If there was any doubt about the pure athleticism coming out of northeast Wisconsin, last week's WIAA Division II and III state championships surely cleared that up.
In Division II Peshtigo's Mitchell VanVooren and Max Rauch were the headliners, as they have been all season long.
VanVooren won the 110-meter hurdles with a time of 14.59 seconds. On the last hurdle, he pushed ahead of Gale-Ettrick-Trempealeau's Davis Wenthe and Lodi's Lucas Heyroth to claim gold.
"It means a lot," VanVooren said. "Last year, I came in ranked high but I had a bad finals, so this year I got it done and I'm just blessed to be here."
VanVooren broke his arm running hurdles his freshman year. Now, he's a state champion and headed to Division I Marquette University to run hurdles.
Back then, he didn't think he had anything in the hurdles, but he just grew throughout the years, he said, ending by accomplishing his ultimate goal.
"You come down here, you medal and you're a state champ, that's the goal," Peshtigo coach Joe Nault said.
He also took third in the 300-meter hurdles (39.52), with Wenthe the winner. In the last event of the day on Saturday, he ran with Cole Trimberger, Reid Marquardt and Jerod Jandt on the 4x400-meter relay.
The team took second behind a team from Freedom to cap off what was a good day for Peshtigo.
Rauch won the pole vault for the second straight year with a 14-foot, 9-inch vault, three inches better than the rest of the field.
He said he didn't even think about the fact that all eyes would be on him after last year's win, just hanging out and talking to people like a regular meet.
"Every place I've gone, every camp, every meet, the pole vaulters are always amazing to each other," Rauch said. "Never once have I had another pole-vaulter react in a negative way to me, they're always a nice community."
He's at the height of that community in Wisconsin and he heads to DII Grand Valley State University in Michigan next year to remain a part of it.
Cole Trimberger was 16th in the 400-meter dash (53.19) and Reid Marquardt took 11th in the 800-meter (2:00.25).
The two seniors ended their careers this weekend, but they had strong careers on the track and in cross-country.
It was a good day for the rest of the area as well.
Elsewhere in Division II, Marinette's Alex Shaw took 13th in the 100-meter dash (11.59), Carson Polomis was 14th in the 1600-meter (4:34.62) in his final race as a Marine.
Marinette coach Bryan Lenzner said he was proud of how Polomis competed and praised Shaw's start, but said he tensed up a bit.
"It's one of those things, his first opportunity getting down here and stuff like that, getting to see it, a great experience-builder for him and I'm looking forward to him coming next year and pushing it over the top," Lenzner said.
Two Marinette relay teams competed as well.
A 4x100 team of Sam Drees, Anthony Jardeen, Darrell Dufeck and Shaw was 14th (44.54) and a 4x200 team of Dufeck, Jardeen, Shaw and Jeremy Wendt was 12th (1:32.43).
For the Marinette girls, Katelyn Kitzinger was 10th in the 400-meter (1:01.05).
"She gave it everything that she had through those first 300 meters and that last 100 meters, was a little much with those long curves that can take a lot out of you, but she put herself in a really good position," Lenzner said. He said they'll get in the weight room and look to correct some things form-wise.
Emma Wendt took 11th in the 100-meter hurdles (16.79).
"Her as a sophomore, getting down here and finishing 11th, that close to finals is something pretty special," Lenzner said.
Oconto Falls was represented by Kari Albrecht, who took eighth in the 100-meter hurdles (16.37), .22 seconds ahead of Wendt.