Cassidy Noeldner

Cassidy Noeldner competes in the triple jump at the WIAA track and field state championships at UW-La Crosse on June 2, 2018.

Big Rivers

Chippewa Falls sent two boys to the state meet last year, and one of them is back: JD Czech, who qualified in the discus. Sophomore Ella Behling went to state in the 800 last year for the girls, and is off to a solid start to this season in that event. Sammie Riedel returns to the girls team after qualifying for sectionals in the high jump last year. The Cardinals’ boys wheelchair team won the wheelchair state title last year and should be strong again with Ty Wiberg and Dorian Anderson returning. The girls’ wheelchair team placed third at state a year ago. ... Eau Claire Memorial’s girls will have to replace three members of their throwing team that all graduated last year. Anna Hansen is expected to lead the Old Abes’ revamped throwing team. The Memorial boys should have a strong distance team led by Zak Sather and Will Hartman this season. Loyal Crawford could be a sprinter to keep an eye on. ... The Eau Claire North boys have a state qualifier back in junior Ray Davis, who went to La Crosse in the 100-meter dash and several relays. Logan Podolak went to state in the 300 hurdles. Charlie Wolter and Preston Dorn were also part of state-qualifying relays last season. Kary Petricka is one of the state’s top sprinters for the Huskies’ girls team. She placed 11th in the 100-meter dash at state last year. Evie Dreger, Olivia Laube and Harper Dilley were all part of state-qualifying relays a year ago. ... The Hudson girls won the Big Rivers last year and should be strong again with plenty of talent back. Bailee Dierks made the podium at state in the 100 hurdles. The Raiders should be good in distance events, as Rachel Ball returns as the conference champion in the 3,200. The Hudson boys had one state qualifier last year: Carter Maack in the 110 hurdles. ... Menomonie’s boys team’s greatest strength will be its jumpers. Sam Zbornik qualified for state in the high jump last year, and Devin Williams narrowly missed a trip to state in the triple jump. The Mustangs should have good depth among their sprinters on the boys side, led by the likes of Adam Wilson, Logan Sorenson, Kyle Field and Williams. For the girls, Kaylynn Imsande is back to lead a talented but young distance team, and senior Kylie Mogen returns as a threat to make it to state in several events this year. ... The Rice Lake boys are the defending state champions in Division 2. The Warriors will be led by the Clerveaux brothers, DeAirus and Marquez, two of the state’s best in sprint and hurdle events. They are the only two returners who competed at state last year for the boys. The Warrior girls have a talented group of young athletes returning this season including Anna Penzcover, Jasmine Mlejenek, Paige Millerman, Trinity Roberts and Jenna Roberts. Millerman went to state in two events last season. ... The River Falls boys are the reigning Big Rivers champions. With a good chunk of the team back, the Wildcats figure to be contenders again. The Wildcat girls should be solid as well, led by Sofia Naranjo Mata, who reached the Division 1 finals in the 100-meter dash last year.

Western Cloverbelt

The Altoona girls will have the tough task of replacing Mariah Hoepner, who is now in college competing for the Badgers. Sadie Matthews and Sydney Pressler will be counted on to help lead a fairly inexperienced Railroaders squad. Jakob Meyer and Jayden Salsbury both reached sectionals for Altoona’s boys team and should be good competitors for the Railroaders again. ... Cadott graduated some talented athletes from last year’s boys and girls teams, but is optimistic with this year’s group. Andy Hinzmann took eighth at state in the triple jump, and the girls’ state-qualifying 4x800 relay returns intact with Mary Jo Prokupek, Abby Eiler, Kaileigh Tice and Hailey Wellner all back. ... While the Fall Creek Crickets may lack depth, they have some exciting young faces on the team for 2019. It’s a team that has only three seniors, mid-distance runner and high jumper David Anderson, sprinter Katrina Klawiter and thrower Katie Kent. ... McDonell’s boys return a contingent who reached the Division 3 state meet last year. Charlie Bleskachek placed fifth at state in the 800 last year. Joe Thaler and Sean Craker both competed at state as well. The Macks girls were young last year and have plenty of familiar faces back. Ann David and Annabelle Abbe both did well at sectionals last year. ... Osseo-Fairchild brings back one state qualifier: Bret Kostka. He reached in the 110 hurdles last season, and is off to a good start this spring. Taylor Nelson and Kari Herman reached sectionals for the Thunder girls, and like Kostka, have both started off the season well. ... The Regis boys won the Cloverbelt title last year and have two of Division 3’s top hurdlers in Isaac Michels and Jack Nicolai. Both reached the 110-meter hurdles state finals last year, and Michels took second. Michels also took third in the 300 hurdles. Hayden Reinders, Andrew Ernstmeyer and Tommy Schmidt all were on state-qualifying relays last spring, and Henry Theisen went state in the discus. Josie Stender went to state in three events for the girls, and state qualifiers Gabrielle Semerad, Elizabeth Matson, Laura Sokup and Bria Thalacker all have experience. ... Stanley-Boyd’s girls won the conference title last year. Hayley Nichols placed well at sectionals in the shot put last year, and Ashley Anderson, Jade Fredrickson and McKenna Endvick all reached sectionals too. The boys will need to replace their one state qualifier from last year, Bryce France. Jordan McKnight and LJ Schmelzer figure to be among the team’s top competitors. The Orioles have the letterwinners back to make another run at a conference title — they were second in the Cloverbelt meet last year. ... Thorp’s Molly Milliren reached the podium at state in the 200 last season. She’s one of Division 3’s best athletes in sprint events. Fallon Immormino reached sectionals for the Cardinals last season. The boys sent a couple of relays to sectionals a year ago, and with experience back, that could be an area of strength for the squad.

