As it always is with WIAA track sectionals, there is the expected and then the unexpected.
Both trends were heavily at work for the Homestead boys track team at the most recent sectional held May 25 at Germantown.
The expected state meet qualifiers made it as 2016 state placewinner in the 3,200 meters and the 4×800 relay sophomore Drew Bosley made in the 1,600 and 3,200 and as expected was joined in the 3,200 by senior Thomas Miller.
The unexpected was sophomore Jared Schneider who snuck into state in two events with fine third place efforts in both the long and triple jumps.
“This is such a huge surprise,” said Schneider of his first state berths. “I knew I was seeded pretty well going in but there were so many good seniors out there.”
The trio will take part in state events on Friday and Saturday, June 2 and 3, at UW-La Crosse’s Memorial Stadium.
Schneider turned in an effort of 21 feet, four inches in the long jump, good for third, just 3/4 of an inch ahead of the fourth place finisher from Milwaukee King.
In the triple jump, he turned in a three-inch personal best of 43-6 3/4 for third, just over six inches ahead of the fourth place finisher from Menomonee Falls.
Schneider said that stamina was a major key to his success.
“For me right now, it’s mostly about endurance,” he said. “I’m doing four events at most every meet now and I’m finding I’m getting less tired each time out. I seem to have more pop (in my legs).”
Schneider said he’s pleased that he joins his brother Jay in making state track. Jay Schneider was a high level sprinter and relay runner about five years ago for Homestead and as an elusive and fast running back, he was also a linchpin on the Highlanders state D2 champion football team in 2012.
Bosley, who’s fought back from an early season injury to regain most of his form, earned one berth in the 1,600 with a second place effort of 4:23.6, and then came back to earn another with a third in the 3,200 with a 9:32.82 clocking.
Miller was second in the race in a personal best of 9:25.46 as Oconomowoc’s Brian Jacques won in 9:24.59.
Miller is excited about making his first trip to state. He was an alternate on the 4×800 relay last season
“That was a hard race,” he said. “The last two laps I didn’t feel great, but it was still a PR off a negative split (second mile faster than the first mile). The coaches were keeping me on track calling out my splits and when Brian (Jacques) took over, I kept up as best I could for as long as I could.
“I needed to get out as fast as I could because I’m not noted for my sprint. I really tried to wear the other guys down. It was nice to have Drew out there to help with that.”
The Highlanders did have some close misses for state berths elsewhere.
Senior Tim Rodd was fourth in the shot put by just five inches with a toss of 50-1 1/2. The 4×200 relay team of Schneider, fellow sophomore Willie Garrison III, junior Corey DeToro and senior Lief Erlandson was also fourth in 1:30.93, .76 of a second behind the third place finisher.
The same unit experienced even more frustration just a few minutes later, as they were fourth in the 4×100 relay in 43.93 just .08 of a second behind third place Falls.
Senior Noah Cummisford closed out his fine career with a solid fifth place effort of 1:59.1 in the 800. Junior Jordan Haddad was also fifth in the discus (138-0).
The efforts helped the North Shore Conference outdoor champions earn third in the 16-team sectional with 67 points as Arrowhead won with 126 and Oconomowoc was second with 82.
For the Highlander girls, sophomore Ally Rilling won the high jump with an effort of 5-2, while senior Leah Gholson also earned a state berth with a third place finish in the 100 high hurdles (15.62).
Gholson missed out on a second state berth by a heartbreaking .02 of a second when she took fourth in the 300 low hurdles (46.33). Senior Jessie Zupke was just one foot-two inches away from a spot in the discus as she took fourth with a toss of 97-6.
Senior Allie Levin closed out her great distance running career with a very fast fifth place time of 11:21.01 in the 3,200. She was a multi-time state qualifier in cross country.
Those efforts helped the Highlanders take ninth in the 15-team sectional with 39 points as Milwaukee King won with 123.