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Throwers get hot at the right time

Whitnall's Erickson, Oak Creek's Saez peak as track season winds down

April 28, 2010

It's hard to believe that a little more than a month is all that is left of the 2010 track season.

The state meet June 4-5 in La Crosse is right around the corner, and based on recent results turned in by area squads, it's shaping up to be an exciting spring.

The excitement starts with a pair of throwers, Whitnall senior Scott Erickson and Oak Creek junior Rafael Saez.

Erickson earned a victory in the shotput with a throw of 51 feet and was third in the discus with a mark of 132 feet-8 inches at the Wisconsin Lutheran Invitational on Saturday, where the Falcons placed fourth out of 13 teams.

Saez was even more impressive at the Racine Journal Times Relays that same day. The junior's 54-5 in the shotput was a meet-best, and his 148-2 in the discus was second only to Racine Park's Adrian Gamble's ridiculous heave of 169-9.

Saez's efforts helped both Oak Creek throwing relays win their events and paced the Knights to fourth of nine teams overall.

Top performers

Both Saez and Erickson, one of the state's strongest athletes based on his state powerlifting championship of a month ago, reside on the state honor roll. Saez's 56-7 1/2 in the shotput at the Madison West Relays earlier this month is currently the state's third-best effort, and Erickson's 55-8 3/4 from the Woodland Conference Indoor Meet in late March is fifth. Saez is also 17th in the state (all divisions) with a discus throw of 153-6 set at a dual at South Milwaukee on April 20.

The two squared off just two weeks ago at the Racine Horlick Rebel Invite, where Erickson won the discus and Saez claimed the shotput, but they are not scheduled to meet again until the WIAA sectional at Mukwonago on May 27, where state berths will be on the line. You can bet all eyes will be on the pair of throwers next month.

Franklin girls shine, too

There's a good chance plenty of eyes will also be on the Franklin girls team that same day, as well as for many days in the future.

The team is undoubtedly led by a pair of upperclassmen: senior Lindsay Fons and junior Farrah Brown. Fons won the 800-meter run in 2 minutes, 26.39 seconds at the Janesville Parker Invite on Friday and sits just outside the top-20 state honor roll.

Brown's winning effort of 10-6 in the pole vault on Friday matched her mark set at the Peter Campe Cardinal Relays in March and has her ranked 10th on the honor roll.

Underclassmen also stellar

But as solid as that due has been, Franklin's talented underclassmen have been equally as impressive. At Janesville, of the 11 individual Sabers who placed and helped the team finish third overall, six were either freshmen or sophomores.

Freshman Zoe Kupfer placed the highest of that bunch, taking third in the 100 hurdles (17.62) and Katelyn Thomas, another freshman, placed in three different events: fourth in the 300 hurdles (51.81) and fifth in both the 100 hurdles (17.80) and triple jump (31-2).

"The girls team has some significant injuries from our top returners from last season, but many of the freshmen have stepped up to fill those spots," coach Regina Schindel said.

In other area track news:

• Whitnall's Rachel Stave was the runner-up in the 400 in 1:01.52 and eighth in the 13.77 at Wisconsin Lutheran.

• In addition to Erickson's efforts, the boys team provided plenty of additional highlights at that same meet. Joel Stave the team's other first, recording a height of 5-8 to claim the high jump.

And in the sprints, Whitnall's Bob Grim was the runner-up in the 100 dash in 11.51 seconds, and he teamed with Nikolai Miskov, Luke Garven and Streim for second in the 400 relay in 44.79.

• Oak Creek's Jack Rehn had the top individual effort in the pole vault (12-0) at the Journal Times Relays, where the Knights' Zak Lenski (high jump; 6-0) and Thomas Overland (triple jump; 41-1) were runners-up.

• The Oak Creek girls were also at Janesville, where Carly Fehler was second in the 100 dash (13.46) and long jump (15-7 3/4 ) and Amanda Thiel in the shot put (31-0) and Alyssa Parker in the high jump (5-0) were third.

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