Waukesha West may have won the war at the Jim Barron Classic 8 Conference Outdoor Championships on May 11. Waukesha South’s Armoni Brown, however, won all the battles.
Brown won the 100-meter dash (12.27 seconds), long jump (10-1.5), triple jump (37-5.75) and teamed with Jestine Green, Daeonna Johnson and Kaylee Gessay to win the 4x100-meter relay (48.87) at Arrowhead. She has the first or second best mark in all four events on the state honor roll, and if there was one name that Waukesha-area fans had to know for the track and field postseason, it’s hers.
South scored 109 points as a team on the girls side, while West (147.5) edged Arrowhead (133.5) for first place. But this is a conference meet where depth plays a bigger role than the top finishes. At state, where elite talent leaves the biggest mark, South is well situated.
"From day one, my goal was to go to state in all four events," Brown said. "Although I don't really focus on what my strengths are, I only try to improve my weaknesses. I also wouldn't say that they are easily do-able, but I know that I'm going to give all four events my all."
In addition to Brown’s standout showing, South won the 4x800-meter relay by more than 10 seconds, with Grace Dargiewicz, Libby Geisness, Taya Herrera and Elise Boudry on board – all sophomores and juniors.
Meanwhile, Green won the open 200 (25.39) and high jump (5-2), and Johnson won the 100 hurdles (15.86). The 4x1 unit defeated the defending Division 2 state champion Catholic Memorial, which returns three of its four from one year ago. The Blackshirts possess some of the best sprint talent in the state, and it could pay off in a big way during the forthcoming sectional and state meet.
Brown edged Waukesha North’s Michaela Pryor (12.30), another of the state’s top 100-yard dashers.
"This year, we haven't really focused on relay's that much; I would say out of the whole season that's probably our second time running it together," Brown said. "I can't speak for others, but I know that my goal for the 4x1 is to take home the gold. I was in the weight room or working out over the summer, and I would say that playing basketball during the off season helped tremendously with staying in shape."
It’s not as if West lacked for top finishes, of course. The Wolverines were led by Becca Langer’s win in the 1,600 (5:05.48) and Maddie Frey’s victory in the 400 (57.89). Langer took second in the 800 and Frey added second in the 200.
Jayde Wollenberg won the pole vault for West, and Cassidy Kundinger took second in the high jump and triple jump. North’s Kassie Wicherski won the shot put.
Juarez leads on boys side
Waukesha North was buoyed by its distance runners, notably Michael Juarez, who won the 3,200 meters with his time of 9:35.66. Juarez teamed with Chris Lehouillier, Evan Shepard and Spencer Muffler to win the 4x800 (8:13.64).
West’s Adam Lembke won the long jump (21-7).
Catholic Memorial’s Max Cooper won the 100 (11.09). In a battle between two of the best 400 runners in the state, Ben Psicihulis (48.89) edged out CMH’s Mike Oechsner (50.23).
Oechsner then teamed with Eric Fridl, Jacob Bisswurm and Amery Klohn to win the 4x400 in 3:25.14.