2016 Top 50 Lists Summary
By Mike Krugel
Greetings from Virginia and apologies again this year for the delay in putting together the summary. I was once again unable to attend the state meet this year - I hope I am still able to do justice to all of the athletes who turned in another spectacular season of high school girls' track and field in Wisconsin! The 2016 campaign resulted in another major rewrite of the Top 50 Lists, one at least as impressive as last year's onslaught. 129 updates were made to the lists from meets completed through July 26th. Included were 32 new top-10 and 13 new top-5 marks. (Note: some of these were the same athletes improving marks set earlier in the 2016 season). One new all-time best was set, while another was tied. Tasha Allen's 54.33 second 400-meter dash all-time record was equaled by newcomer Brooke Jaworski of Wausau West at the state meet in La Crosse on June 4th. Freshman Brooke had an outstanding state meet, also winning the D1 200-meter dash and anchoring West's 4x400 relay team to a new overall state meet record, which landed it second on the all-time list.
Josie Schaefer, a junior from Baraboo, broke Jill Pedretti's 17-year-old record throw in the discus with a mammoth 176' 3" effort at the USATF Junior Championships in Clovis, CA on June 25th. In an amazing series of throws that day, Josie had four throws of over 170 feet. Pedretti had been the only thrower ever to eclipse the 170-foot barrier prior to Josie, who accomplished the feat at least six times in an incredible 2016 season (I don't get to see the entire series of throws for each meet, so there could have been additional 170+ efforts in at least two other meets earlier this year).
Nine individual top-five marks (including the two just mentioned) were established this year in six different events by six different girls, with Whitefish Bay junior Cami Davre, Hartford senior Sam Noennig, and Josie each posting two such efforts in 2016. In addition, four relay teams earned top five positions, as well. Prior to her effort described immediately above, Josie Schaefer improved upon her then second-place effort with a 172' 8" effort at a dual meet at home on April 7th against Monona Grove, which left her seventeen inches behind Jill Pedretti. Davre took over fifth-place in the 1600-meter run on March 13th at the New Balance Indoor Nationals at the Armory in New York City, posting a mile time that converted to a 4:46.87 1600. In a great race at the state meet in La Crosse on June 4th, Cami maintained her fifth-place spot, but lowered her time 4:46.40 while holding off Samantha Valentine of Middleton by less than half a second. I will cover the other top-five individual efforts in the senior recaps to follow.
In the relays, Wauwatosa West's 4x100 team consisting of seniors Brianna Horton, Azya McLin and Mercy Ndon and junior Cheri'A Adams took over fifth place in that event, clocking a 47.81 at the Myrhum Invitational at Hartland Arrowhead on May 7th. At the state meet in La Crosse on June 4th, the 4x400 relay D1 finals capped off the girls' track events in spectacular fashion, with the top three finishers all beating the prior state meet record, placing them second, third, and fourth on the all-time list. As mentioned above, Wausau West's team led the charge with their 3:50.75 clocking. In addition to anchor Brooke Jaworski, team members for West included senior Alyssa Faucett and juniors Ana Presa and Caitlin Deaton. Finishing close behind them was the team from Hartland Arrowhead, which posted a 3:51.84 time. Arrowhead's team members included senior Mary Bartelson, juniors Lizzy Bejna and Grace Gilmore, and sophomore Kayla Vogt. Sussex Hamilton rounded out this trio of top-four efforts with their time of 3:52.47. The Hamilton team was comprised of juniors Chelsea Parker and Bianca Stubler, sophomore Megan Jansett, and freshman Morgan Price. While it weathered this assault this year, one would think that Milwaukee Riverside's all-time best mark of 3:50.23 in the 4x400 could be in jeopardy the next couple of years, given that ten of the runners from these three teams should return next year, including all four Sussex Hamilton athletes. (I made a similar comment last year!)
Next, I will continue my tradition of recognizing the seniors graduating with top-five-ever marks. Some were briefly mentioned above, but all deserve some additional discussion here.
