The Viroqua High School track team is looking forward to a positive season.
“Our season looks up,” coach Adrian Ugo said. “We have a large group of incoming freshmen on our girls team and several new athletes in all grades on our boys team.”
The track and field team lost three key athletes to graduation in 2018 – Madelyn Anderson, Delilah Vance and Steve Diehl. Anderson, who competed in sprints and mid-distance, was second at conference in 400, and a state qualifier in the 4x800 and 4x200 relays. Vance ran sprints and was second at conference in 100 and 200, and a state qualifier in the 4x200 relay. Diehl was a top thrower in shot put and discus.
The top returning athletes include seniors Jillian Weston, Xana Leum and Lauren Brendel, and juniors Josie Dobbs and Zach Lohr.
Weston, who will run distance, is a conference champion in the 800, second in the 1600 and 3200, and is a third-place finisher at state in the 1600. Leum took first in conference in the triple jump and long jump, second in 100 hurdles and 300 hurdles, second at state in the triple jump, and sixth in the 100 hurdles at state. Brendel and Dobbs were state qualifiers in the 4x800 relay. Lohr was a sectional qualifier in 300 hurdles.
What are Viroqua’s strengths this season?
“Our girls have a large, experienced and talented group of seniors to lead the way,” Ugo said. “They have been conference champs throughout their high school career and have many big meet and state appearances. I’ll be looking to them to teach and lead their team again this year.”
“Our boys team is looking to improve upon incremental gains made last year, building their confidence in competition and building a culture of competitiveness will be key moving forward.”
The girls team, Ugo said, is looking to stay on top of the conference again this year.
“This will be no easy task with a couple other conference teams on the rise,” he said. “They know the amount of hard work that it takes to be successful and they don’t take their success for granted; I think they are up for the challenge.”
“Our boys team is looking to move up in the conference standings this year,” Ugo continued. “They also know how difficult it is to compete at a high level against our conference opponents. G-E-T will again be the team to beat this year.
Ugo, who has coached track and field for 11 years, said he and the assistant coaches don’t have a team motto or goals set for the students.
“All of our athletes have individual goals they set at the beginning of the season,” Ugo said. “As coaches, we emphasize effort and confidence in practice and competition.
Jerrod Getter, Courtney Raasch and Troy McGregor are the assistant coaches.