It could be safely said that thrower Jessica Maroszek of Seymour was not afraid of moving up to better competition.
Going into the 2010 WIAA state meet, she had already won two D2 titles in the discus and another in the shot put, but the Thunder moved up in enrollment and moved up in class to D1 for her senior year.
She was the prohibitive favorite in the D1 discus, with an impressive sectional qualifying toss of 163-8, but in the shot put, she was only the seed third, as top seed and defending champ Angela Boushea of Monona Grove had come in with a hefty toss of 47-6, more than a foot ahead of the two-year old state record of Heidi Baerenwald of Appleton East.
She easily claimed her third straight discus title with an impressive toss of 157-4, beating Boushea by just under nine feet, but it was the shot put that she really made an impression, as in arguably the best girls shot put competition in girls state history, she added more than three feet to Baerenwald’s state mark with a sky-scraping toss of 49-4 1/4.
Boushea did not disappoint either, as she also beat the old record by more than foot with a throw of 47-4 1/4 while Tina DeLakis of Eau Claire Memorial was third with a throw of 46-0, an effort that would have easily won the 2009 state title as well as in several other years.
Maroszek’s shot put mark has stood the test of time and remains the WIAA all-classes girls mark, and her winning discus throw was the best since Jill Pedretti of Verona’s still standing record spin of 169-10 from 1999.
And as she got older and moved up in competition, Maroszek kept rising to meet new challenges. She went to Kansas and thrived, winning Big 12 Conference titles in the discus in both 2013 and 2014 and setting a league record of 197-5 in 2014. She also earned NCAA D1 All-American status in the event three times.
Furthermore, she competed in the Olympic Trials in both 2012 and 2016. She made the finals in 2016, finishing eighth. She had a collegiate shot put best of 53-3 and her all-time best discus is an amazing 200-10. As recently as 2019, she still was throwing the discus an impressive 189 feet in open meets.
BRYANT AND TECH REPEAT AND GET FASTER
There were a lot more “Wows” to be had in the 2010 girls meet, specifically from the fleet feet of the Bradley Tech women.
Let’s put it this way, the Arrowhead girls had one of their best teams ever, led by 1,600 and 3,200 champ Gabby Levac, but the Warhawks were no match for the Trojans as Dezerea Bryant erased records in both the 100 and 200 dashes and led Tech to a repeat state team title with 70 points as Arrowhead was second with a still impressive total of 57.
Bryant, who had lost close races to the now graduated Tasha Allen of Milwaukee North in 2009, even sharing a new state 100 record of 11.76 with her that the pair set in the trials, came in ready to etch her name in history. She came into state with sectional times (11.58 and 23.68, respectively), faster than the official state records in both events and then pared those times down even further in La Crosse, to 11.50 in the 100 and 23.37 in the 200.
Bryant, who also anchored Tech’s winning 4 x 100 relay team, took down the 200 record despite some late day rain on Saturday. This being La Crosse, of course it would rain on Saturday, but at least it wasn’t fractionally as bad as it was in 2009.
“Today I came out of blocks harder,” said Bryant to Mark Stewart of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel on Saturday. “My trainer told me I had to come out harder if I wanted to break the record again, and that is what I did.”
Both Bryant’s 100 and 200 times were already national level and were unheard of in the then close to 40-year history of Wisconsin girls track.
To put it in proper perspective, junior Chidera Obasih of Brookfield Central, who had won both sprints as a freshman two years earlier, was a distant second to Bryant in the 100 in a still very quick 11.81.
Obasih’s runner-up time in the 100 was so good that it would have won every single state girls 100 dash title in all classes since 1980, when the WIAA started contesting events in meters.
Every single one!
As a consolation prize, Obasih would win the long jump and then take take all of .01 of a second off of Allen’s one year old 400 record with a 55.18 time. She had turned in a faster 400 time of 54.97 in sectional qualifying.
Tech placed two each in the 100 and 200 dashes and went one-two in the 200, as sophomore Elexis Fuller-Stewart edged Obasih by .01 of a second for the runner-up spot. She would anchor the runner-up 4 x 200 relay and lead-off the runner-up 4 x 400, the latter of which took down Milwaukee North’s legendary 30-year old state record of 3:55.19 with an impressive 3:53.64 mark in the prelims.
Fuller-Stewart would have a bigger role in Tech’s third team title run of 2011 as she would make some serious history of her own and then she would come to dominate the 2012 state meet in a very impressive way.
The Trojans 4 x 400 couldn’t quite repeat its magic in the 2010 finals as Waukesha West won the event title to close out the meet. But now word was out, the girls 4 x 400 was open for business and many, many teams would not walk, but run through the doors making history.
And as for Bryant, she was just warming up for an historic effort in 2011.
EDGAR GOES BIG, VERY BIG!
Edgar was also thinking in historic fashion.
As I alluded to in my last girls’ post, the Wildcats were just ramping up when they took second in the D3 team standings in 2009.
They built around then powerful freshman and sophomore classes, and then would spend the next four years creating a new standard of excellence for girls track in Wisconsin. It is a standard that has yet to be equaled, claiming four straight D3 team championships in overwhelming fashion.