Kenosha Bradford teammates Alexus Nelson and Madison Marko graduated this year having been members of the third-best 4x200 relay squad ever. In winning the D1 state title last year, their time of 1:39.40 left them less than a second behind only the epic Bradley Tech 2008 and 2009 teams led by the incomparable Dezerea Bryant. Madison placed seventh in the D1 200-meter dash at the state meet in 2015 and ran on a point-scoring 4x200 squad as a freshman. In addition to their third-best all-time effort listed above, Alexus and Madison were teammates on four different point-scoring relay teams at the state meet in other years, including second-place finishes in the 4x100 in 2015 and the 4x200 this year.
Wauwatosa West seniors Azya McLin, Mercy Ndon, and Brianna Horton ran together on the 4x100 relay squad mentioned earlier that clocked the fifth-best time ever on May 7th in Hartland. They also ran together in 2015 on the D1 state champion 4x100 squad, the second-place 4x100 team in 2014, and two other point-scoring relay groups in 2015 and 2016. Additionally, Azya and Mercy ran on this year's state champion 4x100 squad and scored points in the same event as freshmen. Rounding out their accomplishments at state, Azya also scored in the 100-meter dash the past two seasons, finishing third this year, while Mercy scored in the same event in last year.
Alyssa Faucett of Wausau West leaves high school as a member of the 4x400 unit that ended the season second on the all-time list. The team took over that spot with their state D1-winning effort at La Crosse on June 4th. Alyssa scored points at the state meet five other times in four additional events during her high-school career. She began by running on the fifth-place 4x200 team as a freshman, added point-scoring efforts in the 4x100 and 4x200 relays as a sophomore, and scored in both the long jump and open 200 last year.
Mary Bartelson of Hartland Arrowhead moves on to the next level as one of the four teammates in third-place on the Top 50 List in the 4x400 relay, a spot earned with their second-place finish in this year's exhilarating final at the D1 state meet. She scored points at state twice in the same event in prior years and also claimed third place in this year's triple jump competition.
Aubrey Roberts of Eau Claire Memorial ended a decorated four years of high school track in fourth place all-time in the 3200-meter run. Additionally, she occupies the seventh slot on the 1600 list. She scored points at the D1 state meet a total of ten times in three different events: the 1600 and 3200-meter runs and the 4x800 relay. She scored at least twice in each of her four years. Top-three state finishes began with a third-place finish in the 4x800 as a freshman, followed by a second-place finish in the 3200-meter run as a sophomore, a win in the same event as a junior to go with a second-place finish in the 1600-meter run, and concluded in 2016 when, as a senior, she defended her 3200-meter run title and captured third in the 1600-meter run. Her 3200-meter effort of 10:13.68 in La Crosse at the D1 state meet on June 3rd of this year moved her into fourth-place on the all-time list, and she remained in that spot with a slightly better time run on June 18th at the Brooks PR Invitational at Renton Memorial Stadium in Washington (a two-mile run that converted to a 10:13.45 3200).
Mikaela Grant scored a total of 74 points at the state meet over the last four years while competing for D2 Jefferson. She won three different events during that time, claiming the 100 high hurdles in 2014 and 2016, the 300 lows in 2015, and the long jump this year. Not surprisingly, she has shown tremendous promise as a pentathlete/heptathlete as she moves on to college. In addition to her state titles, she added a second-place finish in the long jump and a third in the high hurdles in 2014, a second in the long jump in 2015, a second in the low hurdles this year, and point-scoring efforts in two different relays and the 200-meter dash during the same three years. Her top-qualifying effort of 43.63 on June 5th in the prelims at the 2015 state meet in the low hurdles moved her into fourth place all-time. She also appears in the Top 50 lists in both the high hurdles (tied for 13th place) and the long jump (tied for tenth). Her tremendous senior season was capped by leading her team to the state title and her being named the Gatorade Female Track and Field Athlete of the Year for Wisconsin.
