By Tim Wester

Sports Correspondent

Coming into regionals, Union Grove track and field coach Mike Mikula figured to have one or two sectional qualifiers.

The Broncos more than doubled Mikula’s expectations with five sectional qualifiers at the WIAA Division 1 Kenosha Bradford regional Tuesdays, May 22.

Seniors Andrew Thompkins (shot put), Abby Martin (2 mile), Hannah Bounds (high jump), and juniors Katie Fruth (shot put) and Molly Bryson (400) are all first-time sectional qualifiers for the Grove.

Overall, the Broncos boys (17) and girls (33.5) both finished in ninth place.

Waterford took first for the girls, while Kenosha Bradford/Reuther won on the boys side.

Despite his teams finishing ninth, Mikula was still impressed by his qualifiers’ performances.

“The team exceeded my expectations because I was hoping for 1 to 2 to qualify,” Mikula said. “Add in the fact this was a very difficult regional with all the Kenosha schools and we had a good effort.”

The Broncos especially excelled in the shot put, led by Fruth’s second-place throw of 38-00.50.

“This is Katie’s first season out for track, but she has continually improved,” Mikula said. “Our shot put coach and I both agree that she has another level that she can reach next year, so her future is bright.”

Thompkins has also shown late-season improvement in the shot put, finishing fourth with a throw of 44-07.50.

“Prior to this, just cracking the 40 feet mark was a goal for Andrew,” Mikula said. He has just stepped it up and kept exceeding the 40 mark, so I don’t know if he’ll plateau now because he hadn’t thrown like this in past years.”

Martin, who has agonized over missing sectionals the past few seasons, finally qualified in the 3,200 with a third-place time of 11:57.80.

“I’m so happy for Abby,” Mikula said. “After just falling short of making state in cross country last fall and narrowly missing sectionals the past few years, it’s good for her to get past this obstacle and finally break through to sectionals.”

Bounds also earned her shot at sectionals in the high jump, finishing third (4-10.00)

Bryson rounded out the qualifiers, finishing fourth in the 400 with a time of 1:04.09.

“For Hannah it just seemed to click towards the end of the season,” MIkula said. “And for Molly being her first year running track, it was nice to see another athlete succeed as well.”

Mikula would like for his group of five athletes to exceed his expectations again at sectionals.

“We have a very difficult sectional ahead of us,” Mikula said. “It seems like the competition is especially fierce in the events we qualified for, but anything can happen on any given day.”