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Digging for gold at state: Hirsbrunner takes 6th in high jump
Monroe junior Jordan Hirsbrunner finished sixth place in the high jump at the WIAA Division 2 state track meet on Friday. (Photo for the Times: Duke Goetz)
LA CROSSE - Monroe junior Jordan Hirsbrunner finished in a three-way tie for sixth place in the high jump at the WIAA Division 2 state track meet on Friday.

Hirsbrunner cleared 5 feet, 2 inches to tie Grafton sophomore Grace Cleveland and Edgerton sophomore Ashlyn Oren for sixth at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse's Veterans Memorial Stadium.

"Jumping without misses was her saving grace," Monroe girls track coach Matt Davis said of Hirsbrunner, who cleared 5-0 and 5-2 on her first jumps. "She just barely missed 5-4. Our goal is to try to get Jordan to medal in four events. I was happy to see she did that. It's very difficult to medal in the high jump because it is so unpredictable."

After the first day of the state track meet, Jefferson leads the showdown for a state team title with 16 points. There is a five-way tie for second that includes Big Foot, Edgerton, Little Chute, Lakeland and Amery all with 10 points. Brodhead-Juda is tied for seventh with seven points and Monroe is 30th with two points. However, the Monroe girls track team will have six events in action for the finals today including all three relays - the 400, 800 and 1,600 relays and they all placed in the top five in the preliminaries on Friday.

"They all came through," Davis said of the Cheesemakers' three relays. "The ladies in the relays looked very good. They basically ran what we thought they would. My wish is everyone we took medals."

Hirsbrunner finished first in the preliminaries of the 300-meter intermediate hurdles with a time of 44.65 seconds ahead of two-time defending Division 2 state champion and state record-holder Mikaela Grant of Jefferson who took second in the preliminaries heading into today's finals. It's the fourth time this season that Hirsbrunner has defeated Grant in a 300 hurdles race.

The Cheesemakers' 800 relay team of senior Isabel Bazley, senior Abby Oudinot, freshman Cammi Ganshert and Hirsbrunner finished third in the preliminaries with a time of 1 minute, 46.28 seconds to qualify for today's finals. Catholic Memorial had the fastest time in the preliminaries in the 800 relay (1:43.39).

Monroe's 1,600 relay team of Bazley, sophomore Mya Waterman, Ganshert and Hirsbrunner took third in the preliminaries with a time of 4:00.98. Wittenberg-Birnamwood had the fastest time in the prelims (3:57.64).

Monroe junior Josie Eberle teamed with Bazley, Oudinot and Ganshert to take fifth in the preliminaries of the 400 relay (50.51) to qualify for the finals. Edgerton had the top time in the prelims (49.36).

"There is a learning curve at the state meet and I think they (400 relay team) figured it out sooner than later," Davis said.

Davis has high expectations for all three relays to medal today. He is not just banking on the seed times from the preliminaries.

"Just because the seed time says something that doesn't mean anything," he said. "That doesn't mean that is how they will run or finish. Tomorrow is a whole new day. Everything will have to go perfect for big things to happen."

Eberle will compete in the pole vault and Oudinot will contend for a medal in the triple jump today.