Aric Elmore knows this part of the track and field season is about getting steps down and the timing right.
That’s why the Logan High School jumper isn’t worried about a second-place finish.
After qualifying for state three times — twice in Wisconsin and once in Minnesota — Elmore is more concerned how he finishes his track career.
“My focus is winning state because I’ve been here for long jump, individual wise for two years,” said Elmore, a senior who has been to the state meet three times as a member of the 800-meter relay team, including once at Caledonia High School. “I’m hoping to win state this year for long jump or triple jump.”
If Saturday’s Knights of Columbus Relays at Veterans Memorial Field Sports Complex is any indication, Elmore is right on pace for a fourth trip to the state meet.
The senior won the long jump in the large school division with a leap of 21 feet, 9¾ inches, edging second-place finisher and teammate Jarrod Besl (21-1) by 8 inches, and finished second in the triple jump (44-6½).
“There are a couple of things we feeling like he is starting to fix and come into his form here for the late season,” said Logan coach Casey Knoble, whose team won the large division with 163 points. “We feel like today was big for him, even though he wasn’t at his best yet. We can kind of see it coming in the distance.”
Elmore, who has finished fourth in the WIAA Division 1 state long jump in 2013 (22-10¾) and in 2014 (22-10), isn’t quite where he wants to be yet, but the longer jumps will come with the warmer weather and more practice.
“You have to really focus on your technique and what you do, so that’s really helped me,” said Elmore, who plans to play football next fall at Rochester Community and Technical College. “I have to be more focused later on than now, so if I take second it doesn’t bother me because I’m focused on the future, not right now.”
STRIDING OUT: Aquinas senior Jennifer Lichter was boxed in early during the 1,600-meter run.
That didn’t last long.
Lichter, who finished second in the Division 3 cross country state meet last season, made a move on the first turn of the opening lap and put the rest of the pack behind her, finishing in 5 minutes, 25.54 seconds — nearly 17 seconds faster than the second-place runner in the small division.
“I was boxed in and I was getting a little worried about that,” said Lichter, who will run cross country and track at Division I Toledo next year. “By the 100-meter (mark) I knew I could get out.
“I just thought if I ran my own race I should be good.”
Lichter also cruised to a victory in the 3,200-meter run. Her time of 11:23.9 won the small school division by 49 seconds. Holmen freshman Mason Kalander won the large division (11:28.01).
JUMP TO IT: Logan senior Brandon Sumlar set a personal best by 6 inches and won the large division of the high jump with a mark of 5-10.
Even more impressive, Sumlar didn’t pick up the high jump until this season.
“The form that he’s been picking up in practice is amazing,” Knoble said. “He’s got a good partner in Dakota Horton. Dakota’s been doing it for four years now, and he’s got somebody to train with and see how to do it correctly.”
Horton, also a senior, finished second (5-10) and Grant Geier of Central third (5-10).
AROUND THE TRACK: The Logan 800 relay team hadn’t run a race together all season, though you couldn’t tell by looking at them.
The Rangers won in 1:32.3, edging second-place Holmen by 3 seconds.
“That was our first race all together so we’re just focused on getting our handoffs ready, getting ready for the bigger meets where we will need to step it up together,” said Elmore, who ran the second leg. “We’ve been really good friends for awhile, so my chemistry with my teammates is really good.”
In the 400 relay it was Holmen’s turn. Seth Holden, Brandon Christinovich, Adam Johnson and Aaron Zmolek ran a 43.22, to edge Onalaska (45.40). Holden also won the 100 (11.07) and Christnovich won the 200 (21.96). The Vikings finished second as a team with 155 points.
The Holmen girls won the 800 relay (1:51.72). Senior Danielle Kohlwey won the 100 hurdles (14.79) and was third in the 300 hurdles (49.41).