Sammy Miller and Thomas Hines continued to show improvement during the 2016 track and field season, in the view of West Allis Hale boys coach John Dewitt.
They were rewarded for their efforts with spots in the WIAA Division 1 state meet this weekend, and they will be joined at La Crosse by Hale teammate Abigail Stevens.
Miller, a junior, qualified for state in the high jump with 6 feet-2 inches, good enough for third in a sectional meet on May 26 at the West Allis Athletic Field.
'Sammy has looked better and better every meet in the high jump,' Dewitt said. 'His form is really coming around at the right time, and we are hoping that he can jump 6-4 or 6-6 at the state meet, which would put him in the hunt for the podium (top six).'
Hines, a sophomore, will compete at state in the long jump after posting 21 feet-43/4 inches in the sectional, also good for third place.
'Thomas really came on strong at the end of the season,' Dewitt said. 'He is a young man who has worked very hard at practice, and I'm very excited to watch him compete with the big boys (at state). If he pops a good one, I think there is no limit to how high he can finish.'
Wait pays off
Stevens, a freshman, had a bit tougher road to the state meet. She finished fourth in the high jump with 5-3, one spot below the automatic state qualifiers, and had to wait until the next day to find out if that distance would be enough to advance.
As it turned out, the 5-3 was right on the qualifying line for Division 1 girls, so Stevens also advanced to state.
They will all compete in the state meet on Friday, June 3, and Saturday, June 4, at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse.
Other Hale entrants took part at the sectional meet but did not qualify for state.
For the boys, Hines, Ray Miller, Ollie Arena and Justin Moore came in fourth in the 4x200-meter relay (1 minute, 30.48 seconds) and fifth in the 4x100 relay (44.26 seconds).
Sam Miller also was fifth in the 300 hurdles (42.52) and Cale Neff sixth in the shot put (41-8). Capturing seventh were Hines in the 100 dash (11.41); Alex Sykes in the 400 dash (52.65); Moore in the long jump (19-6 1/4); the 4x800 squad of Danny Cupertino, Jimmy Pomeroy, Carter Imig and Sam Kaster (8:28.61); and the 4x400 group of Tylor Sernec, Marshall Rushton, Arena and Zach Paddock (3:35.94). Arena did not score in the pole vault.
For the girls, finishing fourth were Stevens in the triple jump (34-8) and HaLena Lassiter in the discus (107-4) and shot put (36-6 1/2), and claiming fifth were Mel Freet in the pole vault (9-0), Stevens in the long jump (17-1 1/2) and the 4x200 relay unit of Tracy Fischer, Hannah Bauman, Kristen Swafford and Christy Einberger (1:59.22).
Coming in sixth were Abby Arena in the long jump (16-3 1/2) and the 4x100 relay corps of Calie Walk, Arena, Stevens and Destiny Tomlin (52.96).
Placing seventh were Madison Mihaljevic in the 800 run (2:36.51) and Jade Liddell in the shot put (29-51/2). Taking eighth were Mihaljevic in the 1,600 run (5:48.68) and the 4x400 unit of Einberger, Jada Jacks, Jasmine Jacks and Fischer (4:50.4).
Boys eighth in sectional
The Hale boys tallied 38 points for eighth place in the sectional, and the girls scored 44 points for seventh place.
The boys were fourth with 118 points in a regional meet on May 23. Winners were Sykes in the 400 (51.1), Sammy Miller in the high jump (6-2) and Hines in the long jump (21-111/2).
The girls also took fourth, with 114 points. Freet in the pole vault (8-6) was the lone champion.