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Record-setting relay: Girls 4x400 breaks 36-year-old BRC mark

Wildcats (from left to right) Sarah Schneckenberger, Tessa Rayne, Alaina Syverson and Emily Banitt are all smiles after teaming up to break a 36-year-old conference record in the 4x400-meter relay on the second day of the Big Rivers Conference Championship meet Thursday, May 18, in Menomonie. Photo courtesy of Colleen Sowa

River Falls wasn't even in the Big Rivers Conference when La Crosse Logan set the conference record of four minutes, 5.9 seconds in the girls 4x400-meter relay in 1981. But the Wildcats are in the record book now.

Alaina Syverson, Tessa Rayne, Sarah Schneckenberger and Emily Banitt teamed up to break the Rangers' 36-year-old BRC record with a time of 4:05.29 seconds at the BRC championships Thursday, May 18, in Menomonie. Eau Claire North was second with a time of 4:14.76.

In addition to the girls 4x400 relay title, Christopher Wright and Samantha Krueger swept the pole vault titles as the Wildcat girls finished third and the boys finished fifth in the final team standings. Hudson won the girls team title while Hudson and Menomonie shared the boys.

The meet started Tuesday, May 16, in Chippewa Falls but was suspended due to lightning and completed two days later in Menomonie.

Wright cleared 12-feet, 6-inches to win the boys pole vault title while teammate Michael Rebozo made 12-0 to take third. Krueger won the girls pole vault with a height of 9-9 while Sydney Cernohous was third with 9-3.

Sam Fritz added a second-place time of 10.98 seconds in the boys 100-meter dash and was third in the 200 in 22.74, while Will Bohnert took third in the 800-meter run in 2:03.45.

All four Wildcat boys relay teams placed in the top three in their respective races. The 4x100-meter team of Connor Hines, Jack Hines, Fritz and Sam Klechefski placed second with a time of 44.78 seconds and the 4x800 team of Payton Flood, Charlie Radosevich, Jared Syverson and Niko Zoller was second in 8:25.67.

The boys 4x200 team of Connor Hines, Karl Linton, Nathaniel Rixmann and Klechefski finished third in 1:33.5, while the 4x400 team of Syverson, Zoller, Linton and Flood was third in 3:29.63.

On the girls side, the Cats 4x100-meter relay team of Krueger, Syverson, Madison Grundstrom and Heidi Rixmann placed third in 51.67 seconds, and the 4x200 team of Syverson, Krueger, Rixmann and Taylor Rock was third in 1:49.46.

Banitt took second in the 100-meter dash with a time of 12.68 seconds and was third in the 400 in 1:01.77, and Krueger was second in the 100-meter hurdles in 15.72 seconds. Rayna Dixen was third in the 300-meter hurdles in 50.06 seconds and Rayne was third in the 800-meter run in 2:24.46.

The Wildcats competed at the WIAA Division 1 Regional at Superior Monday, May 22. The WIAA Sectional is scheduled for Thursday, May 25, at D.C. Everest High School in Schofield.

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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