Lodi senior Mackenzie Heyroth came into the WIAA Division 2 state meet in La Crosse last weekend as one of the top hurdlers in Wisconsin. She left the meet as the best hurdler in Division 2 history after setting two new record times.
Heyroth set new start marks on her way to titles in the 100 and 300 hurdles.
“I went into it with some goals on times I wanted to reach, but was not looking at setting state records or winning a state title,” Heyroth said. “But, it was cool to get the records and win state titles.”
Heyroth also led the Blue Devils to a state title in the 1,600 relay.
Behind the effort of Heyroth, the Lady Blue Devils finished in third place behind Wisconsin Lutheran (49) and Freedom (42.5) with 30 points.
“When I came into the program as a freshman, we hadn’t won a conference title yet,” Heyroth said. “We have won back-to-back conference titles and now finished third at state. It has been great to see the program grow and be a part of the success.”
Heyroth’s younger brother, Lucas, also came away with some medals and helped the Lodi boys finish in eighth place with 22 team points. Freedom claimed the team title with 48.5 points, while Rice Lake (47) was second.
“We treat the state meet not only as the highest achievement during the WIAA season, but also as a business trip,” Lodi coach Randy Skellenger said. “We are grateful to be there but at the same time, we know that we need to maintain focus and try to make the early start time as least impactful as we can. The experience of the state meet is like nothing else, but if you take the experience for granted and don’t lay out all out on the track or on the field, you may or may not get the experience again.”
Poynette also had athletes competing at the state meet. The Lady Pumas finished in 51st place with 2.5 points, while the Puma boys did not score a team point.
“We had a good weekend,” Poynette coach Charlotte Reddeman said. “I’m very proud of all four of our athletes who competed. They were ready to go and put their best foot forward in their events.”
Mackenzie Heyroth started her big meet by winning the 100 hurdles in a state record time of 14.36 seconds. Freedom’s Melissa Talbot set the previous mark of 14.64 seconds in 2002.
“In the 100 hurdles, I was in complete disbelief that I set the record,” Heyroth said. “It took me a while to realize what happened. I had never thought about hitting a time like that.”
Heyroth then set the record in the 300 hurdles after clocking in at :43.61 in the finals. She just clipped the mark of :43.63 set by Jefferson’s Mikaela Grant in 2015.
“That was a time I was striving for,” Heyroth said.
In the 1,600 relay, Heyroth teamed up with classmates Isabelle Clary, Hannah Busser and Rhianna Walzer to win a state title with their time of 4:00.09.
“We have been running together since the eighth grade and this has been our goal since then,” Heyroth said. “To do it our senior year was really cool.”
Heyroth will now take her running talents to UW-Madison. She will walk on the Badger track team.
“After the state meet, I can’t wait to run at Madison,” Heyroth said.
Heyroth will join her older brother, Jacob, on the Madison campus. He is a member of the Badger football team.
“I’m really excited to have my brother around, because he has gone through being a freshman and can help me out,” Heyroth said. “It is a great support system to have.”
The Lady Blue Devils also had Walzer, Isabelle Clary and Ella Puls competing in individual events at state.
Walzer clocked in at :27.19 to place 15th during the preliminaries of the 200. She then finished 11th in the prelims of the 400 with her time of 1:00.46.
“It’s tough to put into words what Rhianna has done for the program in the sprints,” Skellenger said. “Her leadership and lead-by-example attitude and encouragement to the younger athletes is something that will carry through our program in the future.”
Clary had a solid meet, as she was 14th in the 800 (2:23.65) and 16th in the 1,600 (5:29.86).
“Izzy exhibited great determination in her final individual races,” Skellenger said. “I’m certain she will be a fantastic leader and athlete at UW-La Crosse in the fall. We’ll miss her relentless dedication to the team and her determination.”
Puls finished 11th in the shot put with her distance of 35-feet, 11.75-inches.
Lucas Heyroth matched his sister with three medals last weekend. The freshman placed in the long jump, 110 hurdles and 300 hurdles.
Highlighting the day for Heyroth was a runner-up finish in the long jump. His distance of 21-4.75 put him second to only Brown Deer senior Dameco Walker (23-4).
“It was truly amazing to watch the final 5 athletes outjump each other in 1-inch increments, but what an experience for Lucas,” Skellenger said. “To respond that way as a freshman was truly incredible to watch. “It was a well-deserved second-place medal.”
Heyroth crossed the finish line in :14.83 to place third in the 110 hurdles, while his time of :39.61 put him fourth in the 300 hurdles.
Sophomore Melvin McIntyre was the only other Blue Devil boy to compete in an individual event. Unfortunately, he didn’t record a height in the pole vault.
The Lodi boys capped off the state meet by placing sixth in the 800 relay. Jack Hansen, Cayden Coddington, Heyroth and Luke Beckwith had a time of 1:31.12 in the finals.
Sophomore Megan Reddeman highlighted the state meet for Poynette with a fifth-place finish in the high jump. She had a height of 5-2.
“Megan was excited and ready for the high jump on Saturday,” Reddeman said. “She has consistently cleared 5-4 at all her meets this season. I believed she had a great shot at being the state champion in the high jump. Unfortunately, bad luck got in her way. Twenty minutes before the high jump competition was to begin, Megan severely rolled her ankle on her last warm up approach. I wasn’t sure and I don’t think Megan was real sure that she would even be able to jump. I’m proud of Megan for the way she held her head high and fought through the adversity she was faced with.”
Reddeman also competed in the pole vault, but didn’t clear the opening height.
“Megan’s only real expectation in the pole vault was to make opening height,” Reddeman said. “When that didn’t happen, she was disappointed.”
The Lady Pumas also had sophomore Katelyn Chadwick competing at the meet. She was 10th in the 3,200 (11:46.08) and 15th in the 1,600 (5:28.77).
“Katelyn has two years of experience now at the state level,” Reddeman said. “I expect she will be back next year and will move up in the pack with her gained experience.”
Juniors Brayden O’Connor and Jake Buss both represented the Poynette boys.
Buss placed 12th in the shot put with his distance of 47-6.75.
“Jake impresses me with his athletic ability,” Reddeman said. “The last two years, Jake has been a hurdler and high jumper for us, but due to an ankle injury, he was not allowed to perform in these events anymore. So, he decided to give shot and discus a try and in one season, he took the shot all the way to state.”
O’Connor had a time of 11.60 seconds to place 14th during the preliminaries of the 100-meter dash.
“Brayden was two places better than what he was seeded coming into the race,” Reddeman said. “I was super pleased with his efforts.”