State runner-up

DeForest senior Sopheea Mink placed second in the high jump at the WIAA Division 1 state meet for the second year in a row.

DeForest track athletes Sopheea Mink and John Roth put their talents up against the best in Wisconsin at the WIAA Division 1 state meet in La Crosse last Friday and Saturday. They proved they were up to the challenge.

Mink, a senior, capped off her brilliant career by repeating as runner-up in the high jump.

The high jump would come down to a jump off between Mink, Kaukauna’s Olivia Vanzeeland and Bay Port’s Ella Meeuwsen.

“To have the event decided by a jump off was certainly exciting and fitting of the competition,” Lady Norski coach Chris Smith said. “It was the most competitive high jump competition I have been a part of as a coach. Ten girls cleared 5-feet, 4-inches or better. That just doesn’t happen.”

Just as she did during the regular portion of the competition, Mink was able to clear 5-6 in the jump off and claimed second place behind Vanzeeland, who cleared 5-7.

“Sopheea was all business and knew how crucial it was to be making early heights on her first attempt,” Smith said. “To be clean on all of her successful heights was a significant improvement over last year. She had such a clutch jump back at 5-6 the second time to stay in the fight was awesome.”

It was Mink’s fourth trip to state in the high jump.

“For Sopheea to repeat as runner-up at state is truly outstanding,” Smith said. “She ranks right up there with some of our program’s best, to be sure.”

The runner-up finish by Mink helped the Lady Norskies finish in 30th place with eight points.

Muskego claimed the girls’ title with 51 points, followed in the top five by Divine Savior Holey Angels (49), Milwaukee King (44), Onalaska (36) and Nicolet (29).

Kimberly won the Division 1 boys’ title with 46 points, followed in the top five Waukesha North (39), Homestead (37), Fond du Lac (24.5) and Oconomowoc (24).

Mink also competed in the triple dual. She finished in 19th place with her distance of 35-0. 5..

“In triple jump, Sopheea hit a great take off board on her second jump to clear 35-feet, which is where her range begins. There were so many talented jumpers, you had to perform your best of the year to make the finals.”

Madison La Follette’s Kiara Lee won the triple jump after setting a new state record with her jump of 41-0.75.

Roth competed in the 3,200 at the state meet. He finished in 17th place with his time of 9 minutes, 34.60 seconds.

“John ran a very well executed game plan,” DeForest boys coach Joe Parker said. “His splits were right on mark through the first mile and he made an aggressive move with four laps to go. Unfortunately, that move cost him in the last 600 meters. However, the ability to drop 3.5 seconds from his lifetime-best is quite an accomplishment at the state meet. Being only a junior will also aid in his preparation and goals for next year.”

Roth competing at state wrapped up a great season for the DeForest boys, who won their first conference title in 60 years.

“Overall, the season was a great success for us,” Parker said. “Having won the Badger Challenge and the Badger North Conference meet were firsts for our program. Both accomplishments were brought on by having some of the highest number of athletes on our roster and a healthy inner-team competitive environment. I hope this will continue based off the foundation that many of these seniors have set for the younger athletes to build.”

Smith was also pleased with how the season went for the Lady Norskies.

“We saw some bright spots for the future for sure,” Smith said. “We just have to get more numbers of athletic bodies on the team to develop the necessary depth to compete at the highest level. Our recruiting is not where it needs to be for us to be a championship level team.

That said, for this group to be third in the Badger North was pretty cool and we’re proud of that finish for sure. We have an outstanding coaching staff and we’re moving the needle with the girls we have.”

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