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THE CITY REBORN FROM THE ASHES OF AMERICA'S MOST DISASTROUS FOREST FIRE
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Cougars Repeat As Division 3 Boys State Champions

Issue Date: June 7, 2017

"Dynamic Duo" Pillath and Patz

Score 43 Points to Edge Rosholt


Coleman seniors Josh Pillath and Gunnar Patz won Coleman the Division III boys state track championship for the second year in a row, with the duo competing and placing in a combined six events.

Pillath won both the 110-meter and 300-meter hurdles, with respective times of 14.95 and 38.76. His 300-meter hurdle time was a school and personal record. He also took second in the discus throw (157'3"), second to only Alma/Pepin senior Caiden Haake, whose distance of 181' separated him from the crowd. In the high jump, Pillath took eighth (6'2"), with 6'4" being the highest jump in the field.

Pillath admitted he was a little drowsy in the heat before the 300-meter hurdles, but it didn't affect his performance. "Adrenaline took over and it didn't really matter," he said.

Despite "screwing up" in the high jump to take eighth, as he put it, his success in other events made up for it. "Taking second in the disc and then" breaking my school record in the 300s and winning the 100s. I don't even think about the high jump. I'm so excited about that."

Patz took second in the 100-meter dash (11.62). He also took third in the 200-meter dash, separated by less than .01 seconds from Suring senior William Vollmar, who took second.

Coleman Head Coach Keith Long said he told Patz one thing before the race. "No false start," he said. "Safe start and then run as fast as you can. If you finish the race, we win it."

The difference between this year and last year was that this year, there was more of a focus on winning the title as a team, whereas last year "what we were down here to do was do what we can as individuals," Patz said. "That was this year too, but the team thing comes along with it."

"It's a lot more nerve-wracking, but it's a good problem to have," Long said. "Last year was a lot easier because we didn't start thinking about it until after the 300-meter hurdles."

"It's pretty darn cool," Coleman Coach Ron Szwet said. "I'm proud of those kids. They're hard workers, they're good kids and what else can I say? They're champions."

Long admitted that seeing their two respective careers come to an end was bittersweet. "This one is really sweet because of the fact they're seniors. It kind of makes me sad a little bit, but you know they did a lot for us, and we'll always be grateful for that."

"Gunnar and I left a legacy in Coleman, and that'll never be taken away from us," Pillath said.

Suring tied for 13th of the 59 teams in the division to record at least one athlete placing. Besides taking second in the 200-meter dash, Vollmar also took 10th in the 100-meter dash (11.75). "I couldn't have thought of a better way to end it, other than winning," Vollmar said. He added that he and Patz had "been going back and forth since junior high" and said that the finish "says how epic the rivalry was."

Senior John Christensen added a second-place finish in the high jump as well (6'4"), while sophomore Mitch Stegeman took 12th in the pole vault (12').

Christensen said making it to state was his goal after he made it as a sophomore but failed to reach state last year. "I felt like it was the best possible way that I could end my sports career here at Suring," he said. "Although it wasn't my best jump of the season, it still earned me second place in a competitive field where the podium was only separated by a couple of inches."

Christensen said he was grateful for the experience with his teammates. "It was truly a day I won't forget."

Senior teammate Katie Stegeman took sixth in the high jump (5'2") as the only girl competitor for Suring. "I definitely peaked at the right time. It was really fun. I'm glad I got to end my senior year like this, Stegeman said. "High school was so fun."

Northwoods Storm (Florence/Niagara) senior Caleb Jones ran a 2:05.59 to take 12th place in the 800-meter run.

For the Crivitz girls, freshmen Morgan VanLanen (93'3") and Emalee Johnsen (83') took 14th and 15th in the discus throw, respectively.



Peshtigo Boys Relay Teams Join

Carviou/Florek on Medal Stand


Two Peshtigo boys relay teams battled through injury and inexperience to reach the podium at the Division II boys state track championship in La Crosse.

The 4x400-meter and 4x800-meter relays setting school and conference records on the way to sixth place finishes. The team of freshman Jerod Jandt, senior Jeremy VanVooren, senior Joseph Bradley and senior Connor Smith finished in a time of 3:23.01, shaving over four seconds off their time in the preliminary round.

"Trials in the four-by-four didn't go well at all," Smith said. "We weren't ready for them. They were hot and we ran really slow."

VanVooren and Bradley agreed that the heat affected the team's time in the first run. "In prelims, it killed me," VanVooren said.

Bradley said of the team's preparation in the heat, "you could tell with our times that the first day we were out in the sun all day and we ran very poorly. The second day we were a little more prepared, and we stayed inside all day."

The 4x800 team consisted of sophomores Cole Trimberger and Reid Marquardt, along with Bradley and Smith. They finished with a time of 8:06.82.

Both Marquardt and Trimberger spoke on the experience gained in their first trip to state. "It was a great experience," Marquardt said. "It's a lot different than the M&O and what we have at home. It's a lot tougher and you look a lot slower than you usually are compared to everyone else. Watching some other runners that are really good, you see how much you have to train and how much effort they have to put in to get here."

"It's pretty good experience" I've definitely learned that if I'm going to be starting the 4x800 relay I'm going to have to start it out a little bit faster. The other guys kind of got out ahead of me right away and I had to try and make up that ground," Trimberger said.

This was Smith's third trip to state. He advanced to the competition his freshman and junior years as well. This race was different in that "it was a lot more serious, knowing it was going to be my last race," Smith said. "I was a lot more relaxed and calm, because I knew what it was about, so nerves weren't so bad."

This was something Smith and Bradley said they tried to help his teammates with in their first race back, but "they were all still pretty nervous, especially the young guys who hadn't been there," as Smith said.

"We'd been there before, so me and Connor were a lot more relaxed going into everything compared to last year, so we were able to kind of relay that to them," Bradley said.

For the seniors of the team, health was a factor all season long. Smith injured his hamstring in the team's first invitational of the year, and his first race back was the M&O Conference Meet, while VanVooren's hamstring kept him out until the sectional final.

Injuries might have held the team back from even higher finishes. "I would have been faster if I would have run all year," VanVooren said.

"I felt 100 percent, but I'm sure I wasn't as fast as I would have been," Smith said of the 4x400 relay. "For the 4x8 I honestly felt pretty good. It's not as fast of a race," he added.

For the Marinette girls, senior Morgan Florek took fourth in the shot put (41') and sixth in the discus throw (125'7").

"To be able to medal and also be in the finals is a really big deal to me, so I'm really happy," Florek said. "And then to medal twice at state in one year is pretty impressive" I'm so happy. I am on cloud nine right now."

Senior Rachel Hoppe took 14th in the discus (108'6"). Junior Danae Prange took 10th in the triple jump (35'7").

Sophomore Kimberly Carviou took fifth in the 1600-meter run (5:13.05) and ninth in the 800-meter run (2:20.46). In the 800, she said she got caught up in a group of runners, and had trouble getting out ahead early in the race. The 1600 was a different story, however.

"I think I did really good. My goal was at least a 5:15. It was an awesome race. I love the competition. Those girls are fast, so they pushed me to run faster."

Freshman teammate Katelyn Kitzinger was just one spot behind Carviou, taking 10th with a time of 2:21.65. Kitzinger also took 14th in the 400-meter dash (1:00.16). On the boys side, Marine sophomore Jordan Wendt took 13th in the high jump (6').

Oconto Falls had two girls competing in the meet. Panther senior Diane Moore took 12th in the triple jump (34'9") and 13th in the 100-meter hurdles (16.70), while freshman Ericka Havemier took 14th in the 200-meter dash (26.82).


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