D2 state T&F: Otto wins 6th place medal in hurdles
LA CROSSE — After focusing on the 300 intermediate hurdles the last two seasons, Luther Prep senior Micah Otto added sprint hurdling in the 110 highs to his repertoire in 2018.
That decision paid off nicely on Saturday.
Otto secured the sixth and final Division 2 medal in the boys 110-meter high hurdles with a time of 15.37 seconds at the WIAA State Track and Field Championships at UW-La Crosse.
On Friday, Otto made the finals as the ninth seed with a trials time of 15.34. Competing in Lane 1 of the finals, he narrowly beat out Elk Mound senior Jake Johnson, who placed seventh in 15.53. His lateral vision wasn’t much use to him on the outside lane. He kicked it in late and came away with his first state medal.
“It came down to last second,” Otto said. “It’s hard in Lane 1. You have to keep focusing on the hurdles. It’s so hard, but I just pushed it hard on the last three hurdles and that’s what got me the sixth place.”
Otto’s had more obstacles to deal with than just the hurdles over the last three seasons.
Competing in the Capitol North pitted Otto against Lodi senior Robby Hatch for three straight years. There were some great battles, but Hatch usually had the edge.
Hatch swept the 110s (14.52) and the 300 intermediates (38.22) over the weekend. The two conference rivals kept it friendly over time and shared a conference fist bump before running the 300 hurdle trials on Friday. Otto missed out on the 300 hurdle finals by eight hundredths of a second and placed 12th overall in 40.43.
“He always pushes me,” Otto said. “He always pushes me to get the right times that I need to get to this level. I really appreciate that from him.”
Otto appreciated just making it to state, period. A year ago, he won his regional in the 300 hurdles, but was disqualified for knocking the lead hurdle into another runner’s lane.
“I’ve gone through the gauntlet,” Otto said. “It feels awesome doing it my senior year … last chance, just getting it done. It’s all worth it.”
Luther Prep’s 800-meter relay team of senior Nathan Golisch, senior Evan Turiff, sophomore Cole Burow and senior Justin Schroeder finished 14th with a trials time of 1:33.46 on Friday. Turiff also ran in the 100-meter dash trials and finished 15th in 11.62.