Boys track team 'fills the bus'

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MTT News's picture
Rob Reischel
Middleton senior Michael Madoch qualified for the WIAA Division 1 state meet in the 800-meter run./Times-Tribune photo by Mary Langenfeld

VERONA — Fill the bus.

That was message Middleton boys track and field coach Joe Line delivered to his Cardinals all season long.

Line’s Cardinals then went and did just what their coach had asked.

Middleton won the WIAA Division 1 Verona Sectional with 86 points last Thursday, edging host Verona. More importantly, though, the Cardinals advanced six individuals and two relay teams to the state meet, which will be held Friday and Saturday at Veterans Memorial Stadium in La Crosse.

“Our motto this year was try to fill the bus,” Line said. “Fill the bus to state with as many people as we can. We were trying to get as many guys to state as we could.”

The Cardinals did an awfully good job of that.

Middleton will be sending its 1,600- and 3,200-meter relay teams to state. The Cardinals will also be sending senior Caleb Easton and junior Zach Leffel in the 1,600, junior Braedon Gilles and senior Michael Madoch in the 800, sophomore Quinn Calvin in the long jump and sophomore Jackson Meyer in the triple jump.

“A really big part of this program is that we’re a team,” said Easton, who will run collegiately at Northern Arizona beginning this fall. “There’s a lot of people around the state that work individually and we’re a team. That’s what I was looking for in a college, too.”

Easton and Leffel teamed up to run a terrific 1,600.

Easton won the race in (4:18.91) and is now seeded second at state. Leffel was third at sectionals (4:22.45) and is seeded seventh at state.

“I was definitely sore, but it’s nice to know I was closing well,” said Easton, who had competed in regionals just three days earlier. “The goal is just to get myself and teammate to state and we did that.”

Calvin finished third at sectionals in the long jump (21-7.5) and is seeded eighth at state. Meyer, a fellow sophomore was third at sectionals in the triple jump (43-6.5) and is seeded 16th at state.

“Meyer and Calvin did a terrific job,” Line said. “These sophomore showed that we’re really young and can keep this thing rolling for a while.”

Gilles was second at sectionals in the 800-meter run (1:57.95) and is seeded ninth at state. Madoch was third at sectionals (1:58.57) and is seeded 11th at state.

Madoch and Gilles also had a hand with Middleton’s successful relay teams.

Middleton’s 3,200-meter relay team of Madoch, Leffel, Gilles and Easton were first at sectionals and are seeded fourth at state. That quartet posted a time of 8:02.26 and finished nearly 10 seconds ahead of runner-up Madison West.

Middleton’s 1,600-meter relay team of Max Foland, Eagan Peters-Michaud, Gilles and Easton were first at sectionals (3:26.28) and is seeded 11th at state. That quartet took part in one of the more thrilling races of the night, as the Cardinals edged runner-up Madison West (3:26.34) by 0.06 seconds for first place.

“That made my heart flutter a little bit,” Line said of the 1,600. “I’ve been waiting for this race the whole day. This is our best race. Coach (Brian) Finnel has two distance kids and I have two sprinters. You put them together and that’s a really good 4x4.”

Middleton led halfway through the race, but on the third leg, La Crosse Logan’s Tanner Boge surged past Gilles. By the midway point of that leg, though, Boge ran out of gas and Gilles surged past him and back into the lead.

“I was a little nervous because I was a little tired,” Gilles said. “But then once we were down to 150 meters, I knew I had a lot left. And I was like, ‘This kid isn’t going to beat me.’ So I just put everything I had into it.”

So did Easton, who was competing in his third event of the night. And despite a challenge from West’s Thomas McGuigan down the stretch, Easton had enough left to lift Middleton to the win.

“No matter how tired my legs are, the last 400, you can go,” Easton said. “That’s just a mental thing.”

Now, with a relatively full bus, the Cardinals are hoping to make a lot of noise at state.

“It hasn’t quite set in, but last year was a lot of fun, so it’s great to go back,” Gilles said. “The crowd there is crazy and it’s definitely going to be some fun times.”

Added Line: “I think we can finish between top-10 and top-5. We’re bringing a lot of kids and hopefully we can have a great meet.”


Boys track and field

May 23



Team scores: Middleton 86; Verona 77; Holmen 68; La Crosse Logan 53; Onalaska 52; Reedsburg 44; Madison West 43; Madison East 39; Baraboo 33; Madison Memorial 31; La Crosse Central 31; Waunakee 26; Sparta 24; Tomah 23; DeForest 23; Sauk Prairie 5.

Automatic state qualifiers

100: 1, Harris, LCL, :10.89; 2, Davis, LCC, :10.90; 3, Labuzzetta, H, :10.98.

200: 1, Harris, LCL, :22.16; 2, Labuzzetta, H, :22.18; 3, Joe-Wright, V, :22.47.

400: 1, Kohn, MW, :51.02; 2, Sprackling, S, :51.15; 3, Hackbarth, Bar, :51.52.

800: 1, Robinson, On, 1:57.49; 2, Gilles, Mid, 1:57.95; 3, Madoch, Mid, 1:58.57.

1,600: 1, Easton, Mid, 4:18.91; 2, Loetscher, ME, 4:20.29; 3, Leffel, Mid, 4:22.45.

3,200: 1, Loetscher, ME, 9:27.30; 2, Slevin, LCL, 9:27.53; 3, Roth, D, 9:38.42.

110 hurdles: 1, Dregney, R, :14.82; 2, Peterson, On, :14.88; 3, Rodriguez, Hol, :15.02.

300 hurdles: 1, Peterson, On, :38.93; 2, Dregney, R, :40.05; 3, Abraham, H, :40.27.

400 relay: 1, La Crosse Central, :42.47; 2, Madison West, :42.76; 3, Tomah, :43.43.

800 relay: 1, La Crosse Central, 1:28.93; 2, Madison Memorial, 1:29.84; 3, Verona, 1:30.35.

1,600 relay: 1, Middleton (Foland, Peters-Michaud, Gilles, Easton), 3:26.28; 2, Madison West, 3:26.34; 3, La Crosse Logan, 3:26.83.

3,200 relay: 1, Middleton (Madoch, Leffel, Gilles, Easton), 8:02.26; 2, Madison West, 8:12.05; 3, Verona, 8:14.71.

Pole vault: 1, Herkert, V, 14-6; 2 (tie), Larson, H, and Strupp, H, 13-6. High jump: 1, Herkert, V, 6-6; 2 (tie), Edwards, S, and Hawkins, V, 6-5.

Long jump: 1, Peterson, On, 23-2¾; 2, Mavin, LCL, 22-2½; 3, Calvin, Mid, 21-7½.

Triple jump: 1, Tanin, Mid, 36-2; 2 (tie), Buske, ME, and Mink, D, 35-8½.

Shot put: 1, Nesseth, H, 53-4¼; 2, Horvath, MV, 52-3½; 3, Acker, V, 51-9¾.

Discus: 1, Acker, V, 180-5; 2, Schaefer, Bar, 168-4; 3, Kennedy, MM, 144-0.



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