WAUNAKEE — Some things just go together. Thunder and lightning. Salt and pepper. Peanut butter and jelly.
In the world of Waunakee girls track and field, the winning match is made up of sophomore sensations Chloe Larsen and Sarah Bova.
Both bring a different style of sprinting — the long strides of Larsen are suited for longer sprints, and the quick bursts of Bova are best for the shortest races.
Put them together — as they were in the 100-, 200- and 400-meter dashes during Tuesday’s Badger North Conference meet — and they are difficult to beat.
Larsen and Bova brought home 68 of the Warriors’ 199.5 points en route to a conference championship on their home track. Baraboo was second with 154.
Bova won the 100 in 13.08 seconds, with Larsen fourth. Bova doubled up in the 200 (:26.2), with Larsen second. In the 400, Larsen won in :58.80 and Bova took second (:59.36).
“It’s just great to have someone so similar to push you,” Larsen said.
Bova moved to Waunakee from Mukwonago in 2017. Her friendship with Larsen started on the oval last spring and carried them all the way to the WIAA Division 1 state meet, as they ran on the Warriors’ ninth-place 1,600 relay team.
Now that they know what to expect, they aim for similar results this spring. Both have been on the state honor roll in the 200 and 400 for most of the season.
“This year has been about us trying to build up to there and see where we can get,” Bova said.
Tuesday’s meet was a good indicator that things are clicking, as both turned in personal-best times.
The 100 requires a burst and strength off the gun that can make or break a race. The 400 requires endurance to hold form as fatigue kicks in during the home stretch. The 200 has both of those factors.
Bova and Larsen, who probably won’t run three individual events once the WIAA postseason starts next week, mix up their workouts during the week in order to thrive in all three events. It paid dividends on Tuesday.
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“Some days it’s sprints and some days it’s endurance,” Bova said. “All over the place, usually.”
The two weren’t alone in having a big night for Waunakee.
Reagan Hoopes, who finished in the top-nine at state last year in both the 1,600 and 3,200, swept the distance events Tuesday, taking a big lead in each race and chasing the clock.
Hoopes, a senior, crossed the line in the 1,600 with a time of 5:09.74, 16 seconds better than second place. In the 3,200, she finished in 11:35.7, which was 38 seconds better than the runner-up.
Hayley Krysinski also took home two golds. The junior won the 100 hurdles in :15.95, a full second faster than the runner-up, and bounced back two hours later to win the 300 hurdles in :47.90.
On the boys side, Waunakee got a standoutc effort from Sawyer Maly to finish third behind champion DeForest and runner-up Reedsburg.
Maly swept the short sprints, winning the 100 in :11.33 and edging teammate Kaleb Squire in the 200. Maly ran a :23.16 to freshman Squire’s :23.23.
Maly may have covered more distance running between his other events than actually racing on the track. He also won the high jump, clearing 6 feet, 2 inches minutes after his 200 victory, and taking second in the long jump (21-4½).
His 38-point total was easily the highest individual scoring contribution of the night.
“It means a lot to first of all be blessed with the athletic ability to be able to help my team in this way,” Maly said. “Anything I can do to help the team try and win conference is a great honor.”
Beaver Dam’s Cade Ferron turned in an equally impressive performance as he tripled up the distance events. He began his afternoon by winning the 1,600 in 4:30.24. After about a 90-minute break, he won the 800 in 1:59.94; about 20 minutes after that, he pulled away in the 3,200 (9:50.7).
The victorious Norskies showed off their depth and collected a multitude of second- and third-place finishes to secure the title.