LA CROSEE — Bonnie Draxler opened Saturday at the state track and field meet by setting a state record in the pole vault and she ended it by becoming only the fourth girl in state history to win 10 individual titles.
Draxler followed up her record performance in the pole vault (13 feet, 3 inches) by defending her 100-meter dash title in 12.19 seconds and then finishing off her career by winning the 400 for a fourth straight year with a time of 56.16.
Both times weren’t far from Division 2 state records as the state record in the 100 is 11.99 and the 400 it is 56.09.
“It means so much to me that everything’s paid off,” Draxler said. “I couldn’t thank my parents enough and my coaches.”
After winning the 100, Draxler returned to the track after rain fell but she said there was no issue with a wet surface because she wears spikes. She was right because she saved her best for last in the 400.
“That was my best time I ever ran the 400, so I’m happy with that,” said Draxler, who won the 400 last year in 56.19
Draxler will move onto San Diego State next fall and she’s anxious to see what lies ahead.
“My times have improved and I’ve jumped higher,” she said. “I can’t wait to take it to college.”
Draxler’s only two losses at the state meet came in the 100. She placed fifth as a freshman and third as a sophomore.
DeValk is DeBest in high jump
Little Chute’s D.J. DeValk knew he was up against it in the Division 2 high jump going up against defending state champion Alex Bloom of Seymour.
But maybe what helped him out is Bloom is someone he knows.
Saturday, they were the last two boys standing in the high jump and DeValk outlasted Bloom winning with a height of 6-7.
“It was intimidating (going against him), but we’re good friends, we chatted it up a lot,” DeValk said. “We’ve competed with each other a couple times last year and this year. It’s been fun knowing someone in high jump that I can talk to and compete with.”
DeValk and Bloom each cleared 6-7 on his third jump, so DeValk won on misses. DeValk said what allowed him to jump over 6-7 was a little pressure.
“It was a little pressure, but it was more of the fact I didn’t want it to be my last jump of high school,” said DeValk, who did clear 6-8 this season.
All athletes had to deal with the delay and DeValk said it was no big deal.
“We just got to rest the legs, relax and it turned out to be pretty good,” he said.
Seymour’s Bloom responds
After losing the high jump and suffering a stress fracture in his leg, Bloom responded by winning the long jump with a leap of 22-8. After the high jump, Bloom was hopping around, not wanting to put pressure on his leg and it worked.
Bloom’s winning mark came in his first jump.
Teammate Sandy Cohen placed third with a leap of 22-6 1/2.
Guilfoyle places second in 100
Kimberly’s Weston Guilfoyle placed second in the Division 1 100 with a time of 10.85 seconds, .002 seconds behind the winner. Despite running a good race, Guilfoyle wasn’t pleased.
“I feel very disappointed in myself,” he said. “I was expecting a first place. The time is good, not my best, not where I wanted it to be.”
Feuerstein places third
While the inclement weather postponed most events at the state track and field meet Saturday morning and early afternoon, one event was able to take place, just inside.
The pole vault was moved inside at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse and in Division 3, Algoma’s Rachel Feuerstein placed third by tying her school record of 9 feet, 9 inches. The junior entered as the No. 1 seed and matched her seed height of 9-9, but it wasn’t enough to win a state title.
Still, she was pleased.
“My goal, in general, was to podium (place in the top six) and feel that experience,” Feuerstein said. “To complete my season like this is amazing.
“If I was a little under that I’d be disappointed. Just being her is a great feeling. I’m just happy I made it here.”
Feuerstein said moving inside was different.
“It’s not really beneficial to me because I can get further in the pit with my bend,” Feuerstein said. “It helps definitely when I’m trying to get up there with a little push. It was definitely a change.”
Other state champs
- The Xavier boys won the 400 relay with a time of 43.52, just edging Milwaukee Lutheran, which finished at 43.53.
- Kimberly’s Bryson Kasper completed a Papermakers sweep in the weight events when he won the discus Saturday with a toss of 177-2. Bay Port’s Cole Van Lanen was second at 172-8, while Kimberly’s Matt Weinhold was fourth at 165-3 and Marcus Matsche was seventh at 162-5.
- Two Rivers’ Ethan Willman won the 300 hurdles in a time of 39.25.
Follow Doug Ritchay on Twitter @dougritchay