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Depth rules at Menomonie Invite

Wildcat senior Maddie Raverty clears the bar at 8-feet to clinch third place in the girls' pole vault at the Menomonie Indoor Track and Field Invitational last Tuesday, April 4, at UW-River Falls' Knowles Center. Bob Burrows photo1 / 3
Wildcats Madison Grundstrom, left, Lynsey Bilicke and Rayna Dixen compete side-by-side in the girls' 55 meter dash final at the Menomonie Indoor Track and Field Invitational last Tuesday, April 4, at UW-River Falls' Knowles Center. Grundstrom finished second, Bilicke was third, Dixen placed fourth and teammate Shanelle Borth finished fifth to account for 23 of the Cats' first place team total of 130 points. Bob Burrows photo2 / 3
River Falls' Brayden Richison (5) and Richard Veness (3) run with the leaders on the first lap of the second heat of the boys' 1600 meter run with teammates Joseph Madsen (7) and Mason Shea (4) right behind at the Menomonie Indoor Track and Field Invitational last Tuesday, April 4, at UW-River Falls' Knowles Center. Richison won the race with a time of 4 minutes, 52.71 seconds while Veness was third in 5:00.87. Bob Burrows photo3 / 3

Last Tuesday's Menomonie Indoor Invitational was billed as a chance for every varsity and junior varsity athlete to compete together on a big stage, and the Wildcats proved they have talent all the way down the line with the girls winning the eight-team event and the boys taking second.

With the large number of athletes competing, the meet featured as many as 14 heats in events such as the 55-meter dash and 55-meter hurdles. When the dust settled following the girls 55 hurdle prelims, four Wildcats had qualified for the eight-person final and finished second through fifth.

St. Croix Central's Katie Koerper won the race with a time of 9.733 seconds with Wildcat sophomore Madison Grundstrom just a hair behind in 9.740. River Falls senior Lynsey Bilicke was third in 9.99 seconds and sophomore Rayna Dixen placed fourth in 10.18 while senior Shanelle Borth was fifth in 10.28.

The four Wildcats accounted for 23 points in the race and allowed them to edge host Menomonie by 3.5 points for the overall team title. River Falls finished with 130 and the Mustangs were second with 126.5 while Bloomer was third with 109.5.

River Falls swept the 1,600-meter run with sophomore Calla Dexheimer winning the girls race in five minutes, 40.62 seconds and junior Brayden Richison taking the boys title in 4:52.71.

Freshman Megdaline Weideman finished fourth in the girls 1,600 while three other Wildcats placed in the top six in the boys race — sophomore Richard Venness third in 5:00.87, freshman Mason Shea fifth in 5:16.26 and freshman Joseph Madsen sixth in 5:16.61.

Dexheimer also finished fifth in the girls' 3,200-meter run in 12:33.8.

The Cats also swept the 4x400 meter relay with the girls winning in 4:25.21 and the boys in 3:41.18.

Senior Tessa Rayne contributed a third-place time of 1:04.18 in the girls 400-meter dash and sophomore Sarah Langlois was third in the 200-meter dash in 27.37 seconds while freshman Emily Banitt was fifth in 27.59.

Three Wildcats finished in the top eight in the girls 800-meter run with freshman Sarah Schneckenberger fourth in 2:39.91, sophomore Elsa Putzier seventh in 2:43.61 and junior Emma Handlos eighth in 2:45.96.

Junior Ema Pupungatoa paced the Wildcat girls in the field events with a first-place throw of 34 feet, 1 inch while senior Heidi Rixmann took third in the long jump with a leap of 16-2.25. Rixmann also finished fifth in the 55-meter dash finals in 7.8 seconds.

Senior Maddie Raverty cleared 8 feet to take third in the girls pole vault and senior Sydney Cernohous was fourth at 7-6, while senior Emma Kozitza cleared 4-8 to place fourth in the high jump.

In the boys pole vault, four Wildcats cleared 10 feet, led by senior Christopher Wright's second-place effort of 12 feet. Junior Michael Rebozo was third at 11-0 while senior Zion Zaloudek and sophomore Logan McLaughlin both cleared 10-0. Zaloudek finished fourth based on number of attempts while McLaughlin placed eighth.

Sophomore Niko Zoller led three Wildcats in the top eight in the boys 800-meter run with a second-place time of 2:16.4. Senior Charlie Radosevich was right behind in third in 2:16.69 while junior Benjamin Rayne finished eighth in 2:19.98.

Sophomore Jared Syverson took second in the 400-meter dash in 54.77 seconds and classmate Connor Weinzirl was eighth in 56.98, while senior Samuel Fritz took third in the 200-meter dash in 23.88 seconds and freshman Stefan Klechefski was sixth in 24.67.

In the 55-meter dash finals, junior Connor Hines finished sixth in 6.95 seconds and Klechefski was eighth in 7.02.

Senior Alexander Kotowski contributed a sixth-place throw of 42-10.5 in the shot put while senior Matthew Wachtler was seventh in the high jump with a leap of 5-4.

Menomonie took the boys team title with 136 points while River Falls was second with 118 and Eau Claire North third with 104.

The Wildcats will compete at the Menomonie Outdoor Opener at Menomonie High School Thursday, April 13.

Bob Burrows

Bob Burrows has been sports editor at the River Falls Journal since 1996 and at the Hudson Star-Observer since 2009. Prior to joining the Journal, Burrows served as sports editor with Ledger Publications in Balsam Lake, Wis. A native of Bayonne, N.J. and a U.S. Navy veteran, Burrows attended Marquette University before completing his studies at UW-River Falls in 1992.

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