Overwhelming in fact was too small a word for what Edgar did in 2010, as they opened their run by winning six events and scoring a still state record for boys or girls with 114 points which left 2009 champ Wausau Newman in the dust with 42.
The Wildcats accomplished this feat with depth as they tied or broke all three divisional sprint relay records. Their victorious 4 x 100 took more than a second off Newman’s year old mark with a 49.36 effort, while the 4 x 200 tied Poynette’s 25-year old record with a 1:44.37 mark (both times still stand) and the Wildcats’ 4 x 400 became the first D3 girls team to go under four minutes with a 3:58.43 clocking in the prelims.
In the coming years, Edgar would better its divisional records in both the 4 x 100 and 4 x 400. Other event wins for the Wildcats in 2010 went to Emily Dittmann in the 100 dash, freshman Elizabeth Pospyhalla, whose record setting career got off to a good start with her first of three straight wins in the 800, and Faryn Wirkus in the pole vault with a new divisional mark of 11-6.
It would be the first of three state titles for Wirkus, who would also run on three straight championship 4 x 100 relays.
Meanwhile, for Pospyhalla and teammate Holly Denfield. it would be the first of four straight 4 x 400 relay crowns. Sophomore teammate Tessa Thurs, who anchored the Wildcats winning 4 x 400 in 2009, would win her second of four straight such relay championships.
So completely dominant was Edgar that it earned 15 total top six medal positions in the meet. Most teams, boys or girls, would likely give up many things vital to earn that many medals in a decade, much less in a single meet!
“We’re from a small town, so you know the kids coming up,” said long-time Edgar coach Dave Bielmeier to John Casper, Jr., of the La Crosse Tribune in 2012. “We saw these little sixth graders running around and they were fast then.
“Then it’s like, well they could be state champs. They certainly lived up to the (ir) potential.”
SEIDEL, HALAMA AND MELUM MAKE HISTORY
But there were others making noise in D3 who weren’t from Edgar. University Lake School sophomore Molly Seidel took 10 seconds off the 3,200 record she set as a freshman last year with a 10:39.88 effort and also repeated as 1,600 champ. Like Bryant, and the Edgar team, she was hardly done making history yet.
Meanwhile, Bria Halama of Independence/Gilmanton won her third straight (of four) triple jump titles while also clipping Gretchen Homan of Central Catholic by just .02 of a second for the 400 crown too. But in bit of random cosmic fairness, Homan came back later that Saturday in the rain to win the 200 dash by just .01 of a second as Halama finished third.
And Rachel Melum of Iola-Scandinavia closed her trifecta of D3 high jump titles with a clearance of 5-7.
SAVITCH FINALLY REACHES HER GOAL
Meanwhile, Homestead 100 high hurdler Marissa Savitch finally broke through and took down Jennie Evans of Waukesha South’s 22-year old D1 record of 14.6, in winning her second straight crown in the event. Savitch had run a 14.2 in sectional qualifying. She couldn’t quite get there at state but her time of 14.52 was good enough to put her in the recordbooks.
“This feels great, this feels just so great,” Savitch told me at the time. “The whole off-season has been aimed at this point. I wanted to do two things.
“I wanted to defend and I wanted to break the record.
In 2011, Savitch would get one of those things again in one of the greatest races in state girls track history.
VAZQUEZ BIDS A FOND FAREWELL
Maya Vazquez of Arcadia literally willed the Raiders to D2 team titles in 2008 and 2009 and won six individual championships along the way, including three in the long jump. She could not close out her career in 2010 with another individual championship, but still went out competitively, earning second in both the 100 and 200 dashes, a third in the long jump and a fourth in the 400.
She finished her career with an astounding 15 state top six medal finishes. They included those six titles along with six runner-up berths. She earned a partial track scholarship to Wisconsin, but came back to run on the Memorial Stadium track again for UW-La Crosse after two years.
There she thrived, earning a NCAA DIII outdoor national title when she anchored the Eagles’ 4 x 100 relay to victory while also earning All-American status in the long jump with an impressive 19-2 1/2 effort. She ended her career in 2014 by again qualifying for nationals in the long jump.
A humble, self-effacing individual, Vazquez told Kirk Bey of the La Crosse Tribune in 2010 that “Track teaches you things. …You learn not to take things so seriously. …I’m proud of what I did here (in Arcadia), but I won’t be mad if someone (does better than me) someday.”
And aside from all the Edgar athletes starting their lengthy runs of state titles, 2010 was also a good year for other female stars to establish their credentials. Deysha Smith- Jenkins of Whitefish Bay Dominican began her run of three straight D2 200 dash crowns, while Michelle Garner of Greenfield initiated her three-year domination of the D1 300 low hurdles and Laura Donovan, Julie Lawinger and Tricia Serres of Platteville learned to share the baton well as they earned the first of what would be three trips to the top of the podium in the D2 4 x 800 relay.
UP NEXT: Wheelchair athletes make an good first impression, Homestead boys earn a title for Benson, Brookfield Academy uses speed to dominate D3 and one of the greatest races anyone ever saw.
Elexsis Fuller Stewart, Savitch, Edgar, Seidel……