LA CROSSE — After winning the girls triple jump championship a year ago, Kiara Lee focused on returning to the WIAA state track and field meet and rewriting the record books. And not just in Division 1.
The Madison La Follette senior wanted to own the best girls triple jump for all divisions.
“That was my goal,” Lee said. “I’ve been working for it all year.”
Lee repeated as the Division 1 triple jump champion and established an all-divisions record when she leaped 41 feet, ¾ inches on her sixth and final attempt Saturday at UW-La Crosse’s Veterans Memorial Stadium. The best previous overall mark had been 40-8¼ in Division 2, set in 2017 by Bloomer’s Kyra Arendt.
Lee and Waunakee sophomore Chloe Larsen, the girls 400-meter champion, led area girls and boys competitors in Division 1.
On Lee’s second attempt during preliminaries, she jumped 40-8, which broke the previous Division 1 record of 40-4 by Menomonee Falls’ Mikayla Robertson in 2013.
“I just went out and on my last jump executed it,” Lee said. “This is my last year. I wanted to make it big and get both state records — (including) the all-time state record.”
Her final jump didn’t begin perfectly, but it ended in record fashion.
“On the runway, I was a little off at first,” she said. “But I pulled it together.”
Big Eight Conference competitors dominated the top of the triple jump results. Janesville Craig junior Ryann Porter earned second (38-4½) and Madison East senior Parker Buske (37-9¼) finished third after winning the long jump Friday night.
“I was more calm and relaxed and ready to go (than last year),” University of Central Florida commit Lee said. “I was trying to bring it all out my last time jumping in high school.”
Larsen won the 400 meters in a personal-best 56.91 seconds, coming on strong in the final 100 and outkicking Muskego junior Savanah Balcerak, second in :57.49. Waunakee sophomore Sarah Bova was fourth (:58.66).
“Going in, I was definitely really nervous,” Larsen said. “Now it just feels super-surreal. It doesn’t feel like it happened. … I guess I was just feeling it today.”
Larsen said she didn’t anticipate an individual title prior to this season. She said she was primarily a relay runner last season and entered this year focused on getting to state with her team.
The 400 was absent three-time defending champion Brooke Jaworski of Wausau West after the University of Texas commit was injured in the 100 high hurdles preliminaries Friday.
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“It was mixed emotions,” said Larsen, seeded fifth entering the finals. “Obviously, it was to my advantage. It is so hard, especially for a senior like her, a girl with such talent.”
Bova, senior Riley Armstrong, freshman Kylee Grabarski and Larsen later finished second in the 1,600 relay in 3:58.45 for Waunakee, which wound up sixth overall in the team standings.
“It’s absolutely amazing,” Bova said. “Our main goal was to podium.”
Freshman Roisin Willis ran a blazing :52.70 anchor leg, propelling Stevens Point (3:54.44) to the 1,600 relay victory.
Middleton freshman Lauren Pansegrau finished as runner-up in the girls 3,200. Onalaska sophomore Kora Malecek, a triplet whose sisters also competed in the meet, finished first in 10:36.25 — followed by Pansegrau, whose 10:47.81 was a personal best.
“I’m really happy,” Pansegrau said. “It was a fun race.”
Janesville Craig senior Aaron Leverson placed second in 1:55.70 in the boys 800. Kimberly senior Rowen Ellenberg was first in 1:55.41. Mequon Homestead senior Drew Bosley, who earlier defended his titles in the 3,200 and 1,600, was fourth (1:56.52).
“I knew it was a really good field,” Leverson said. “I felt I had a pretty good kick and they were more long distance guys. I thought I could get them at the end.”
Leverson moved up from fifth to second, but said the gap Kimberly senior Rowan Ellenberg had was too much to overcome. Leverson said he believed all season he could compete against the top runners in the state.
“To come here and compete against them was super cool,” Leverson said.
Middleton senior Caleb Easton (4:14.59) finished third in the boys 1,600, behind winner Drew Bosley of Mequon Homestead (4:12.14) and second-place Ellenberg (4:12.28).
“Those guys are really good,” Easton said. “Hats off to them. They had a really good race, better than mine today.”
Milton junior Dane Nelson finished third in the boys 300 hurdles in :39.53, while Janesville Craig senior Trevion Moore placed third in the boys high jump, clearing 6-6.
Madison Memorial junior Cynthia Rosales (135-0), Baraboo senior Alexis Johnson (132-4) and La Follette senior Ayona Johnson (131-2) finished fourth through sixth, respectively, in the girls discus won by Schofield D.C. Everest sophomore Danni Langseth (149-00).
Muskego was the girls Division 1 winner with 51 points, followed by runner-up Milwaukee Divine Savior Holy Angels (49). Waunakee was sixth with 23.
Kimberly was the boys champion with 46. Waukesha North was second with 39.
The two-day attendance total was 21,162.