The 2019 WIAA State Championship meet was full of highs and lows and the Red Raiders experienced both and everything between on Friday and Saturday at UW La Crosse.
The 4x800m relay team consisting of Henry Wellenstein, Nile Bridges, Max Finco, and Max Radcliffe got the weekend rolling with a 3rd place finish and a new school record of 7:51.97 to break a 37 year old record set back in 1982 when Joe Eichner, Bill Mongan, Adam Miller, and Pat Ames ran 7:54.2. Wellenstein ran a PR 1:57.47 to get the team into first place, Bridges gave a season best effort of 2:02.24 to keep the team close to the lead pack, Finco ran a PR 1:57.93, and Max Radcliffe ran a huge PR of 1:54.35 on the anchor to secure third place.
Chase Roberts ran a 48.73 in prelims to win his heat and advance to the final as the top seed and new school record holder. Roberts broke a 43 year old record by Eddie Simmons of 48.7
The 4x100m relay team consisting of Caleb Anderson, Jacarri Oldham, AJ Nichols, and Lewis Huenink ran just off their season best time in 43.13 and narrowly missed advancing to finals.
Michael Pridgeon threw the discus 124′ 7″ to place 22nd and Jacob Wodushek just missed opening height of 13′ in the pole vault which would have been a PR by over a foot!
Henry Wellenstein had a strong start to the 3200m run until a side cramp struck and slowed him over the last part of the race yet he still managed 9:45.78 for 24th place.
The 4x400m relay team of Caleb Anderson, Max Radcliffe, Nile Bridges, and Chase Roberts got off to a strong start through the first two legs and we’re running in first place until Bridges hamstring (which he previously injured on April 6 at WTFA indoor state) gave out. Bridges tried getting up to run and went down again immediately, however he found the strength and courage to get up one more time and hop the last 300 meters around the track to finish his leg and give the baton to Roberts. While the team did not advance to finals it was an inspiring performance by the sole senior to get back up and finish on one leg.
Henry Wellenstein ran his 3rd and final race of the weekend in the 1600m run from the slow heat and won in a PR time of 4:21.28 seconds which now ranks him #3 all time at Tosa East and managed to place 7th overall. Nate Blischke also ran a PR in that heat in 4:28.42 for 17th place.
Michael Pridgeon placed 11th in the shot put with a throw of 51 feet 8.25 inches. Max Radcliffe placed 10th in the 800m dash in 1:58.17 and Max Finco placed 22nd in 2:01.87 from the first of two heats on a windy afternoon.
Chase Roberts did not let the pressure of being the top seed hinder his race at all. He ran a smart race in tougher conditions with 48.86 to win his first state championship by over a quarter of a second and became the first Tosa East boy to win a track and field event since Tony Smith back in 1985!
The team totaled 18 points from the 400m, 4x800m relay, and 1600m to tie for 11th place out of 61 teams that scored points in the meet.