Cats clinch sixth at All-American InviteThe Wildcat boys’ 4x800 meter relay team combined for a first place finish and junior Paige Skorseth shattered her own school record in the indoor 1600 meter run as both the River Falls’ boys and girls team finished sixth at the prestigious, 16-team, All-American Invitational Saturday, March 31, at UW River Falls’ Knowles Center. Bob Burrows photo Wildcat junior Riley Claude kicks up some sand after clearing 15-feet, 2-inches in the long jump.
By: Bob Burrows, River Falls Journal
The Wildcat boys’ 4x800 meter relay team combined for a first place finish and junior Paige Skorseth shattered her own school record in the indoor 1600 meter run as both the River Falls’ boys and girls team finished sixth at the prestigious, 16-team, All-American Invitational Saturday, March 31, at UW River Falls’ Knowles Center.
Shae Taylor, Tom Ramquist, Sterling Just and Trent Powell posted the Cats’ only first place finish of the day by combining for a time of 8 minutes, 41.39 seconds in the 4x800 meter relay. Onalaska took second in 8:43.96.
La Crosse Central took the boys’ team title with a total of 89 points, followed by Andover (Minn.) with 85. Hudson took third with 59.5 followed by Spring Lake Park (Minn.) with 45.5, Anoka (Minn.) with 44 and River Falls with 36.
In the girls’ competition, Rochester Century (Minn.) took first with 83 and Lakeville North (Minn.) was second with 64.5 while Hudson was third with 62, Stillwater fourth with 57, New Richmond fifth with 54 and River Falls sixth with 37.5.
First-year Wildcat girls’ coach Colleen Kopel said the Cats’ sixth place finish was a vast improvement over last year’s 12th place score.
“It was great to see improvement, not only from individuals, but improvement as a team,” she said. “The All-American Invite features a lot of competitive and tough teams and we competed well with all of them.”
River Falls' girls’ fared particularly well in the distance events. Skorseth took second in the 1600 meter run with a new school record time of 5 minutes, 16.88 seconds while freshman Ann Frisbie finished fourth in 5:36.78.
Skorseth, who held the old Wildcat 1600 meter record of 5:20.24 set in 2011, also cleared 4-feet, 10-inches to finish seventh in the high jump while placing 12th in the 800 meter run in 2:37.05.
Also on the track, senior Natalie Powell ran to a fifth place finish in the 3200 meter race with a time of 12:14.95 while sophomore Amelia Kjos took sixth in the 400 meter dash in 1:03.85. Senior Sierra Becker ran to a sixth place finish in the 55 meter dash finals in 7.74 seconds while finishing ninth in the 200 meter dash in 27.94 seconds.
The Wildcat girls were led in the field events by junior Riley Claude, who tied her own school record in the pole vault by clearing 9-6, good enough for third place. Freshman Annie Wagner boosted the Cats’ team score by placing in a pair of events -- taking fifth in the triple jump with a distance of 31-7.75 and sixth in the long jump with a personal best leap of 15-7.25.
The Wildcat boys also scored well in the field events, receiving a third place effort of 48-8 in the shot put from junior Tiano Pupungatoa and a pair of eighth place finishes -- from sophomore Sam Purfeerst in the triple jump with a distance of 38-4.5, and sophomore Tim Rixmann in the long jump with a leap of 19-2.
Junior John Maillette picked up points in a pair of events by placing seventh in both the 55 meter dash finals with a time of 6.91 second, and the 200 meter dash in 24.38 seconds.
Junior Jacob Putzier took sixth in the 3200 meter run with a time of 10:49.14, while sophomore Josiah Harris added a seventh place time of 55.77 seconds in the 400 meter dash.
The Cats will next compete at the Hudson True Team Invitational April 13, and Kopel said the teams’ early success during the indoor portion of the schedule bodes well for the future.
“My hope is that each athlete will continue to work hard at practice and continue to improve each week,” she said. “Ultimately we want to be competitive at the conference meet and want to get as many athletes to the state meet.”
All the Wildcat results this season can be found on the team’s website at www.wildcatTF.com.