It was simply Breanna Colbenson's meet in the Division 3 distance events at the WIAA state track and field meet Friday and Saturday, but Isabel Seidel is waiting in the wings.
The University Lake School junior snagged second-place finishes behind Spring Valley senior Colbenson in the 1600 and 3200 races, plus a third place in the 800. Colbenson started out fast in both of the longer events and simply couldn't be caught, but Seidel sounded the furthest thing from deflated by the experience.
"I'm really happy with my time, that was a PR for me," Seidel said of the 11:02.65 she posted in the 3200. "At the end, I still gave it my kick and was just really going for time at the end. I was so close to breaking 11, which is something I wasn't expecting. I'm really happy with how it finished out."
Colbenson ran 10:56.24 to win easily. It was much closer in the 1600, when Seidel closed fast in the final 300 meters to turn a lopsided race into a nail-biter. Seidel posted 5:09.81, seven-tenths of a second behind Colbenson.
"It was super windy," Seidel said. "I was really hoping to break 5 (minutes); that's one of my biggest goals for the mile. I think my favorite race of all three is the mile because it's the perfect distance but still has that speed. The wind kind of put a damper on that. ... Breanna took it out really fast. She was my motivation to keep it going. At that very last lap, I told myself I have to take it now. I feel like if I had gone a little bit sooner, maybe it could have happened, but I'm super happy for Breanna. She really deserved that race, and she was so happy."
Seidel placed fourth in the mile last year and seventh as a freshman. With Colbenson set to graduate, Seidel will be the favorite in both distance races next year, most likely.
Seidel ran 2:20.98 to take the bronze in the 800, competing in three events for the first time at the state meet. Older sister Molly, who tied a state record with eight track and field state championships, never ran in three events, qualifiyng last year in all three but skipping the 800 because of injury.
"I did not expect coming into this year to do as well as I ended up doing," Isabel said. "At my first indoor race, (my coach suggested) maybe I could try to triple this year (in events). I never thought I'd be able to do that last year.
"I didn't really start track until the end of the eighth grade. I wasn't really into it. Seeing how successful Molly was really motivated me to try harder and I really started to buckle down and focus on running this year. I trained really hard this winter and it paid off."
Isabel said the toughest sell was the 3200, a race her sister loved but one she hasn't loved to the same degree.
"I thought it was too long, but I thought, 'might as well,' and my coach really helped push me and brought me to this point in my running career and got me thinking maybe I could do this."
The one-woman show netted 22 points, helping ULS finish ninth in the team scoring.
LCL, Imel finish strong
The Lake Country Lutheran 4x200-meter relay squad of Grace Swanson, Karli Schneider, Mary Hirt and Katie Haim took eighth place, besting their seed time with a run of 1:50.44. It was the lone point-scoring result for the Lightning.
Eric Imel of St. John's Northwestern Military Academy cleared 6 feet, 4 inches in the high jump and placed eighth.
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