Mount Horeb's Nadia Williams accomplishments were many and varied, as well, during her high-school career. In the individual events at state, she scored a total of 76 points in her four appearances. Competing at the D2 level for her first three years and the D1 level as a senior, she amassed a total of four first-place, two second-place, and three third-place finishes, as well as four other point-scoring efforts in her four state meet appearances. These efforts came in five different events, including three individual ones and two relays. Top-three efforts included a third-place in the 100-meter dash as a freshman, a first in the 200 and a second in the 100 as a sophomore, firsts in the 100, 200, and long jump as a junior, and a second in the long jump and a third in the 200 in 2016 as a senior. Her Herculean efforts in 2015 were almost enough to lead her team to the state title, as they fell one point short of the Dodgeville/Mineral Point squad. She claimed third place on the all-time long jump list with her jaw-dropping 19' 9" effort at the D1 Regionals at Janesville Parker on May 23rd of this year.
Kylie Swiekatowski of De Pere claimed a piece of third on the all-time pole vault list with her 13-foot effort at the D1 Regionals at New London on May 26th of 2015, tying her with two others at that height. All of her point-scoring efforts in La Crosse were top-three efforts, with first-place finishes in the pole vault in 2014 and 2016, a second in the same event in 2015, and thirds in the pole vault as a freshman in 2013 and 4x100 relay in 2014. Her winning height of 12' 7" this year set a new D1 state meet record.
Lastly, Sam Noennig of Hartford graduates holding third-place spots on the all-time lists in both the shot put and the discus. Both marks were set during an outstanding senior year. She put the shot 48' 4" at the D1 Sectional at West Bend West on May 26th and threw the discus 169' 5" at the Washington County Meet at West Bend on April 26th. She placed third at the D1 state meet in the discus as a freshman, won the same event the following two years, also won the shot put in 2015, and placed second this year in the discus. An accomplished all-around athlete, she also ran twice at the state meet on 4x400 relay squads, with her team finishing fifth in the event her freshman year.
As always, I apologize if I've missed any names/teams people were hoping to see - there are so many deserving athletes that it's difficult to include them all! Please don't hesitate to contact me through Dave Figi at wisconsintrackonline.com if you find any factual errors or typos above. I will be more than happy to correct such oversights. I may be passing the baton next year to one of the coaches in the greater Milwaukee area who has expressed an interest. It has become increasingly difficult to attempt to devote the time necessary to maintaining the lists in a worthy manner from my home almost 1,000 miles away. I am sad to say that I was unable to attend a single meet this year, although my interest level remains extremely high. I'll ask Dave to confirm the “changing of the guard" once things are finalized.
I re-engaged with high-school track when my older daughter started competing in 2008. In looking at the lists then most recently maintained by Mark Rongstad, there were marks I thought would never be tested, let alone broken. Pam Moore's 400 record had stood since 1977, Suzy Favor's 800 record since 1985, and Lori Wolter's 3200 record since 1985, as well. The 4x100 relay record had been set by Milwaukee Tech in 1994, prior to the name change of the school. The top three efforts in the 4x400 had all occurred in 1980-1. Marinette's 4x800 record set in 1994 had never been seriously challenged. Three of the field event records had been set in 1990 and prior years. Wow, was I wrong! Only three records have not been broken since I took that look after the 2007 season: Brooke Novak's 1600 record of 4:43.20 set in 2001, Sharon Dollins' long jump record of 20' 6" set in 1980, and Wendy Markham's high jump record of 6' even, also set in 1980. The top ten marks in most events are dominated by athletes I had the privilege of watching. I wish the same good fortune for the next parent or coach who takes an interest in WI girls' high-school track and field - it has been a pleasure watching history take place.
As always, I would like to thank Dave Figi for continuing to maintain his extraordinary website dedicated to Wisconsin Girls High School Track and Field. As I've attended many of the same meets as Dave and seen the date/time stamps on many of his documents, I have a pretty good idea just how much time and effort he puts into maintaining wisconsintrackonline.com. His attention to detail makes the updating of the Top 50 lists much easier than it might otherwise be.