Reindl caught a glimpse of her state accomplishment

Haleigh Reindl floors the competition at state track. She was the SLC track athlete of the year. (Photo courtesy Journal Sentinel)

 

By Chris Bennett

SPORTS CORRESPONDENT

Haleigh Reindl peeked at her legacy this past spring.

Reindl, then a senior at Waterford Union High School, was in the final race of her high school career – at the WIAA Division 1 state track meet in the 800-meter final at Veterans Stadium on the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse campus.

“There was this one part, at about the 300-meter mark – there’s this big screen where you can watch the race,” Reindl said. “I looked up and saw that the other girls were not near me.

“I stopped and thought, ‘Oh, I’m going for it. It’s go time.’”

Reindl, who won the race and garnered a state title, achieved a goal she set as a freshman. She is the Southern Lakes Newspapers Western Racine County Female Athlete of the Year for 2018.

Reindl dominated the field in winning her state title. Her time of 2:09.66 was four seconds better than the second place finisher.

Reindl’s time was one of the fastest in the nearly 50-year history of girls high school track.

“It was slightly unreal,” Reindl said. “It was a goal of mine since I was a freshman. I wanted to win state. I tried multiple times.

“In the last race of my high school career, I did it. It was unreal and exciting.”

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 meter run.

“Haleigh has earned every bit of this state championship,” Sittig said in June after Reindl won her title. “She is the most hard-working and selfless athlete that I’ve had the privilege of coaching.

“Her talent is remarkable, but her character and work ethic are what make her an exceptional athlete. What a phenomenal way to finish an outstanding high school track career.”

At state, Reindl also finished fifth in the 3,200 relay, along with Kelsey Radobicky, Jayda Obluck and Shaelyn Mullins. Their time of 9:31.69 marked a school record.

Reindl qualified for the state meet in the 800 as sophomore, junior and senior.

She finished second in the 800 as a junior at 2:13.06, just one second behind winner Cami Davre of Whitefish Bay. Davre set the state record in the 800 in 2015 with a time of 2:09.22.

As a sophomore, Reindl finished sixth in the 800.        Davre won state titles in the 800 and 1,600 in each of her four years at Whitefish Bay, and now runs for the University of Michigan.

Throughout her senior season Reindl relied on her teammates as part of her success.

“I liked my team’s atmosphere,” Reindl said. “Everyone was very supportive of everyone. We had a tremendous season. We did really well for the first time in a while.”

The Wolverines, who won the Southern Lakes Conference title last year, finished sixth in a strong sectional meet in May at Mukwonago.

Reindl praised Wolverines coach Michele Sittig.

“We got pretty close,” Reindl said. “She was always supportive of me.”

Reindl now runs collegiately for NCAA Division 2 University of Minnesota-Duluth.

“My mileage is up, so that’s new,” Reindl said. “There’s higher mileage in college, which I kind of was expecting. There’s more competition. You’re not on top anymore, which is exciting.”

Reindl’s love of running is enhanced by the adoration of her teammates and beauty of Duluth. Reindl said a running trail called Skyline is a highlight.

“You can see Lake Superior and the downtown area and everything – the bridge that leads to Wisconsin,” Reindl said. “It’s just breathtaking how pretty it is up there.”

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