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Savitch aiming at a three-peat, state record in hurdles

Challenges ahead for her, teammates

June 1, 2011

Mequon - Now is the time for legacy, for a piece of history.

And Homestead state record-holding 100-high hurdler Marissa Savitch knows that after winning both the 100 highs and the 300 lows at a chilly and windy WIAA sectional May 26 on her home track.

"I've been thinking about this a lot. You want to run a great time at sectional, you want a PR (personal record)," she said, "but the important thing is just to qualify, to get to state, because that is the best meet ever.

"... And now the number one thing next week (state) is that I want to win. I want to win and set a new state record, too. I feel like I can't be touched now (in the highs)."

Savitch will be joined at state by the 3,200-meter relay team of Keali Bjork, Alex and Lauren Holtz and Maggie Stoltz; Holtz in the 800 and freshman Monica Caputa in the long jump.

The Division 1 state program starts at 4:30 p.m. Friday at Memorial Stadium at UW-La Crosse. Holtz and Savitch compete on this day. Championship finals, along with the long jump and the 3,200 relay, will be on Saturday, starting at 10:30 a.m.

The interesting thing about this year's state 100-high hurdle race for Savitch is that the two-time champ and the owner of the state's best time this season (14.1, better than her official state record of 14.52, which was set last year), will not go into the meet with the fastest sectional time.

Bradley Tech's swift junior Elexis Fuller-Stewart posted a 14.27 clocking, which is in the top five all-time in state history. She will center up the third and final heat, while Savitch will be in the center lane of the second heat with her 14.44 sectional time.

"I'm just hoping to run the best time of my life," Savitch said.

In the 300 lows, which she has gotten more consistent at over the course of the year, Savitch goes in as the fourth seed with a time of 45.62. Defending champion Michelle Garner of Greenfield has the fastest sectional time at 44.87.

For veteran middle distance runners Lauren Holtz and Bjork, the time is also now, too. They were on the third-place school record 3,200 state relay team of a year ago and this time will work with Stoltz and Alex Holtz to try and cajole another medal out of the effort. They go in as the 10th seed with a 9:40.92 after taking second in the sectional.

"This is especially nice as a senior," Bjork said. "We lost two really good runners off the (3,200) team from last year but Alex and Maggie have worked so hard at this. This was a major goal of ours (to get to state)."

And not even the cold and windy conditions were going to stop them.

"It's all mind over matter," Bjork added. "It feels like October (cross country season). In a situation like that, you just work hard to remain mentally tough and push right through, which is what we did."

Lauren Holtz took that same attitude later in the day, as she took third in the 800 in 2:20.16, giving her another berth at state. She had to remain tough, as she was also part of the seventh-place 1,600 relay team at the end of the meet.

"I wasn't worrying about time or anything like that," she said. "It wasn't going to be my best time. I just wanted to qualify.

"I'm just happy to qualify (as an individual)."

Caputa was a pleasant surprise, taking second in the long jump at 17-11/4.

The qualifying efforts led the Highlanders to a fourth-place finish in the 14-school sectional field with 61 points as Arrowhead won with 158.

Other finishes for the Highlanders included the following: triple jump: Katie Cullen, fifth (32-1); Andrea Rossman, eighth (31-31/2); 400: Alex Holtz, seventh (1:03.3); 800: Bjork, fifth (2:29.65); Stoltz, sixth (2:30.6); 1,600 relay: Lauren and Alex Holtz, Bjork and Kacie Kelly, seventh (4:12.54); and long jump: Kelly, sixth (15-101/2).

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