Girls track team aiming high at state

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MTT News's picture
Rob Reischel
Middleton's Lauren Smith qualified for four events at this weekend's state track and field meet./Photo courtesy of Christopher Hujanen

The memories will be etched in stone for the rest of Bobbi Patrick’s life.

A pair of top-four finishes in relay events in 2013.

Runner-up finishes in the 1,600- and 3,200-meter relays in 2014.

And several sensational individual performances along the way.

Yes, Patrick — a Middleton High School senior — has left her mark at the WIAA Division 1 girls state track and field meet.

Now, Patrick hopes her swan song is the best yet.

Patrick and 13 of her Middleton teammates will head to the WIAA Division 1 state meet at UW-La Crosse this weekend with extremely high hopes.

Patrick is part of Middleton’s second-seeded 1,600-meter relay team and fourth-seeded 3,200-meter relay team. Patrick is also seeded eighth in the 800-meter run and hopes to go out with a bang.

“I’m very excited to be given the opportunity to make the trip up to La Crosse one more time,” Patrick said. “It has been such an amazing four years and the memories I hold in La Crosse will be some of my most prominent.

“It's sad to think that my high school seasons are almost over. I will most definitely miss all the friendships I've made on our team. I'm hoping (this) weekend will be a great end to these past four years.”

It’s shaping up as a potentially great weekend for Middleton.

The Cardinals won all four relays at last Saturday’s 18-team Holmen Sectional. And that helped Middleton finish second behind only Sun Prairie.

“All four relays qualifying for state and taking four first place finishes in those events was a huge highlight,” Middleton coach Tara Franklin said. “It’s something that we have worked hard to do this season as in the past.”

Middleton’s 1,600-meter relay team included junior Hanne Anderson-Smith, senior Emily Zeker, senior Hanna Docter and Patrick. That quartet won sectionals in 3:59.05 and is seeded second at state.

The Cardinals’ 3,200-meter relay team featured junior Sam Valentine, senior Rachel Wians, Patrick and sophomore Alyssa Lemirande. That foursome won sectionals in 9:31.13 and is seeded fourth at state.

Middleton’s 400-meter relay team of Docter, Anderson-Smith, junior Olivia Roberts and junior Lauren Smith was first at sectionals in 49.63 and is seeded fifth at state.

And the Cardinals’ 800-meter relay team of Anderson-Smith, junior Hailee Milton, Docter and Smith was first at sectionals in 1:44.04 and is seeded fourth at state.

“Our expectations are high for the (3,200) and the (1,600),” Patrick said. “I have no doubt in my mind that we can do very well at state in those relays and hopefully come home with gold. A majority of our relays teams have raced at state before, so I think we are all more than capable to handle the competition awaiting us there.”

Patrick also won the 800-meter dash at sectionals in 2:18.15 and will have high hopes at state, where she’s seeded eighth.

“I want to take in my last state experience and give every event my all,” Patrick said. “I'm so grateful to have one more week with such amazing coaches and teammates.”

Smith was second in the 100-meter hurdles (15:12) and is seeded third at state. Smith also finished third in the triple jump (35-11 ¾) and is seeded 15th at state.

That means Smith will be part of a remarkable four events at state this weekend. The only other Middleton female athlete to ever participate in four events at state was Laura McGinnis in 2010.

“Qualifying in one event for state is great, two is even better, three is very impressive, and four?” Franklin said, “Well, that’s extremely hard to do

“Lauren had to go between (her events) within a very small time frame. She was quickly rushed by a coach or an athlete from one event to another, and ended up doing great under that kind of stress.

“She will have some challenges to face this weekend at La Crosse, but with having a few crazy meets behind her, that experience and success she has should help her confidence going into the state meet.”

Middleton will bring a lot of firepower to state. The Cardinals have a number of gifted experienced athletes are anxious to show their stuff.

And Franklin can’t wait to see how it all plays out.

“Super excited to see how we do,” Franklin said. “The times and marks across the state are remarkable, and we plan on being right in there in the mix of things.”

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