Edgerton's Brent Samuelsen vaults to state title
LA CROSSE Friday was Brent Samuelsen’s day right from the start of the WIAA state track and field meet.
The Edgerton High senior breezed through the preliminary jumps, then won a showdown from Mishicot’s Kyle
Novack win the WIAA Division 2 pole vault championship.
The state title was the first in the four-decade history of Edgerton boys track and field.
“I knew I had a chance,” Samuelsen said of his gold-medal performance. “Then I went through all the opening jumps without a miss.”
That included clearing 12 feet, 12 feet, 6 inches, 13 feet, 13-6 and 14 feet.
Coach Jason Knott joined the group of spectators when the bar was at 13-6.
The scene made last year’s sectional competition a distant memory.
“He didn’t make it out of the sectional meet last year,” Knott said. “He’s been on a mission the last month. He wasn’t going to be denied.”
Meanwhile, Samuelsen’s competition was knocking down the bar at least once at those heights.
“That gave me a lot of confidence,” Samuelsen said of his clean performance.
Meanwhile, his coach could sense that.
“He was completely relaxed out there,” Knott said. “That’s something at such a big stage.”
Samuelsen’s main rival leading up to the state meet, Mon roe senior Jeff Hill, went out at 13-6 and finished sixth.
At the end, it went down to Novack and Samuelsen.
“At 14-3, we both missed it twice,” said Samuelsen, who had a personal best of 14-6 this season and led the state honor roll for all divisions much of the spring. “He missed it the third time. I cleared it.”
Samuelsen knew he was the state champion when Novack missed on his third attempt. Samuelsen’s clean record going up the ladder gave him fewer misses, so he didn’t have to clear 14-3 to earn the gold.
But he did clear it.
“That was just icing on the cake,” Knott said. “That was clutch. To go out by making his last jump.”
Curt Muchow is the Edgerton pole vault coach. Knott said he spent many hours perfecting Samuelsen’s technique.
Their work paid off in a big way Friday.
“I was real excited,” Samuelsen said. “But it really hasn’t set in yet.”
Samuelsen will continue to practice at the Edgerton pole vault pits during summer before enrolling at Carroll University, where he plans to major in physical therapy and participate in track and field.
Meanwhile, in Division 2 girls competition, Clinton senior Laura Popanz advanced to today’s finals in the 100- and 200-meter dashes. She qualified fourth in the 100 at 13.02 seconds and seventh in the 200 at 27.07.
Popanz also helped the Cougars qualify for the finals in the 800 relay. She was joined by Karen Vidal, Brianna Hart and Laura Popanz in running a 1:48 for ninth place.
Whitewater’s 1,600 boys relay team advanced to the Division 2 finals with the top preliminary time of 3:25.05. Nick Romani led off for the Whippets, followed by Dawson Miller, Clark Zinzow and Bryan Edwards.
In other action Division 2 action:
n Boys 100 prelims—Turner junior Zach Sherrod qualified ninth at 11.64, but Walworth Big Foot sophomore Mason Dixon was 11th in 11.78.
n Boys 110 high hurdles prelims—Edgerton senior Tyler Dobratz qualified fourth at 15.81 seconds, and Walworth Big Foot junior Kenneth Walker advanced with an eighth-place finish at 16.21.
n Boys 400 relay prelims—Turner’s team of Sherrod, Mathew Kreiser, Tim Laursen and Quay Grace qualified fifth in 43.69 seconds.
n Boys 800 relay prelims—Paul Sorenson, Sherrod, Laursen and Grace carried Turner to third place at 1:29.83—a second and a half off the pace set by top qualifier Winneconne.
n Boys 1,600 relay prelims—Turner’s Laursen, Joe Pickett, Sorenson and Ben Sagona had the sixth-best time at 3:30.29.
n Boys discus—Clinton senior Kevin Kitzman picked up two points with his throw of 144-11, good for seventh place.
n Boys triple jump—Brodhead/Juda senior Michael Peterson was fourth at 43 feet, 7.5 inches; East Troy sophomore Cody Zaeske placed sixth with 42-10.5.
n Girls 400 prelims—Brodhead/Juda senior Shannon Klein (59.08) and Jefferson senior Amana Brom (59.52) qualified fifth and eighth, respectively.
n Girls 100 high hurdles prelims—Jefferson sophomore Megan Linse advanced by posting the fifth-fastest time at 15.83.
n Girls 400 relay prelims—East Troy’s team of sophomores Alicia Oleson, Frankie Morris, Alee Schahczinski and freshman Claire Loth posted the fifth-fastest qualifying time at 50.28 seconds—a half-second off the pace set by Monroe.
n Girls shot put—Edgerton junior Tessa Snell’s throw of 39-11 took sixth. Big Foot junior Alyssa Lueck was seventh with 39-8.5, while Whitewater junior Molly Griep was 10th at 37-3.5.
n Girls high jump—Evansville senior Sylvia Gay was fifth, while Palmyra-Eagle senior Richelle Ranney was seventh. Both reached 5 feet. 2 inches.
In Division 3:
n Boys 3,200—Albany senior Drew Mather finished fourth in 10:05.11.
n Boys 3,200 relay—Albany’s team of Chad Helland, Jose Ramirez, Drew Mather and Reece Whitehead was seventh in 8:25.62.
n Girls 1,600—Albany freshman Bailey Hlavachek’s 5:22.57 was good for sixth.
Marc Wehrs contributed to this report.