Dunn-St. Croix

Boyceville’s only state qualifier from last year graduated. Pole vaulter Megan Hintzman was a sectional qualifier a season ago and figures to be among the team’s top athletes. ... The Colfax girls took second at the conference meet last year, and should be led by the likes of Kameri Meredith and Morgan Jensen. They went to state in the 100 hurdles and discus last season, respectively. The Viking boys didn’t send anyone to state last year, but Ed Hydukovich came the closest with a seventh-place finish in the discus at sectionals. ... Several sectional qualifiers return to lead Durand. Payton Schneider and Brooke Polzer lifted the Panthers in field events last season, and distance runner Isaac Wegner brings back experience too. ... Elk Mound is led by its strong distance team that has a chance to make it down to state this year. Cade Hanson qualified for his third straight cross country championship last year and should be a threat for the Mounders this track season. The Mounder boys won the conference title last year. ... Elmwood/Plum City graduated some strong runners on the girls side, but sectional qualifier Katie Feuker returns after a strong postseason performance. Mathis Patigny reached sectionals for the boys a year ago. ... Glenwood City is coming off a solid year, placing third in the conference for the boys and fourth for the girls. Both squads will have success to build on, with familiar faces back on the roster. ... Mondovi’s girls won the conference meet a year ago. The Buffaloes had strong relay teams last season, and that should continue to be the case this spring. Individually, Emilia Radle and Karley Everson both reached sectionals last year. For the boys, Colten Bee and Owen Schultz were individual sectional qualifiers, and the team also had relay athletes make it that far. ... Dylan Bosshart reached the Division 3 state finals in the 110-meter hurdles for Spring Valley last year, where he placed eighth. The Cardinals also sent their 4x200 girls relay team — which had three juniors — to La Crosse.

Dairyland

DJ Frey went to state in the 300-meter hurdles for Alma Center Lincoln last year. The team sent five girls to sectionals in individual events last year, and only one graduated. ... Augusta returns juniors Aaron Dorf and Traven Fabian who will be looking to return to state after incredible 2018 seasons. Both of the boys have had impressing showing so far this year and should be in store for great 2019 campaigns. On the girls side, Carolyn Shult and Bailey Peterson should both be strong competitors within the conference. ... Blair-Taylor had three girls reach the state meet last year: Kaelyn Lejcher, Kylah Fredrixon and Carly Nelson. Rafael DaCosta and Preston Guttenburg went to La Crosse for the boys. ... Eau Claire Immanuel Lutheran has a very young team with only one senior on the roster. That senior is a good one: Cassidy Noeldner, who placed fourth in the triple jump at last year’s D3 state meet. She has medaled at state in that event every year of her career. ... Eleva-Strum has seen its team grow from 15 members last year to 27 this season. Connor Windjue returns as a sectional qualifier in shot put and discus last spring. ... Ziyannah Conner reached the state finals in two hurdle events for Independence/Gilmanton last year. She figures to be one of the top hurdlers in the conference again. ... Whitehall won the boys conference meet last spring. Brandon Dick is the only returning state qualifier for the team though. He placed 12th in the 800 last year in La Crosse.

Heart O’ North

Barron sent Will Waldofski to state in the discus last spring. He also won the conference title in the shot put. ... Cole Michaelsen has one of the fastest 1,600-meter times in all of Wisconsin for Bloomer. He and Alex Conrad make the Blackhawks competitors in distance events at any meet. For the girls, Grace Post has proven to be one of the top athletes in the Heart O’ North. She has already won long jump and 200 hurdles titles this spring. ... Chetek-Weyerhaeuser was solid in relay events last year, and that could be a strength again this season. Most of the team’s individual sectional qualifiers graduated. ... Caden Dupee went to state in the triple jump and 300 hurdles for Ladysmith last season. Kylee Becker also went to state in the 300 hurdles, where she reached the state finals.

Others

Baldwin-Woodville figures to be solid, with a few athletes back fresh off sectional appearances. State qualifier Rachel Lawton returns for Flambeau. Orianna Lebal and Luke Geist both made trips to state for Lake Holcombe/Cornell last year.

—Previews by Aaron Rose and Spencer Flaten, based on information from area coaches