LA CROSSE -
Story By Mark Spillane
Only the best athletes across Wisconsin earn the right to compete at the WIAA state track meet.
And on Saturday, several Northwoods athletes made their mark.
"This was it," said Medford senior Hunter Brandner. "This was the best I could imagine. I was happy with how it went. I don't think it could've gone any better."
Brandner set a personal record as he finished 4th in the Division Two 400-meter dash.
But he wasn't the only Raider to accomplish a podium finish to cap off his senior year.
"Going into the 200, I wasn't feeling too hot, my left hamstring was really hurting, so I just had to get in the right mindset and I just went for it," said Medford senior Victor Rinaldi.
That mindset helped Rinaldi finish 6th in the D2 200-meter dash.
But in D3, it was Three Lakes-Phelps that impressed the most.
"It's just phenomenal. We've never taken a group this big to state, and to have a bunch of people on the podium, it was just amazing, I'm so proud of my teammates," said Three Lakes sophomore Kortnie Volk.
Volk made the podium twice, highlighted by a 4th place finish in the 200-meter dash.
She was joined on the podium by Three Lakes freshman, Emily Fink, who captured 5th in the 100-meter competition.
"I did not expect that at all, so it's really exciting and really fun, [in my] first season," said Fink.
While Fink enjoyed her first state track meet, Lakeland's Kav FitzPatrick competed in his last.
FitzPatrick added a pair of silvers to his collection of state medals.
After his final race in the D2 3,200-meter run, FitzPatrick said his success can be credited to those around him.
"It's not just me, I'm not some freak human being, I just have a lot of good people behind me I think," said FitzPatrick.
With that support, FitzPatrick has become one of the most accomplished athletes in Northwoods sports history.
And although he did not win gold in the last meet of his high school career, he finished it off on a high note.
"I'm just happy I was able to get here, I still came away with two medals and [personal records] all around, so it's been a great weekend," said FitzPatrick.
Lakeland Union's Ashley Peterson also made the podium on Saturday with a 4th place finish in the girls D2 1,600-meter run.
Her teammate, Aubrey Anderson, won the girls D2 800-meter run state title.
Three Lakes' Diasy Campbell placed 2nd in the girls D3 pole vault competition.