CADOTT — Jade Fredrickson isn’t afraid to test herself against the boys on the track.
At Stanley-Boyd practices, the sophomore will try to keep up with the guys. No matter the workout, she has no problem giving them her best shot.
And when that group includes the likes of Jordan McKnight, that’s certainly not an easy task.
McKnight held the second fastest time in Wisconsin in the 100-meter dash entering Friday’s William E. DeJung Invitational, according to Athletic.net.
But going up against some of the best sprinters in the area is helping drive Fredrickson’s results when she takes on the girls. She and McKnight swept the 100-meter dash titles at Friday’s meet.
“My coaches really push me to the max,” Fredrickson said. “They really categorize our workouts to specific events, which is really nice because then you get the full amount of work in for that event.”
And when the Orioles’ sprinters compare times at practice, the results are often impressive.
“It’s very competitive,” McKnight said. “We’re just competing against each other every day.”
And because of it, the Orioles have had a standout year in the sprint events. McKnight has dominated the 100 and 200, while Fredrickson has some of the top 100 and 200 times among Division 3 runners in the area.
McKnight was more known for his feats in the 200 last year — he was a sectional qualifier in the event — but he’s taken his performances in the 100 to an entire new level this spring.
“Last year I sucked at block starts, but now I’m getting better at them,” he said. “So I think it’s all in the block starts. Exploding out of the blocks helps me get faster. It calms everything else down.”
His run of 10.72 seconds in Spencer earlier this week put him at No. 2 on the statewide leaderboard. For comparison, last year’s Division 3 state champion won with a time of 11.26 seconds in the event.
When McKnight set that personal best in Spencer, he didn’t think he had bettered his old mark by much.
“I thought I ran an 11 flat,” the senior said. “It feels great, especially when you think you PR’d not by much.”
In addition to winning Friday’s 100, McKnight also won the 200 with a run of 22.85 seconds — nearly two seconds better than the second-place finisher.
And while McKnight sets his sights on closing out his final year of high school track and field with a bang, Fredrickson is starting to get very comfortable on the track.
“It feels nice to get out there as a sophomore, and to see improvement as the season goes on,” she said.
Fredrickson has keyed in on improving her block starts too, and the results have spoken for themselves. She was the runner-up in the 200 and the 300 hurdles on Friday after winning the 100.
It’s a pretty well-rounded group of sprinters in the Orioles’ tent this year. Of the teams in their sectional, the Stanley-Boyd boys have three runners in the top 10 on the current time leaderboard in both the 100 and 200. The girls have two in those events.
And for the two runners with the fastest times on the team, their sights are set squarely on the state meet in La Crosse.
“I’ve got to get better, get my times down, and get ready for state. I know I’m going to be there,” McKnight said.
It’s a confident approach, and one that’s hard to argue with given the results.
Orioles, Ramblers win team titles
The Stanley-Boyd girls won the girls team title on Friday, while Regis captured the win on the boys side.
In addition to Fredrickson’s victory in the 100, Stanley-Boyd got wins from Hayley Nichols in the shot put and discus.
The Ramblers were led by wins in distance events by Andrew Schlitz (1,600 and 3,200) and in the 300 hurdles by Isaac Michels.
Fall Creek’s Katrina Klawiter won the 200 on the girls side, and the Crickets also won the 4x400 relay.
Altoona’s Lauren Theyerl swept the long-distance events by winning the 1,600 and 3,200, and the Rails also won the 4x800 relay. Regis won the 4x100 and 4x200 relays, and Rambler Elizabeth Matson won the long jump.
The Stanley-Boyd boys took second overall behind wins from McKnight and LJ Schmelzer (high jump). McDonell’s Charlie Bleskachek emerged victorious in the 400.
Andy Hinzmann won both the long jump and triple jump for Cadott. Fall Creek’s Hamilton Williams won the pole vault.