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Wyss medals; Ditter to finals
Monroes Jeffrey Hill, who took fifth in the boys pole vault a year ago, finished outside the medalists with a mark of 12-feet, 6-inches.
LA CROSSE - Monroe senior Stephanie Wyss knows what it's like to experience the cheers from thousands of fans at the WIAA Division 2 State Track and Field Championships.

What she wasn't prepared for was the surprise and jubilation after winning her first medal Friday at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse's Veterans Memorial Stadium. Wyss tied for sixth in the high jump with West Salem sophomore Jessie Welch and Somerset sophomore Sara Henry as each cleared 5-feet.

After going from a feeling of anxiousness, Wyss was excited since she didn't know that she medaled until the public address announcer called her to the podium.

"I had no idea," Wyss said about her chances of medaling after she missed three attempts at 5-2 before running the lead leg of the 3,200-meter relay. "I was totally caught off guard when they called my name. It means a lot to medal in my last year. I can't ask for anything more. There are no words to describe how happy I am."

Wyss, who competed in her fourth straight state meet, cleared 5 feet on her first attempt. She elected to take all three jumps at 5-2 before running the opening leg of the 3,200 relay. She missed all attempts at 5-2.

"I wanted to get all the jumps in before the 3,200 relay," Wyss said. "After that I'm so dead and I don't have any spring in my legs."

However, Wyss said she may have rushed her jumps at 5-2.

"I felt very rushed," Wyss said. "I was nervous about getting ready for the two-mile relay. I didn't want to miss it."

The Cheesemakers' 3,200 relay team of Wyss, Tess Seichter, Lizzy Dale and Tessa Frutiger finished 10th with a time of 10 minutes, 4.14 seconds and Sugar River took 11th (10:06.64). Wyss ran a lifetime best split in the 3,200 relay.

"What she (Wyss) has done for the Monroe track program is amazing," Monroe girls track coach Curt Miller said.

Frutiger is one of the Cheesemakers to qualify for state four consecutive years along with Wyss.

"I still don't think we all have run our best race at the same time," Frutiger said, who has run on the 3,200 relay team at state four straight years. "We ran what we had today. Going four years in a row says a lot about the depth and quality we have on the Monroe girls track team."

Monroe junior Jaclyn Ditter finished eighth in the preliminaries of the 100 hurdles (:15.70) and will run for a medal in the finals today. Ditter, who broke Ellie Radke's school record in the 100 hurdles at the Boscobel sectional, is the eighth seed heading into the finals.

"It wasn't good," Ditter said. "It got really nerve wracking waiting a couple of hours. It was such a buildup of suspense. It feels amazing to get to the finals."

Ditter also teamed with senior Ty Gibson, sophomore Maria Eberle and senior Jess Miller to take seventh in the preliminaries of the 400 relay to qualify for the finals with a time of 50.46 seconds, which was 0.01 second behind Rice Lake.

Miller said Ditter hasn't been in many tight hurdle races this year. It's a learning experience running in tight quarters. Miller said Ditter may have an advantage running as a No. 8 seed in the finals since she will be running in an outside lane and won't have to run in a pack.

"A lot can happen in a hurdles race," Miller said. "I think she has a great shot to medal tomorrow."

Monroe junior Jeffrey Hill, after entering the state meet as the top seed in the pole vault (14-0), tied for eighth (12-6) and missed medaling. Hill, who finished fifth at state last year, missed 13-0 on all three attempts. Brodhead-Juda senior Mitch Wiesenberg took 10th (12-6).

"His goal was to go 14-0," Monroe boys track coach Dave Hirsbrunner said. "He never got deep enough in the pit and he got hung up on 13-0. I hope he can just pack it away as a learning experience. When you have disappointment, I hope it makes him a better person and vaulter."

Monroe junior Dylan Starck just missed medaling in the 800 finishing ninth with a season best time of 1:57.88, which was 0.51 seconds away from medaling.

"His goal was to break 1:58," Hirsbrunner said. "He broke 1:58, but he went out too slow in the first lap. Not many people can say they ran their best time at the state meet. He will be leaving smiling."

Brodhead-Juda junior Shannon Klein took fourth in the preliminaries of the 400 (:58.49) and will run in the finals today. The Cheesemakers' 800 relay team of Gibson, Eberle, Miller and Brenna Bazley took 15th in the preliminaries and didn't qualify for the finals.

Sugar River senior Josh O'Connor took 15th in the discus (129-4) and Brodhead-Juda sophomore Trent Jordan ended his season finishing 15th in the preliminaries of the 400 (:52.64).

Notes: The WIAA, for the first time in the history of the state track and field championships, will have state wheelchair races in the 100-, 400-, 800-, and 1,600-meters as well as the shot put today. There are no athletes from Green or Lafayette Counties competing in the state wheelchair races. However, there are two athletes from the surrounding area that will compete, including Portage sophomore Tyler Haletek and Verona sophomore Luke Russell. ... Monroe junior Michael Barrett, who won the Boscobel sectional title in the high jump (6-3) will contend for a medal today. Barrett, who has a lifetime best jump of 6-5, is the No. 3 seed headed into the championships. ... Monroe junior Nick Walker will compete in the shot put today, as will Brodhead-Juda sophomore Heather Clankie in the discus.