2011 State track meet filled with standouts and surprises

Standouts and surprises were equally noteworthy in looking at the final results from the 2011 WIAA State Track Meet, both locally and on a state-wide scale.
The state track meet was run under sunny skies on Friday and Saturday at UW-La Crosse.
When there are more than 100 state championships given out over the two days, it’s difficult to focus on one or two standouts. But if there was a star of the state meet, it was Milwaukee Bradley Tech senior Dezerea Bryant. There probably hasn’t been that big of a buzz over a sprinter since Michael Bennett was setting state records in the late 1990s for Bradley Tech.
Bryant didn’t just set state records, she obliterated them. In both the 100 and 200 meter Division 1 championships, she broke state records. Her time in both races was the second fastest high school times in the nation in those races this year.
There was plenty of local involvement in Bryant’s races. In the 200 meter championships, three of the 10 finalists were from St. Croix County. New Richmond’s Kat Keller continues to stand as one of the elite female sprinters in the state. She took fourth in the 200 meters and fifth in the 100, in what was the most talented group of girls sprinters the state has ever produced.
Hudson had two runners in the 200 meter finals. The Tipp sisters, Angela and Erika, were both in the finals. They finished eighth and tenth in the championship race.
The Tipp girls were also part of huge success by the Raiders in the sprint relays. The Tipps teamed with Erikka Haft and Katie Thielmann to place second in the 800 relay and third in the 400 relay at state. Considering the quality of the Division 1 sprinters this year, those finishes are amazing.
Hudson’s girls earned sixth place in the team competition, on top of all of their individual successes.
Hudson’s success was pushed to another level by senior Jamie Lindstrom in Saturday’s shot put finals. Lindstrom hit one big throw, measuring 42 feet, 5.75 inches, to win the Division 1 state championship. Lindstrom lost her mother a couple years ago during the flu epidemic and this success brought out some heart-tugging moments.
Another of the eye-opening surprises from our area was Somerset junior Sara Henry in the Division 2 high jump. Henry was seeded 16th out of 16 girls entered in the event. Just like last year, she came up with the best jump of her career at state. Henry hit her first three jumps without a miss. The Spartan coaches were trying to minimize her jumps because she has a painful case of shin splints. While she was nailing her jumps, many of the top jumpers were dropping out. When Henry cleared the bar at 5 feet, 4 inches, it assured her of making the state podium. And when more girls missed, Henry’s 5-4 jump tied her for second place.
Pages and pages could be written about all of the performances at the state meet. Suffice to say, if you want to see many of the best athletes in Wisconsin, you should put a future state track meet on your list of must-see sporting events.