If there’s one thing the Waunakee track and field team is far from lacking in 2020, it’s star power.

The Warriors return three athletes who represented the team on the podium at the WIAA State Meet a season ago, led by the defending state champion in the 400-meter dash: junior Chloe Larsen.

Larsen – along with fellow junior Sarah Bova and sophomore Kylee Grabarski, who all ended their season on the podium – headline a girls’ squad with aspirations to claim a fourth consecutive Badger North title. Bolstering the girls’ odds is another state qualifier in both the 100 and 300 hurdles: senior Hayley Krysinski.

The girls’ team appears to have an abundance of both depth and top talent throughout their lineup. Bova, Larsen and Grabarski will propel the sprinters, while senior Emma Bertz, juniors Anna Vanderhoef and Darya Pronina and sophomore Makenzie Wallace lead a deep distance group.

In field events, there’s no shortage of talent, either. Larsen and fellow junior Lauren Statz each held the school record in triple jump in 2019; Bova and senior Jocelyn Meinholz will likely add an abundance of points throughout the year in jumps, as well.

Juniors Claire Holden and Elena Maier bring experience to the throws, while Pronina and fellow junior Lexi Burgard do the same for the pole vault.

For the boys, a large contingent of returning athletes hopes to propel the Warriors to the Badger North title after finishing in third a season ago.

The boys return all members of a pair of conference-champion relay teams; the 4x100 team from last year consisted of seniors Sam Richardson, Miles Lewis, Garrett Helwig and sophomore Kaleb Squire, while the 4x200 quartet included Richardson, Helwig, Squire and senior Bryce Grabarski. The sprints will be likely bolstered by seniors David Kienow, Oleg Novinski, Sam Acker and Lawson Ludwig.

As for distance, Waunakee’s returnees include seniors Evan Voge and Kendall Ohlrogge, juniors Coleson Lincoln, Alex Korth and Drake Andreson, along with a large bunch of underclassmen hoping to make their mark.

Field events will have some holes to fill, but a handful of sophomores – including Cyrus Kampa in throws and Caden McCurdy and Squire in jumps – could prove to be significant cogs in the Waunakee lineup.

Hurdles will be handled by seniors Peyton Meyer and Cameron Donarski, while senior Jordan Wuensch returns as the team’s leading pole vaulter.

While the early-season schedule has been put on hold, once the Warriors finally do hit the track, they’re likely to make some noise in a tough Badger North Conference.

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