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Thompson wins shot-put, competes in discus today

 

Jason Juno/Daily Globe

Mercer junior Sydney Thompson is a state champion. She won the WIAA Division 3 state shot put title Friday evening at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse with a mark of 44 feet, 1 inch. Mercer junior Caitlin Hiller, right, takes a photo of Thompson and her aunt, Tammy (Thompson) Moynihan, who finished third in the discus at state in 1992, when she was an athlete at Mercer.

La CROSSE, Wis. - Nobody was seeded within three feet of Mercer's Sydney Thompson going into Friday's WIAA Division 3 state track-and-field meet.

That didn't matter when Ozaukee's Emma Richards landed her second shot put attempt at 41 feet, 7.5 inches.

But Thompson responded.

Big time.

Thompson's next four throws were the top four of the competition as the Mercer junior won the state championship; her best mark was 44 feet, 1 inch.

Mercer coach Bob Schenk jumped in the air as her throws got more incredible. He was emotional afterwards.

"I'm just so happy for her," the long-time throwing coach said. "I'm sure proud of the kids. We have three kids here and Mercer's got a state champion."

Thompson said, "It was the end goal. I'm so happy."

Thompson came up with a put of 42-10 after Richards put the pressure on. In the first attempt of finals, Thompson broke her own school record with a mark of 43-4.

She wasn't done.

Her next attempt went 44-1.

She never even threw 44 feet in practice before. Her best performance in a meet before Friday was 42-11 and that was actually going down a bit of hill at Merrill.

This was about the best time to get to 44 feet.

"I was a little worried," Thompson said about falling behind early. "But then I was like, 'It's time to go. It's time to do it."

Richards trended the other way. Deflated after Thompson's amazing throws, she scratched on her final four times.

"I think that 44 or 43 foot throw got in her head a little bit," Schenk said.

But the challenge from Richards may have well helped Thompson to new heights. At very least, Thompson didn't back down from the challenge.

"I was feeling the adrenaline. It stayed and it pumped me up. Once I threw that 44 feet, I was like, 'Wow,'" Thompson said.

She wowed a lot of people Friday.

"Her name is going to be up there for a whole year, her senior year," Schenk said. "She's going to be able to enjoy that. People are going to walk in and say she's a state champion. It's nice because if you're a senior and you win, you're done."

No Mercer female track-and-field athlete had won at state before. The last boy to do it was Chris Roeder in the half-mile in 1988.

Thompson will go for another title today in the discus. She finished second in the event last year and is seeded second this year.

She's behind Richards, 135-0, to 133-10.

If Friday was any indication, Thompson will be up to the challenge.

Also competing today in La Crosse are Mercer's Sarah Kirchoff, who is seeded 16th in the discus at 101-5, and Tyler Bianga, who is seeded 16th in the shot put at 45-6.

Mercer state champions

Sydney Thompson, shot put, 2016

Chris Roeder, half-mile, 1988

Larry Yeakle, 400 dash, 1986

Larry Yeakle, long jump, 1986

Larry Yeakle, long jump, 1985

John Pierpont, high jump, 1984

Mike Lambert, 200 dash, 1983

Pat Hickman, half-mile, 1980

Thompson's throws

39-1.5, 42-10, 42-1.5, 43-4, 44-1, 40-3

Results

1. Sydney Thompson, Mercer, 44-1.

2. Emma Richards, Ozaukee, 41-7.5

3. Ania Smith, Menominee Indian, 39-6.5

4. Aspen Neisius, Fennimore, 39-1.75

5. Brianna Leahy, Benton-Scales Mound-Shulls, 38-9.5

6. Sydney Clapper, Tri-County, 38-2

7. Kaitlyn Moser, Webster, 37-5

8. Mariah Whalen, Newman Catholic, 37-4

9. Hannah Ludescher, Flambeau, 36-11

10. Katelyn Williams, Algoma, 36-8

11. Rachel Klatt, Glenwood City, 36-1

12. Greata Hess, Cochrane-Fountain City, 35-10

13. Heather Beil, Hilbert-Stockbridge, 35-6.5

14. Ashley Dornfield, Markesan, 34-3

15. Gabrielle Luxton, Brookwood, 33-11

16. Meilssa Neumann, Northland Lutheran, 33-10

 
 

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