Four area athletes compete in State Track and Field Meet

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Ben Teynor of Prairie du Chien clears a hurdle in the 300 hurdles Friday at the State Track Meet in La Crosse. (Photo by Ted Pennekamp)

Prairie’s Gabby Ritchie finished in 10th in the Division 2 girls shot put at the state meet. (Photo by Ted Pennekamp)

River Ridge’s Skylar White clears the bar in the pole vault Friday morning at the State Track and Field Meet. (Photo by A.J. Gates, Grant County Herald Independent)

Blake Laufenberg of River Ridge releases the shot in the shot put at the state track meet. (Photo by A.J. Gates, Grant County Herald Independent)


By Ted Pennekamp


Four area high school track and field athletes competed in the State Track and Field Championships at UW-La Crosse on Friday and Saturday.

Ben Teynor, a Prairie du Chien senior, ran the Division 2 300 hurdles on Saturday in a time of 41.55 to take 10th place at state. Ben ran on a hot and sunny Friday afternoon in the preliminaries and qualified for the finals on Saturday with a time of 41.29. Ben holds the Prairie du Chien School record of 40.42 in the 300 hurdles.

Gabby Ritchie, a Prairie du Chien senior, competed in the Division 2 shot put on Saturday and took 10th with a toss of 36-3. She had qualified for the final flight for the second straight year.

“A special thank you to all the coaches on staff who worked with all the athletes this year in various areas of competition: Mame Mulrooney, Colleen Teynor, John Hendrix, Ron Kucko, James Rhode and Dan Bauer,” said Prairie du Chien Head Coach Mike Liddell.

Blake Laufenberg, a junior from River Ridge, finished in 16th in the Division 3 shot put with a heave of 42-3.5.

Skylar White, a River Ridge junior, was ninth in the Division 3 pole vault at 10-0. Ten feet was also the second-place height, but Skylar had two misses at 10 feet and one miss at 9-6, which moved her from second to ninth.

Skylar was also fifth in the Division 3 300-meter hurdles in a time of 47.3, a new school record. Skylar is the first girl to get a medal at the state meet for River Ridge since 2002 when Jessica Davis medaled in the 1600 and Steffanie Nemitz medaled in the shot put. It is the first medal at River Ridge since 2012 when Tom Osterday medaled in the 100 and Kevin Christ medaled in the 300 hurdles.

“I am very proud of both of the individuals to make it to the state meet. They both put time in outside of practice to improve themselves and it takes a lot of hard work and dedication,” said River Ridge Coach Shane Sperle. “It is always nice to see when kids are rewarded for the time they put into something. Both being juniors, I think will make them both focused on getting back next year and competing again at the state meet in 2020. 

“We have had great support and crowds for our athletes all season with parents, classmates, and other fans even during those cold and windy days in March and April,” Sperle continued. “At the state meet, it was nice to see so many people make the trip up to support both of them during their big day.”

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