Senior Katie Chesebro and juniors Dane Nelson and Chrissy Hughes represented Milton at the WIAA Division 1 State Track and Field Meet on May 31 and June 1 at Veterans Memorial Stadium in La Crosse.
Nelson qualified for two events at the state meet and advanced to the finals in both of them.
In the 110-meter hurdles, Nelson finished with the third fastest time in the prelims. His time of 14.78 seconds was .02 seconds off the school record he set at the sectional meet (14.76).
Nelson fell just short of a podium finish in the 110-meter finals. He clocked in at 14.93. The sixth-place time was a 14.86.
“The kid that had the fastest seed time has a pretty slow start, so I was expecting that going into it,” Nelson said. “When it started, I saw him rising and slowly getting up, so I thought to myself I have to go faster obviously. As I was thinking that I kind of lost focus on the race.”
In the 300-meter hurdle finals, Nelson bounced back with a third-place finish, good for a spot on the podium. His time of 39.53 was just .43 seconds off the first-place pace.
“I was happy with that, I was seeded fourth and I ended up third,” Nelson said. “I knew that was my last race of the season so I could leave it all out there.”
Nelson single handily collected eight points for the Milton boys, putting the Red Hawks tied for 32nd in the team standings.
Hughes was unable to make it out of the prelims with her time of 15.27 in the 100-meter hurdles.
The junior spent most of the year battling a bone spur.
“It didn’t go exactly how I wanted it to, but I’m just grateful I made it there with everything that went on this season,” Hughes said. “Happy I could make it there in the first place.”
“After battling injury all year it was great to see her give it her all,” Milton head coach Matt Lee said.
Hughes will look to make it to La Crosse healthy as a senior next year.
A trip back to the state meet next season would make Hughes a three-time state qualifier.
“I haven’t really thought about it much,” said Hughes about next season. “I just want to run my best.”
Chesebro posted her best career finish at the state meet in the high jump with an eighth-place finish. The senior leaped to a height of 5 feet, 4 inches.
“It was definitely very emotional, it was bittersweet,” Chesebro said. “As soon as my coach gave me a hug and said, ‘I’m so proud of you,’ I bawled like a baby.”
The 5-4 finish was the best leap Chesebro has had in her career at the state meet.
She missed the first two times at the 5-4, but cleared it on the third attempt.
“I kept telling myself, ‘I’m not done yet,’” Chesebro said. “Just it being my senior year it was very difficult to let go. I think that’s what kept me going.
“My legs were giving out, but my heart wasn’t I guess.”
The eighth-place finish earned the Red Hawk girls one point. The girls team tied for 60th.
Chesebro ends her Red Hawk track and field career as a four-time state qualifier in the high jump.
“As soon as I made it at the sectional I just told myself, ‘I did it,’” Chesebro said. “It was just that moment of realizing how much I have accomplished.”
“It was exciting to see her finish with her best state jump her senior year,” Lee said. “We are extremely proud of her and we know she is going to do great things in her future. She will be one of those athletes we talk about a ton in the future as a four-time state athlete.”