After it fell to the ground, Brookfield East's girls track and field team picked up the baton and kept running.
Eleven members of the team will head to La Crosse for the state tournament, running June 1 and 2, after a tremendous showing at the Waukesha North track and field meet May 24. The day wasn't perfect, but Brookfield East bounced back from a tough blow in one relay.
"My athletes showed their mental toughness as our 4x200 relay quickly was disqualified after a handoff occurred outside of the exchange zone," East coach Lisa Foss said. "While this is devastating, three of the four girls ( Katie Schwarz, Cheyenne Fischer, Molly Niemi) had other relays to focus on that day. Those three girls shook off their tears and qualified their other events through to the state meet. As their coach, I can't express how impressed I am that they recovered that quickly from the disqualification, as the 4x200 relay would have been a competitive relay at the state meet."
Jasmine Watson and Lauren Englehart joined Fischer and Schwarz in the 400 meters to take second in 51.47 seconds. Top-three finishers at the sectional automatically advance to the state meet.
Senior Alisha Harper took second in the triple jump (36-10) and re-wrote the school record she had set at regional. Harper added second place in the 300 hurdles (47.07) to move forward in a second event, and she teamed with Allyx Kvasnicka, Maddie Timm and Niemi to take second in the 1,600-meter relay (4:07.72).
"They competed at a championship level in order to get such a big group through," Foss said. "I have not seen this large of a group of girls as focused or dedicated to the same goal during my track and field career as an athlete or a coach. It is admirable and says a lot about their character."
Nina Dismukes placed second in the 100 (15.52). The 3,200 relay of Kathleen Browne, Briana Mathison, Kvasnicka and Timm took third in 9:59.76. Timm also took third in the 3,200 (12:02.41) and will compete in three events at state.
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