Brown Deer - Again showing the heart and tenacity that comes with having grown up behind three highly athletic and competitive brothers, Brown Deer's Jake Schimenz rallied and won the 800 meters in the WIAA Division 2 track meet at Kewaskum on May 26 and advanced to this week's state meet in La Crosse.
"It was a tough race," said the sophomore. "There were a lot of tough guys, and I was pretty nervous. Most of the time I like to take it out (and go to the lead), but this time I thought it'd be better if I sat on the shoulders (of others) and let them cut the wind.
"I wasn't sure if I was going to be able to do it, but it all worked out. This is something I've dreamt of since I was young."
An odd thought, considering that Schimenz is still so young and yet so wise, having lettered in four sports (football, basketball, baseball and track) last year as a freshman, having taken over as quarterback for the conference championship football team when injury knocked out the starter and having served as point guard for the basketball team this winter.
"He's just a kid who keeps on going and going," track and football coach Rob Green said. "He's got such a great competitive head."
Schimenz, who will be joined by Evan Naber in both the 110-high and 300-intermediate hurdles and by Sabrina Wimer of the girls team in the 300 low hurdles, will now be the fourth (there are six all total) Schimenzes to have qualified for the state track meet as twins John and David and brother Zach have all done so in the past.
The trio will take part in events starting at 9:30 a.m. Friday when the WIAA state meet begins at Memorial Stadium on the UW-La Crosse campus. Naber will take part in heats of both of his races as will Wimer in hers. Schimenz's 800 race takes place on Saturday, when the remainder of the finals take place at 10:30 a.m.
Behind Schimenz and Naber, the boys finished 11th in the 28-school sectional meet with 28 points as Milwaukee Lutheran won with 611/2.
Schimenz pulled away on the back stretch to win by close to a full second in a personal best of 1:57.43.
"He had very even splits, he just did not slow down at all," Green said.
Naber, a junior, earned his berths with a third in the 110 highs (15.55) and a fourth in the 300 intermediates (42.03).
"He's worked so hard all winter and spring," said Green. "In the winter, he found an open hallway at the middle school and worked on his technique there. He put so much effort into it and now's he's found his reward."
Other efforts at the sectional for the boys included a seventh by senior Scott Richardson (47-9) in the shot put while senior Drew Jones was sixth in the discus (142-1). Sophomore Michael Snowden was 11th in the trials of the 100 dash (11.57) and the 3,200-relay team of Schimenz, Brian Victor, Chris Burant and Curtis Hogg was seventh (8:45.97).
The advancement of the freshman Wimer to state was the highlight of a disappointing day for the Falcons girls. She turned in a third-place finish of 48.84 to earn her spot.
"For her to have come around and grasp all that you need to know in the hurdles as a freshman is just unbelievable," said Green. "You just don't see that too often."
Wimer used a strong burst at the 200 meter mark to put herself into qualifying position.
But for senior Ariel Kinlow, the day did not go as well. The multi-time state place-winner had come back from an injury in the basketball season and had run strong, state-qualifying level efforts in both the trials of the 100 and the 200, but she aggravated the injury in the finals of the 100 (she finished eighth) and had to withdraw from the 200.
"It was a cool day and it was hard for her to loosen up," Green said. "It was a sad way to see such a great career end. She's had so much success in her career and helped us to a lot of team success.
"She's a kind and sincere kid, but her body just wouldn't let her do what she wanted to do this year."
The Falcons finished 22nd in the sectional with eight points as Lakeside Lutheran won with 671/2.
Wimer equaled her personal best of 4-8 while taking 13th in the high jump as Simone Sherard was eighth in the triple jump (32-9).
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