Phoenix 7th in state 1,600 relay

Luther Prep sophomore Jonathan Holtz takes the baton from sophomore Ben Cole during the Division 2 boys 1,600 meter relay final on Saturday at the WIAA State Track and Field Championships in La Crosse. The Phoenix finished seventh.

LA CROSSE -- Luther Prep's boys track and field team competed in two events at the WIAA State Track and Field Championships.

The 1,600 relay team of sophomores Ben Cole and Jonathan Holtz and juniors Ben Bode and Cole Burow made the finals by finishing ninth in the Division 2 trials on Friday in 3 minutes, 27.70 seconds.

"We went a little faster at the sectional, about a second faster, so these guys know they can do better but they ran a great race today," Luther Prep track and field coach Steve Vasold said. "Cole edged out the Jefferson guy. They edged us out at the sectional. Cole ran a tough race down the stretch. All of them did well."

In the finals on Saturday, the Phoenix placed seventh in 3:29.10.

Senior Ben Hillmer competed in the boys high jump on Friday and finished 17th after clearing 5-10.

"Hillmer did a nice job all season long," Vasold said. "He didn't get 6 feet until the last couple weeks of the season and then he went 6-2 this year. Being 5-10, going 4 inches over his height, that's impressive. He had a great career. We are going to miss the seniors.

"The 4-by-4 girls was a tough one. They were ranked third in state going into the sectional. It didn't happen, so we miss not having them here, but our 4-by-8 boys had a good shot as well. Good team effort overall."

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