teams in Division 3.
Darren Hudziak led the way by placing second in the 800-meter run in 1:59.3.
Also earning medals were the boys’ 1,600 relay team of Brian Erickson, Henry Gage, Ben Nyman and Hudziak, fourth; the 3,200-meter relay team of Levi Gage, Jake Thompson, Henry Gage and Hudziak, fourth; the girls’ 400-meter relay team of Morgan Yeska, Danielle Muntner, Makayla Hecker and Karina Marchan, fourth; Alec Dix, fifth in the boys’ triple jump; and the girls’ 1,600 relay team of Muntner, Yeska, Sydney Pavlat and Hannah Piper, sixth.
Clintonville sent four individuals and four relay teams.
Junior Dominic Masiarchin joined Trenton Gauthier, Cody Zuehl and A.J. Russell on the medal podium after they placed fourth in the Division 2 800 relay final.
“It’s pretty fun,” said Masiarchin, who also placed seventh in the 100 and competed with Juan Hernandez, Russell and Zuehl on the 400 relay team. “I like it because we’re like a family.
“We’re best friends and hang out together even out of track season. We train hard and work hard even in the offseason. I’d be happy with any medal.”
WIAA State Track, Field Meet
High jump: 16. Joe Dailey, New London, 6 feet, 2 inches.
800-meter run: 23. Tony Cass, Hortonville, 2:02.9.
Shot put: 9. Derrik Guyette, Hortonville, 55 feet, 2 1/4 inches.
100-meter dash: 7. Dominic Masiarchin, Clintonville, 11.2.
110-meter hurdles: 15. Trenton Gauthier, Clintonville, 16.6 (preliminary, did not qualify for final).
400-meter relay. Clintonville (Juan Hernandez, A.J. Russell, Cody Zuehl, Dominic Masiarchin), disqualified in preliminary, did not qualify for final.
800-meter relay: 4. Clintonville (Trenton Gauthier, Dominic Masiarchin, Cody Zuehl, A.J. Russell), 1:30.1.
3,200-meter relay: 9. Clintonville (Nathan Poppe, Kyle Weid, Connor Gerke, Tyler Sawall), 8:16.
200-meter dash: 7. Devin Peterson, Iola-Scandinavia, 22.9.
400-meter dash: 12. Ben Nyman, Wild Rose, 53.0 (preliminary, did not qualify for final).
800-meter run: 2. Darren Hudziak, Wild Rose, 1:59.3.
1,600-meter run: 12. Ben Hoffman, Iola-Scandinavia, 4:41.7 (preliminary, did not qualify for final).
110-meter hurdles: 4. Devin Peterson, Iola-Scandinavia, 15.1; 7. Tamas Peterson, Iola-Scandinavia, 15.9.
300-meter hurdles: 5. Tamas Peterson, Iola-Scandinavia, 40.5; 12. Jordan Beyersdorf, Iola-Scandinavia, 43.7 (preliminary, did not qualify for final).
400-meter relay: 13. Wild Rose (Lance Wendt, Kevin Tieaskie, Rob Vetrone, Jacob Kramer), 45.9 (preliminary, did not qualify for final).
1,600-meter relay: 2. Iola-Scandinavia (Ben Hoffman, Jordan Beyersdorf, Tamas Peterson, Devin Peterson), 3:26; 4. Wild Rose (Brian Erickson, Henry Gage, Ben Nyman, Darren Hudziak), 3:27.6.
3,200-meter relay: 4. Wild Rose (Levi Gage, Jake Thompson, Henry Gage, Darren Hudziak), 8:24.6.
Long jump: 15. Blake Lambert, Marion, 18 feet, 11 inches.
Triple jump: 3. Devin Peterson, Iola-Scandinavia, 44 feet, 4 1/2 inches; 5. Alec Dix, Wild Rose, 42 feet, 11 1/2 inches.
400-meter dash: 23. Amber Pethke, New London, 1:00.7 (preliminary, did not qualify for final).
1,600-meter relay: 24: Hortonville (Jennifer Roberts, Tiara Rose, Emily Inglese, Kathy Derks), 4:15.4 (preliminary, did not qualify for final).
Triple jump: 9. Tiara Rose, Hortonville, 36 feet, 3 inches.
3,200-meter relay: 6. Clintonville (Sam Hohn, Sara Messner, Ana Huber, Nicole Hanson), 9:37.4.
Pole vault: 9 (tie): Nicole Hanson, Clintonville, 9 feet, 6 inches.
Shot put: 4. Katy Rutz, Amherst, 40 feet, 3 1/2 inches; 16: Markiesa Westphal, Clintonville, 33 feet, 1 1.4 inches.
Discus: 12: Katy Rutz, Amherst, 108 feet, 3 inches.
100-meter dash: 10. Karina Marchan, Wild Rose, 13.1.
400-meter dash: 8. Danielle Muntner, Wild Rose, 1:02.
800-meter run: 16. Sydney Pavlat, Wild Rose, 2:48.8.
1,600-meter run: 15: Sydney Pavlat, Wild Rose, 6:05.7.
3,200-meter run: 18. Gillian Jepson, Wild Rose, 13:13.3.
100-meter hurdles: 9. Morgan Yeska, Wild Rose, 16.8.
300-meter hurdles: 13: Haley Hazlett, Wild Rose, 50.4 (preliminary, did not qualify for final).
400-meter relay: 4. Wild Rose (Morgan Yeska, Danielle Muntner, Makayla Hecker, Karina Marchan), 51.3.
800-meter relay: 8. Wild Rose (Makayla Hecker, Haley Hazlett, Makayla Muntner, Hannah Piper), 1:50.3.
1,600-meter relay: 6. Wild Rose (Danielle Muntner, Morgan Yeska, Sydney Pavlat, Hannah Piper), 4:16.7.
3,200-meter relay: 15. Wild Rose (Cody Mueller, Gillian Jepson, Alayna Kjentvet, Hannah Piper), 10:32.7 (preliminary, did not qualify for final).
Long jump: 16. Lidia Frias, Iola-Scandinavia, 14 feet, 9 inches.