Madison Memorial friends Grace Korger-Mitchell, Micah Wade up to speed at Division 1 track regional
MIDDLETON — Madison Memorial juniors Grace Korger-Mitchell and Micah Wade are fast friends.
Wade said she has known Korger-Mitchell and her family since Wade was 5 years old.
But their friendship has particularly flourished the past two years while competing in track and field for the Spartans. It has grown to the point where the two are practically inseparable, describing themselves as “a package deal.”
“Honestly, the team probably wouldn’t be as much fun without Micah,” Korger-Mitchell said. “If we didn’t have each other … It’s like if you get one of us, you get both of us.”
“That’s what we always say,” Wade said.
Korger-Mitchell won the girls 100-meter dash in 12.48 seconds, ahead of runner-up Wade (:12.57), at the WIAA Division 1 Middleton regional Monday night at Breitenbach Stadium.
“We wanted to get first and second (in the 100) and improve our times at regionals, advance to sectionals and then, hopefully, make it to state,” Korger-Mitchell said. “We have been working really hard all week to get there.”
Korger-Mitchell and Wade also were part of two relays that moved onto sectionals — the winning 400 relay and the runner-up 800 relay that finished behind first-place Middleton (1 minute, 46.14 seconds). Korger-Mitchell added a second place in the high jump behind DeForest senior Sophee Mink, who cleared 5 feet, 4 inches.
Korger-Mitchell and Wade helped the Madison Memorial girls, coached by Drew Slemkes, win the regional title with 165 points. Host Middleton was second with 119.5 and Waunakee finished third (116).
Coach Joe Line’s Middleton team won the boys regional championship with 161 points. Verona finished second (120.5) and Madison Memorial third (94).
The top four finishers in each event advanced to sectional competition Thursday. The Middleton and Baraboo regionals feed into the Verona sectional.
Spartans senior Mikaela Miller, junior Caleigh Wong, Wade and Korger-Mitchell won the 400 relay in :50.50.
Wade, battling back from a bout with the flu, said she and Korger-Mitchell push each other in practice and at meets.
“That’s all we do,” Korger-Mitchell said. “I couldn’t think of a better competitor than Micah.”
In a duel between top girls distance runners, Middleton freshman Lauren Pansegrau won the 3,200 in 11:07.16, ahead of Madison West freshman Genevieve Nashold (11:08.75).
Waunakee’s effort was led by junior Hayley Krysinski, who won the 100 hurdles in :15.76, and sophomores Sarah Bova (:26.18) and Chloe Larsen (:26.70), who were 1-2 in the 200.
In the boys meet, Verona sophomore Jackson Acker shattered his personal best in the discus by 18 feet. Acker, who entered with a mark of 173 feet, 8 inches, topped 183 feet in preliminaries and later unleashed a winning throw of 191-8. Madison Memorial senior Colin Kennedy was second (154-1).
“I threw 183 and I was happy with that,” Acker said. “I thought if I could throw 180, I could be in the top three at state. But then when I threw (more than) 190, that was crazy.”
Acker said he believes he can further improve.
“When I came into regionals, I was hoping to be in the top five at state,” he said. “Now I think top two in state is something I can do.”
Acker showed off his speed as part of the Wildcats’ winning 800 (1:30.85) and 400 relays (:43.30). Acker placed third in the shot put behind winner Patrick Horvath (52-2¾) of Madison West and Verona’s Dylan Bourne.
Waunakee senior Sawyer Maly claimed firsts in the 100 (:11.06) and the long jump (21-10½) and finished second in the high jump behind winner J.T. Hawkins of Verona (6-0).
Middleton senior Caleb Easton won the boys 1,600 meters in 4:24.13. Madison East senior Max Loetscher, Middleton junior Zach Leffel and DeForest senior Alex Grabowski also advanced to sectionals in the event.
“It’s my last race (night) at Middleton; I wanted to win it,” Easton, a Northern Arizona University commit for cross country and track and field, said after the 1,600. “Then I can sit and watch (for a while). … You want to be in the top four and get through. It’s nice that Zach will come with me.”
Easton opened his meet running the second leg of the Cardinals’ victorious 3,200 relay. The team of senior Michael Madoch, Easton, Leffel and junior Braedon Gilles finished first in 8:17.25.
Middleton sophomore Max Foland, senior Eagan Peters-Michaud, Gilles and Easton closed the meet by winning the 1,600 relay.
Middleton senior Casey Hellenbrand also helped the Cardinals’ cause, winning the 110 hurdles in :15.34.
Madison Memorial senior Peter Sorge cleared 13-6 and won the pole vault, ahead of runner-up Max Herkert (13-0), a Verona senior.