Viroqua’s Lyssa Veres and Jaali Parrish medaled in each event they qualified for at the WIAA Division 2 State Track and Field Meet at UW-La Crosse last weekend.
VHS track coach Adrian Ugo said Parrish had perhaps the best day on Saturday.
Parrish was the state runner up in the Division 2 girls 200-meter dash with a second-place time of :25.74. The state champion in the 200 was Aimee Rice-Strand of Osceola in :25.57. Rice-Strand was just .17 of a second ahead of Parrish, who was running in her third — and last — race that day.
“It was really kind of the highlight of the weekend for all of us — and especially for her,” Ugo said.
Earlier on Saturday, Parrish won a medal for fifth place in the 100 dash in :12.80 and another fifth-place medal in the 400 in :57.89, in which she set a new school record. It was the third time this spring Parrish has set the school record in the 400.
Ugo said Parrish improved in all her times from the preliminary races on Friday to the finals on Saturday and all three were season-best times for Parrish.
Ugo said Parrish might not have expected that she would do as well as she did, but he did.
“She just wanted to get on the podium once and she ended up doing it three times that day, which I expected her to do; I don’t know if she saw it that way, but it worked out,” Ugo said.
It worked out for Veres, too, to have her first experience standing on the podium at state, receiving her sixth-place medal in the 100 hurdles. Veres was the second seed from Friday’s preliminary and finished with a sixth-best time of :15.72 in the state.
Ugo said Veres, improved her time from Friday’s preliminary to the hurdles final, but so did everyone else.
The Division 2 100 hurdles state champion was Megan Linse of Jefferson in :15.08.
Veres also took the podium for the second time on Saturday to accept her fourth-place medal in the pole vault. Veres cleared 10 feet, tying for fourth place with Leah Kasten of Oconto Falls and Mickey Gearin of Osceola.
The D2 girls pole state champion was Bonnie Draxler of Wrightstown, clearing the bar at 12-06.
Veres and Parrish were the only girls competing for Viroqua at state, but between the two scored 23 team points for seventh overall in team standings.
As for the Blackhawk boys state qualifiers, Alex Maldonado did well once again by qualifying for the 400 finals with a preliminary race time of :50.59, Friday.
“I think that was a great experience for him,” Ugo said of Maldonado.
In the finals, Maldonado crossed the finish line in :51.14 for ninth overall in the state.
Senior Josh Stohr also made it to the finals on Saturday, qualifying in both the 110 high hurdles and the 300 intermediate hurdles, Friday.
Stohr qualified for finals in the 110 hurdles with a preliminary time of :15.80 and placed ninth in the event with a time of 15:52 on Saturday.
In the 300 hurdles, Stohr qualified for finals with a time of :41.59 and was ninth in that event as well in :41.36, Saturday.
“He did not have poor races in the finals, he just didn’t improve time-wise as much as he needed to to place, but he ran solid races,” Ugo said.
The 110 hurdles state champion in Division 2 was Luke Praschak of Somerset in :14.71 and the 300 hurdles state champion was Tyler Zak of Little Chute in :38.92.
VHS junior Isaiah Abt ran his 3,200 race, Friday, and finished with a time 10:23.89 and 14th at state.
Ugo said it wasn’t Abt’s best time. Abt’s best time in the 3,200 was at the sectional meet to get to state, where he beat his personal record by 27 seconds.
“For him to run the time that he did [at the sectional meet] gives him that confidence, knowing that he run can those times and qualify like that,” Ugo said.
Ugo said there were surprises at state, a couple heartbreaks, but for him, nothing but pride in his athletes.
“I’m very proud of all of them, the way they performed and they got there by working hard all year and they got to have a little fun at the state meet,” Ugo said.