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Cheese sending 400-meter relay team to state
Photo for the Times: Duke Goetz Monroes Tyreisha Gibson hands off to anchor Jaclyn Ditter in 400 relay.
BOSCOBEL - Clean handoffs in a sprint relay can be the difference coming down the home stretch.

Monroe qualified three relays for state, including a WIAA Division 2 Boscobel sectional champion 400-meter relay team of Maria Eberle, Stephanie Wyss, Ty Gibson and Jaclyn Ditter, who nailed their handoffs and finished in 51.46 seconds. Monroe finished third as a team Friday with 47 points. Arcadia edged West Salem for the sectional title, 99-97.

Monroe girls track coach Curt Miller was excited about the third-place finish.

"Those are two teams competing for a state title," Miller said of Arcadia and West Salem.

"We knew coming in that Columbus was right there and would give us a run," Miller said. "Our girls hit every one of their handoffs. We have some pretty fast girls. Our handoffs are what sets us apart."

The Cheesemakers also qualified three individuals for state, including seniors Carmen Lawver, who took fourth place in the shot put (35-2 3/4), Meaghan Tomasiewicz, the sectional runner-up in the pole vault (11-0), and junior Tess Seichter, who finished fourth in the 3,200 by smashing her personal record time by 18 seconds (11:43.39).

Miller knew the wild card in whether the Cheesemakers' 3,200 relay team could qualify for state for the second straight year hinged on Madeline Arnold.

Arnold stepped up and ran her best split to help Monroe take third and a state berth with a PR of 9 minutes, 51 seconds.

Monroe returned three-fourths of its state qualifying 3,200 relay team from last year in Tessa Frutiger, Wyss and Seichter.

"The key to that whole race was Madeline Arnold," Miller said. "We were a little unsure of who our No. 4 runner would be this year. We had a good feeling that she could do it."

The Cheesemakers' 1,600 relay team of Ditter, Frutiger, Arnold and Wyss also finished third in 4:09.9. Ditter added a sixth-place finish in the 100 (:13.42).

Tomasiewicz finished fifth in the high jump (5-0) to just miss qualifying. She cleared 5 feet on her first attempt, then just missed 5-2 on her second try. With four jumpers who already cleared 5-2, she was eliminated when she missed 5-2 on her final attempt.

She rebounded to qualify for state in the pole vault.

"The pole vault is her main event," Miller said. "It's something she loves. The high jump is just something she is good at."

Lawver took fourth place in the shot put with a throw of 35-2. Lawver's state-qualifying throw came on her first attempt in the finals.

"It feels awesome," Lawver said. "I just felt really relieved and hopefully the other two (competitors) wouldn't improve."

The Brodhead-Juda 800 relay team of Amanda Johnson, Shannon Klein, Larissa Klemm and Cassie Wymer took third to qualify for state by setting a personal-record time of 1:49.95.

"We wanted to break 1:50 and just go for the best we could," Wymer said. "I think everyone went out really hard just to prove that we could get to state."

Johnson said the goal now is to make it to the finals at state.