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WIAA State Track: RF, Hudson girls advance relays

River Falls' Sofia Naranjo Mata, center, and Hudson's Kady Kochendorfer, right, hit the finish line side-by-side in the first heat of the girls' 100 meter dash preliminaries at the WIAA State Track and Field Championships Friday, June 1, at Veterans Memorial Stadium in La Crosse. Naranjo Mata finished in 12.22 seconds to qualify for Saturday's finals while Kochendorfer's time of 12.52 placed her 20th in the 24 runner field. Bob Burrows / RiverTown Multimedia

Both River Falls' girls relays qualified for Saturday’s finals and they will be joined in the 400 meter relay finals by the team from Hudson after the first day of the WIAA Division 1 Track and Field Championships in La Crosse Friday, June 1.

The Wildcat's 400 relay team of Sam Krueger, Emily Banitt, Madison Berg and Sofia Naranjo Mata finished second in their heat in a school record time of 49.04 seconds to qualify for Saturday's finals with the sixth fastest time in the 10-team field. Hudson's 400 team of Anna Wilgren, Kady Kochendorfer, Emma Olson and Lexi LeFever earned the 10th berth in the final with a time of 49.21 seconds.

River Falls' girls also put together the sixth fastest time in the 1600 relay, with Banitt, Sarah Schneckenberger, Sarah Langlois finishing second in their heat in 3 minutes, 59.097 seconds.

Naranjo Mata finished ninth in the 100 meter dash in 12.22 seconds, also a school record, to earn a spot in Saturday's finals while Hudson's Bailee Dierks will run in the 100 hurdle finals after placing fourth in Friday's prelims in 15.01 seconds.

LeFever just missed earning a spot in the 200 meter dash finals, placing 11th overall in 25.16 seconds, while Olson placed 20th in the 200 in 25.87.

In other Division 1 girls' action Friday, Kochendorfer just missed a spot on the podium in the triple jump, putting together a leap of 36-feet, 10.5 inches to place seventh, while Hudson's Rachel Ball finished 12th in the 3200 in 11:37.04 and Emma Newman placed 14th in the pole vault with a height of 10-06. Hudson's 3200 relay team of Julia Bennett, Ball, Alicia Belany and Anna Czupryna finished 17th in 9:54.76.

On the boys' side, Wildcat teammates Niko Zoller and Payton Flood both lowered their sectional 400 times but fell short of qualifying for Saturday's finals. Zoller finished 18th overall in 51.13 seconds and Flood was 20th in 51.84.

The Wildcat's 800 relay team of Jack Hines, Jared Creen, Andrew Bevens and Stefan Klechefski finished 14th in 1:29.97, and Logan Graetz placed 22nd in the 110 hurdles in 15.71 while Creen finished eighth in the long jump with a leap of 21-06.75.

Hudson's Carter Maack placed 15th in the boys' 110 hurdles in 15.2 seconds.

Bob Burrows
Bob Burrows has been sports editor at the River Falls Journal since 1996 and at the Hudson Star-Observer since 2009. Prior to joining the Journal, Burrows served as sports editor with Ledger Publications in Balsam Lake, Wis. A native of Bayonne, N.J. and a U.S. Navy veteran, Burrows attended Marquette University before completing his studies at UW-River Falls in 1992.
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