Lutheran wins state championship in 3,200 relay for first time in 14 years
There was a time when Sheboygan Lutheran had one of the best 3,200-meter relays, as the Crusaders won Division 3 state track and field championships from 2005-07.
For the first time since then, Lutheran took first place Thursday at UW-La Crosse thanks to junior Logan Zak and seniors Jonah Jurss, Hans Gruben and Matthew Witte, who finished in 8 minutes 16.73 seconds.
“It’s kind of a cool event for Lutheran High and for us to finally put our name on one,” Jurss said.
At sectionals, the Crusaders took third in 8:30.83.
“At sectionals, people are still worried about other events, and we just ran regionals that Tuesday,” Jurss said. “For state, we had a week off so we were all rested up. We ran it like it was our only event and we were giving it our all.
“That was a big factor.”
Witte ran the fourth leg of the relay and credited Gruben’s handoff.
“He really set me up perfectly,” Witte said. “He was able to separate the last 100 and I was able to get the baton first, and all I had to do was stay in first.”
Gruben and the other two then watched Witte pull away.
“It kind of started setting in,” Gruben said. “Before, we knew we had to run as fast as we can and see what happens. But being that far ahead, you could see we were actually going to win.”
Lutheran, which for the first time in school history won conference, regional and sectional championships, finished sixth at state.
The Crusaders’ 1,600 relay, which set a school record at sectionals (3:29.02), came in fifth at state in 3:34.74.
Fifth also went to senior Dominic Willadsen in the 3,200 (10:11.90); he was also a sectional winner.
Zak took first at sectionals as well in the 400 and finished seventh at state in 51.76.
Junior Colin Girdaukis, who set a school record in the 200 (23.09) at sectionals, finished eighth at state in 23.54.
Witte’s 2:06.86 in the 800 put him in 14th place.
Lutheran’s girls participated in one event at state: the 800 relay. Juniors Ellie Fredericks, and Rose Hahn, sophomore Kate Rammes and senior Kirsten Solle finished in 1:54.99, good for 16th place. The same four set a school record in the 400 relay (53.96) at sectionals.
DIVISION 1 MEET
North qualified for state (held Saturday after deadline) in four events, including two by Jeremy Rusch (200 and 400).
Nyla Spicer made it in the 100 and she was also on the 400 relay with Sylvia Green, Hattie Herrmann and Alexis Johnson.
South’s two athletes at state were Nolan Blomwillis in the 110 hurdles and Alex Kaffine in the 400.