Verona junior Joy Bailey has returned from an ankle injury, and along with a deep stable of sprinters turned in some season-best times last week.
In her third meet of the season, Bailey helped the Wildcats turn in two PR times in the 400-meter and 800 relays at the Paul Frank Invitational on Friday, June 4, in Sun Prairie.
“At the end of the season and with more competition we really wanted to show what we could do,” Verona girls track coach Kristen Murdock said. “It was a big crowd and really fun to watch.”
Murdock said it was first believed that Bailey had a stress fracture in her ankle but said it’s exciting to have her back on the track before the WIAA Division 1 Middleton regional on Monday, June 14.
The Wildcats finished fifth with 92 points in the six-team invitational. Sun Prairie edged Middleton for the team title 146-140. Monona Grove took fourth (93).
Verona was coming off the momentum of winning 11 events in a Big Eight Conference dual meet against Madison West on Tuesday, June 1, at Verona Area High School.
Paul Frank Invitational
The Wildcats showcased their talent in the Paul Frank Invitational June 4, in Sun Prairie.
The Wildcats’ 400 relay team of senior Maggie Veak, freshman Lilly Wepking, sophomore Lilly Hauski and Bailey ran a season-best time of 52.03 seconds to win the race, 0.21 of a second ahead of Oregon.
“We haven’t had much competition in the relays in the dual meets,” Murdock said. “We just wanted to see what we could do against good competition.”
The same quartet took second in the 800 relay (1:51.88).
“I think we could have run a lot lower time because one of the Waunakee runners came into our lane,” Murdock said of a relay handoff.
The Wildcats had two of the top three in the 3,200. Senior Anna Knueve won the 3,200 with a time of 12:01.19 and junior Emma Petta placed third (13:11.91).
“Our sectional is stacked with a lot of No. 1 and 2 runners,” Murdock said. “It will be hard for them to get out of the sectional, but they will give it a try.”
Verona also had two of the top three in the 100, as Bailey finished second in the 100 (12.83) and Wepking took third (13.06).
“We are really happy with the performances of our sprinters,” Murdock said.
Verona’s 3,200 relay team took third (10:27.98) and the 1,600 relay team placed fourth (4:22.27). Ava Maradiaga took fifth in the pole vault (8-0).
Lexi Remiker took sixth in the 800 (2:36.92) and junior Toja Blagogee placed sixth in the shot put (30-5).
Wepking had a hand in winning three events in a conference dual meet against Madison West on June 1 at VAHS.
Wepking won the 200 (27.9), long jump (14-11 ½) and was a member on the winning 400 relay. The Wildcats’ 400 relay team of Veak, Wepking, Hauski and Bailey ran a 52.43.
Bailey finished first in the 100 (13.52) and sophomore Hannah Dohnal won the 800 (2:36.14). Summer Serrault took first in the 100 hurdles (19.1) and Hauski won the 300 hurdles (53.42). Verona’s 1,600 relay team of sophomore Whitney Nielson, Maradiaga, Dohnal and Hauski won the race with a time of 4:24.65.
Blagogee won the shot put (29-3 ¾) and Angela Abongwa took first in the discus (85-1). Kate Bjorklund finished first in the triple jump (28-4 ½) and Josie O’Sheridan won the pole vault (8-0).