Conley Malone stood on the Veterans Memorial Field infield with the sun shining for the first time all day. He had three medals — two bronze and a silver — around his neck with his stickers and bib all on his navy Aquinas High School uniform.
He couldn’t believe it was over.
Malone was part of three relays for the Blugolds on Friday and Saturday at the WIAA state track and field meet at UW-La Crosse.
“Now that it’s over, I’m glad that myself and my teammates were able to go out on a bang,” Malone said. “I used everything I had. It wasn’t quite enough, but I’m happy with how we ended up.”
The Blugolds finished second in the 400-meter relay with a time of 43.64 seconds, just behind Kewaskum. They also came away with third-place finishes in the 800 and 1,600 relays.
Aquinas’ 800-relay team crossed the line in 1:30.67 seconds while the 1,600 relay — the last event of the day — finished in 3:23.86.
“We did what we were supposed to do,” Aquinas’ Evan Weber said.
Aquinas’ 800 relay was comprised of Lukas Beck, Weber, Malone and Nick Cambio. Malone and Weber also ran the 400 relay with the help of Bryant Meyer and Jackson Mashak.
The quartet that handled the 1,600 — Beck, Weber, Rory Campbell and Malone — broke the school record in the event for the third time in less than 10 days.
Baton exchanges were a big part of Aquinas’ success on Saturday after the exchanges weren’t as crisp the day before.
“I think it’s the adrenaline factor,” Aquinas coach Geoff Wilhelmy said. “They realized they were finally in the finals. They were more determined, more concentrated, and I think that makes a big difference.”
When the Blugolds broke the school record in the 1,600 the first time, it wasn’t even good enough to win the race as it finished fifth at sectionals.
However, the WIAA selected Aquinas as an extra qualifer to compete in the 1,600 at state.
The team then broke its own school record in the 1,600 in the preliminary race Friday at state. According to Wilhelmy, it’s the 23rd time that a school record in a sprinting event — boys or girls — had been broken in the last five seasons.