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Five north central Wisconsin athletes win gold on day 2 of State Track and Field, Athens boys team finishes runner-up

Published: Jun. 4, 2022 at 9:37 PM CDT
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LA CROSSE, Wis. (WSAW) -Five north central Wisconsin athletes take the top step of the podium on the final day of State Track and Field.

There was little doubt about who the most electric performance of the day belonged to: SPASH’s Roisin Willis. The Stanford commit ran just over 2 minutes flat in the 800-meter race in Division 1. That time not only breaks her own state meet record from 2019, it sets a new national high school record as well.

“It just means so much, I’m so excited to be back,” said Willis after the record-breaking performance. “I only got two chances to run at this meet, so to have a crowd like that and a meet like this is so amazing.”

Willis was the star of D1, and Northland Pines’ sophomore Nora Gremban was the star of D2. Last year’s 800 and 1600 meter champion came back and defended her crowns. Gremban is now a four-time state champion.

“I remember just kind of looking at the board like ‘oh, I’m just cruising. This is fun, keep going girl,” said Gremban.

Staying on the track, Colby’s 4x400 surprised even themselves. The team boosted their time by 16 seconds from last season to take gold.

“I was finishing that 100 meters and I’m trying to look in the screen like, ‘who’s behind me?’” said Colby senior runner Daisy Feiten. “Bad idea, but I didn’t believe it until we crossed it.”

Now to the field events, where Auburndale’s Terrence Roberson launched himself 21 feet and over 11 inches on his final jump to step atop the podium in the long jump in Division 3. The perfect way to cap his senior season.

“It’s kinda like a dream,” said Roberson. “It feels like a dream when I’m up there. This is what it feels like for that. This is something I’ve been working for since my freshman year.”

Two area throwers took home gold as well. Colby’s Malayna Rieck heaved the disc 126 feet, 8 inches to take home her first state title in discus. “

I just knew I had to make it a better day,” said Rieck. “And even with the weather conditions-once I got it in my head, that I was good.”

On the boys side, Athens’ Aiden Janke entered the meet on top in shotput, and finished on top. He threw the shot 54 feet, 8.5 inches for his first state title.

“I knew I could do it, I’ve thrown that far earlier in the season but haven’t been there since,” Janke said. “(It’s a) Surreal feeling to actually be up there.”

Combine Janke’s performance with his teammates Caden Decker and Ryan Peel finishing 1-2 on the pole vault Friday, and Athens’ Boys Track and Field is the runner up among teams in Division 3 with 35 points, their best finish in 17 years.

“All the other schools we competed against, they have a lot more kids and we came down here with four and just wanted to do our best,” said Decker.

“When I have kids, come back and tell them that I won this with my teammates, it will feel great,” Janke said.

Athens finishes as the runners-up despite having just four athletes competing on the boys side.

Congratulations to all of the area athletes on their success in making it to La Crosse.

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