Krattiger, Reindl highlight plethora of individual triumps

Waterford’s Haleigh Reindl leads the pack during the girls 800m at the Racine County track invitational April 28 at Union Grove High School. She went on to win state. (Jake Hill/SLN)

 

By Chris Bennett

Sports Correspondent

2018 can best be described as the Year of the Runner when discussing Waterford Union High School sports.

To be even more specific, it can be described as the Year of the Girl Runner.

And if one wanted to take it a step further?

As a whole, girls athletics slightly – slightly – outshined boys athletics in 2018. Who saw that coming 40 years ago, when girls high school athletics were in their infancy?

I’ve covered Waterford athletics/activities since 2013, and compiled what I think are the top high school sports stories of 2018.

You’re free to disagree.

 

1

Haleigh Reindl

Reindl, who graduated in 2018, posted a historic performance in June at the WIAA Division 1 State Track & Field Meet at UW-LaCrosse.

Reindl won the Division 1 title in the 800-meter run.

Reindl set a school record in winning her state title. She dominated the field – her time of 2:09.66 was four seconds better than the second-place finisher.

Waterford girls track and field coach Michele Sittig said Reindl’s personal best time puts her in the top three all-time Wisconsin high school performances, regardless of division, in the 800.

The Wolverines’ 3,200 relay of Kelsey Radobicky, Jayda Obluck, Shaelyn Mullins, and Reindl finished fifth (9:31.69) and set a school record, giving Reindl two medals in her swan song for the Wolverines.

 

2

Jared Krattiger

In his final match as a Waterford Union High School wrestler, Krattiger finally won the state title that eluded him the three previous years.

Krattiger defeated Holmen’s Isaac Lahr (49-4) by a 14-6 major decision to win the WIAA Division 1 state title at 182 pounds on Feb. 24.

The WIAA Individual State Wrestling Tournament took place Feb. 22-24 at the Kohl Center in Madison.

“This was his last high school match,” Waterford coach Tom Fitzpatrick said. “That was the biggest thing to overcome for him. His talent level has always been there. For some reason, at the state tournament, things just didn’t go his way.

Also at state the Wolverines’ Jack Trautman III finished second at 195. Trautman lost a 7-4 decision to Neenah’s Beau Yineman (45-0) in the title match.

 

3

Dancing at State

Dance is not a sport – it is dance, and that is more than enough.

Dance is, however, one of the more athletic endeavors offered by WUHS.

Waterford’s Varsity Dance Team won its second state title in three years in February with a performance so excellent it moved coach Deanna Schicker to tears.

Schicker and her sisters own Foursis Dance Academy in Rochester.

The title is the Wolverines’ second Wisconsin Association of Pom and Cheer Coaches state title in three years.

Waterford won their first title in 2016.

 

4

Another SLC title

Waterford’s football team ran roughshod over the Southern Lakes Conference this past fall, and it wasn’t even close.

Waterford’s closest margin of victory was by 10 points in a 24-14 victory Sept. 7. in Wilmot. The Wolverines’ average margin of victory in SLC competition was 31 points.

Eight members of the Wolverines’ squad earned First Team All-Southern Lakes Conference honors and another three earned Second Team honors. Running back Tanner Keller earned the conference’s Offensive Player of the Year award.

Waterford beat Milwaukee Reagan 45-12 in a Level 1 playoff game and lost 31-28 to Waukesha West in a Level 2 playoff game, bringing the season to a close.

 

5

A surprise run

Waterford’s girls basketball team ended the regular season with an underwhelming record of 7-15. Something changed in the postseason.

The Wolverines won a regional title and finished a game short of playing for a berth in the WIAA Division 2 state tournament.

Waterford opened the playoffs with a 54-32 victory at home against Delavan-Darien and beat heavily-favored Burlington 46-42 at Burlington, with an exciting overtime period where Katie Rohner officially became a big-time star.

The Wolverines beat an even heavier favorite in Union Grove 51-45 at Union Grove to win a regional title.

Waterford’s season came to an end with a six-point loss – 39-33 – against Jefferson in a sectional semifinal in early March.

 

6

Cross country success

The girls cross country team put together one of its more successful seasons in recent memory. The Wolverines won the SLC title and sent two runners to state.

Jayda Obluck and Kelsey Radobicky finished in the top third in a deep and crowded field Oct. 27 in the WIAA Division 1 State Cross Country Championships Saturday at Ridges Golf Course in Wisconsin Rapids.

Obluck, a junior, finished the 5,000-meter course in 19:43 and came in 43rd among the 190 runners in the girls Division 1 field.

Radobicky, a sophomore, covered the course in 19:49 and finished 51st. It was Radobicky’s second appearance at state, but her first time finishing the race.

 

7

Back on Track

The Wolverines won the SLC title in girls track in the spring of this year, and dominated the field in doing so.

Waterford won conference titles in seven individual events and finished second in another in events.

Reindl won three conference titles. Emma Karpinski and Lauren Muffick each won two titles.

The Wolverines followed their SLC success with more in the postseason. Waterford sent runners to state in five separate events in girls track.

Waterford girls coach Michele Sittig could barely contain her glee over the performance of her team.

“Our girls had an exceptional meet,” Sittig said. “We qualified three relay teams, all of which achieved not only season personal bests but school records as well.”

 

8

Boys can run, too

At state for the boys Jack Duerst, Dan Pankowski, Josh Butscher and Sean Pritchard finished fifth in the 4×800 relay (8:00.39).

Waterford boys coach Jody Johnsrud said Duerst, Butscher and Pritchard talked about improving after last year’s appearance at state. Pankowski joined the relay this season and helped Waterford to a fifth-place finish.

 

9

Twins playing doubles?

Sam and Josh Fay, who are twins, advanced to the WIAA Division 1 WIAA Division 1 Boys State Tennis Individual Championships at Nielsen Tennis Stadium in Madison in June.

The Fays, playing at No. 1 doubles, lost to Lake Geneva Badger’s Peter Merry and Wyatt Van Dyke.

Merry and Van Dyke won the first set 6-4 and the Fays won the second set 6-4.

In the third set tiebreaker, in which only individual points were counted and the first duo to reach 10 and win by two wins Merry and Van Dyke won when they reached seven. The score is recorded as 10-7.

“The kids played well and it was a fantastic experience,” Waterford coach Mike Schuster said. “The match was long and tight, with both teams trading great rallies for a couple hours.”

 

10

The other guys

The offerings for sports and athletic-based activities at Waterford are so diverse and varied that there is not enough space to cover everything on a weekly basis in The Post.

Did you know Waterford fields an ice fishing team? The school does, and in February four members – Andrew Schaaf, Trevor Koeppen, Riley Mansell and Alan Oliver – went to the 2018 Wisconsin Interscholastic Fishing Association State Ice Fishing Championship in Minoqua.

The Wolverines also field a trap shooting team that consistently wins awards on both the state and national levels.

 

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