The Viroqua boys track team had 13 competitors place in the top eight in their respective events at the weather delayed WIAA Division 2 regional hosted by Lancaster High School, Monday, May 22, and Tuesday, May 23. The top eight place winners earn team points in each event, but only the top four individuals and relay teams advance to the WIAA sectional competition, which was hosted by McFarland High School, Thursday, May 25.
Seniors Michael Lampman, Bailey Nelson, Even Veres and Ray Firebaugh were the only Blackhawks moving on to the sectional and in the end it was Lampman who became the team’s lone qualifier for the WIAA state meet, to be held on the campus of the University of Wisconsin-LaCrosse, June 2-3. It will be the second consecutive year that the 6-foot-8-inch Lampman will compete at the prestigious state tournament; in 2016 he qualified in the discus only as well.
Lampman won both of his field event specialties at the regional, both in record-breaking fashion, placing first in the shot put with a toss of 50 feet 2 3/4 inches and the discus with a toss of 159 feet 11 inches, each being new school records. The discus throw shattered Lampman’s own school mark of 156 feet-plus, which he recorded a little over a month ago. The shot put effort was special in that due to the weather issues, the competition was pushed back to Tuesday, when Lampman returned after a late bus trip home on Monday to set the new school mark Tuesday afternoon, once again breaking his own record. Lampman placed fourth in the discus at the sectionals with a state qualifying throw of 145-feet 4-inches, but came up short in his attempt to qualify in both events, finishing seventh in the shot put at 47 feet 4 inches.
Nelson placed third in the 800-meter run in 2:02.51, qualifying for the sectional, and was joined by fellow seniors Elliot Leum and Veres, along with freshman Zach Lohr to finish sixth in the 4x400 in a time of 3:48.90. Nelson placed sixth at the sectionals in the 800 with a time of 2:01.57, falling short on his bid to advance to the state competition.
Veres (12 feet) and Firebaugh (11 feet 9 inches) continued to excel in the pole vault, both qualifying for the sectionals placing second and third, respectively. The pair were unable to move on to the state meet finishing tied for seventh at the sectionals, each with 11-foot 6-inch efforts.
Cameron Mastin placed eighth in the same event at the regionals with a vault of 11 feet 6 inches.
Leum was also a member of the sixth-place 4x800 relay team, combining with Lohr, Sam Saner and Jansen McClelland for a time of 9:23.37. The all-freshman team of Lohr, Jonah Abt, Carter Simonson and Stefan Peterson scored team points but failed to qualify for the sectionals with a seventh-place finish in the 4x200 relay competition at regionals with a time of 1:41.62.
Platteville won the team competition with 117 points, River Valley was next with 109, followed by Dodgeville/Mineral Point 101, Wisconsin Heights/Barneveld 87, Mt. Horeb 75, PdC 72, Viroqua 53, Lancaster 51 and Richland Center 33.
The event was interrupted by thundershowers and lightning, and had to be completed on Tuesday, after halting the meet after 10:30 p.m. on Monday.