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Ike's Taylor, Eldien lead state contingent

New Berlin West’s Bryan Watson (left) and Nate Latus (right) and New Berlin Eisenhower’s Nick Taylor (center) cross the finish-line in the 100-meter dash May 30 at the WIAA West Allis Central Sectional meet at West Allis Athletic Complex.

New Berlin West’s Bryan Watson (left) and Nate Latus (right) and New Berlin Eisenhower’s Nick Taylor (center) cross the finish-line in the 100-meter dash May 30 at the WIAA West Allis Central Sectional meet at West Allis Athletic Complex. Photo By Peter Zuzga

June 2, 2014

New Berlin Eisenhower qualified in six events at the West Allis Central Sectional on May 30 and the Lions are now off to the WIAA State Track and Field Championships on June 6-7 at Veterans Memorial Stadium in La Crosse.

The boys finished seventh with 42 points and the girls were 12th with 21.

"I knew that this team had potential to do great things, and on Friday, they were great," said a happy coach Billy Simon. "I'm so proud of these kids. They put in the work all year and now they are reaping the benefits."

Girls' results

Junior Rebecca Eldien finished third in the 1600-meter run in a school record time of 5 minutes, 13.12 minutes.

"Becca silenced any doubters with her monster performance in the mile," Simon said. "She cut five seconds off her school record and just out-kicked the competition for a third-place finish."

Senior Courtney Brucker also took third in the 200-dash in a personal-best time of 26.85 seconds.

"Courtney has been the biggest surprise of the season," Simon pointed out. "For a first-year track athlete to come out as a senior and have the success that she has had is amazing. She has been getting faster and stronger every meet."

Boys' results

Senior Nick Taylor won the 100-meter dash in 11.18 seconds.

"Nick looked really strong in all of his races," Simon said. "He is ready to face off with the state's best 100-meter runners. He fell just short of qualifying in the 200 (missed by .05 seconds), placing fourth and setting a school record (22.8)."

Sophomore Sam Schwab was second in the high jump with a personal record leap of 6 feet.

Sophomore Jake Rastas took third in the high jump (6-0), which matched his personal record.

"Jake and Sam have been in placing contention every meet this year, and they put it together at the perfect time," Simon said. "To have two athletes from the same team qualify in an event is a huge accomplishment, and the icing on the cake is these guys are first-year track athletes and sophomores. They are just going to keep getting better and could surprise some people next weekend."

The 4x200-meter relay finished third (1:32.11) behind Taylor, freshman Joey Scaffidi, senior Alex Vlaj and sophomore Sean Broihier.

"We knew right away this year that we would have a shot with a sprint relay," Simon said. "Handoffs needed to be perfect, and every leg needed to gut it out, and that is exactly what happened for our 4x200 boys.

"The individual qualifiers are fantastic, but having a relay team make it too is extra sweet."

Record amount

Although the Lions' track history is incomplete, Simon felt this could have been the best showing for his teams.

"This is by far the most qualifiers Eisenhower has had in the last 15 years," he said. "And maybe ever. Our state archives are very incomplete before the 2000s."

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