LA CROSSE, Wisconsin (WXOW) -- Despite a trying spring, hope springs eternal for MVC track and field.
Last year, the Mississippi Valley Conference produced a pair of state championship track and field teams. The Aquinas girls took the Division 2 title, while the Central boys made that improbable comeback to take the Division 1 silver medals.
It's no surprise then that there were plenty of top performances at Saturday's MVC Championship Meet. One of them was turned in by the Holmen boys 4x100 meter relay team. Dillon Martinez led home a photo-finish win as part of a 5th place overall finish for the Holmen boys.
Tomah's Byron Neal took top honors in another close finish in the boys 200 meter dash. Neal crossed the line in 21.87 seconds. The Timberwolves took 4th in the final standings.
Central's Sawyer Smith came in second to Neal in the 200 final. Smith would not be denied in the long jump, however. The Red Raiders senior went 22'03" to net 10 points for Central. Smith would also finish second in the high jump to teammate Joe Gasper who jumped 6'06" to win that event.
Other quality wins from Jake Roh (400 meter dash, triple jump) and Aron Klos (300 meter hurdles) give the Red Raiders their 4th consecutive win in the conference championship meet ahead of Logan and Onalaska. Head Coach Niels Anderson said the win became even more satisfying given the adversity his team battled this year.
"This year's been so full of mishap, injury, weather--you just add it all up, and it's been really challenging, but that challenge is what we look for as coaches," Anderson said.
The coach added that things seem to be coming together for his team ahead of the WIAA Regionals.
Final Boys Team Results:
1. Central - 167
2. Logan - 140
3. Onalaska - 132.5
4. Tomah - 108.5
5. Holmen - 91
6. Aquinas - 37
7. Sparta - 11
Girls Team Results:
1. Logan - 189
2. Central - 177
3. Onalaska - 99
4. Holmen - 89
5. Aquinas - 66
6. Tomah - 37
7. Sparta - 26
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