During the cross country season, Onalaska High School freshman Kora Malecek admitted she didn’t run with a strategy.
At the WIAA Division 1 state track and field meet Friday at Veterans Memorial Stadium Sports Complex, Malecek took some advice from coach Darin Shepardson that helped her end the season with a personal best time in the 3,200-meter run.
Malecek finished fifth with a time of 10 minutes, 58 seconds, which topped her previous best mark of 11:07.
“Shep made the plan, and it was good, because I probably would’ve went out too fast,” Malecek said. “Usually if I follow it (the strategy), I race really well. I have to keep doing that.”
Janesville Craig’s Peyton Sippy won the race in 10:42.
Malecek set a goal of running under 11 minutes. It also helped that she believed she under performed as a member of the Hilltoppers 3,200 relay earlier in the day.
“It was really crazy being up on the podium,” Malecek said. “Last year, my sisters and I went to the meet and we would be there comparing times. Now, we’re here and we’ve worked very hard to make it here.”
Cora ran with her other two sisters, Lydia and Amalia, to get a seventh-place finish. Cora ran the second leg of the relay, and her split was 2:21.49.
“The state meet is a double-edged sword,” Shepardson said. “It’s a meet where it should never define a season, but it has that potential to. On the reverse side, if you come here and perform well, you feel good about your season. One meet doesn’t define your season.”
SIEGEL GETS SEVENTH: Logan senior C.J. Siegel finished seventh in the long jump with a leap of 21-11¾ feet. He was also in the Rangers' 800-relay team that advanced to Saturday’s final.
TOMAH’S UTESCH SETS PR: Tomah junior Sevanna Utesch didn’t mind that she finished eighth on Friday in the wheelchair shot put competition.
She had a blast being at the state meet.
Utesch broke a personal record on her last throw with a toss of eight feet.
As she crossed the track toward the crowd, she proudly wore a smile and a medal for being there.
“It was the best, like OMG,” Utesch said. “I’ve been working toward this since the beginning of the season.”
Utesch’s experience isn’t done yet. She’ll compete in the 100-meter wheelchair race at 10:30 a.m. Saturday.
MICKELSON: Central’s Jett Mickelson had the second-fastest time in his 800 heat, but had to wait for the second heat to see if he’d make the podium.
Mickelson’s time in was 1:55.76, but it came just short of making the top-8 in Division 1. And, he understood that there was good competition that ran after him.
“I wanted to see how I could compete with the other guys,” Mickelson said. “I did what I needed to do, and it wasn’t quite enough to place or podium, but I’m quite alright with that. I ran my race. I really ran the best I could.”
The winner of the race was Stevens Point senior Liam Belson (1:53.54).