Cardinals girls roll at home

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Josh Flickinger/Beloit Daily News Brodhead-Juda athlete Lexi Oliver heads to the finish line during Thursda's Jim Church Invitational.

BRODHEAD, Wis. - Thursday evening's Jim Church Invitational had a little bit of everything: New talent emerged, returning stars shined and upperclassmen ready to take the spotlight stepped up as well.

The Brodhead-Juda girls, led by senior Rhianna Teubert, took home the title by 31 points over second-place McFarland. Clinton placed fourth while Turner was fifth in the 10-team Invitational.

On the boys side, the Cardinals placed third, well behind first-place Elkhorn, while Turner was fourth and Clinton finished sixth.

Teubert was one of the prominent stories on the girls side.

The senior came up victorious in the 100-meter hurdles (17.47), 300-hurdles (50.17) and pole vault (9-0) to score major points for Brodhead-Juda. Cardinals coach Curt Gratz was hardly surprised by his star pupil's success.

"The funny thing is, she's always been really good," Gratz said. "She just got overshadowed by Madee Harding and Cora Purdue the last four years. Now they are gone, and she's had the spotlight on her. The results have always been there, but she's been really great this spring."

Another major source of Cardinal points was senior Lexi Oliver, who was all over the track Thursday. Oliver placed second in the 100-hurdles, fourth in the shot put, fifth in the 300-hurdles and seventh in the triple jump.

"I asked her right before the season started to try throwing the shot for me, just to see how she could do," Gratz said. "And right away she threw 30 feet. She's just a great all-around athlete."

Two girls on opposite ends of their prep careers stood out for Clinton: Senior distance runner Charlotte Mueller and freshman sprinter Syliva Johansen.

Mueller, who barely missed out on a trip to state in the cross country season, placed a strong second place in both the 1600 and 3200-meter races, edging out Brodhead sophomore Madelyn McIntyre in both events. Mueller set her PR in both, running a 5:33 in the mile and 12:39 in the two-mile.

"Charlotte's such a hard worker," Clinton coach Jacob Standiford said. "I think the 1600 is really her race to shine. I hope as the season goes on, she's able to get that time down even further, because she's right on the fringe of where she needs to be."

Johansen has burst on the season, winning every sprint race she's competed in thus far.

She took home the 100 with a time of 13.24 and was the anchor on the Cougars' winning 4x100 relay team. Johansen took the baton from junior Hannah Welte and put the hammer down on Elkhorn as Clinton finished with a time of 53.19.

"We knew coming out of middle school that she was fast," Standiford said. "But we had no idea she would have come out and done what she's done. A lot of sprinting comes from genetics, and she's just naturally so fast. I think eventually she can be really good in the longer races, too, but right now she's doing great in the sprints."

The success has also come as a surprise to Johansen.

"I didn't expect to come in right away and win races," Johansen said. "My coach is already talking about what I need to do to get to state, and I never thought that would be a conversation as a freshman. It's crazy."

Turner's A'Blesin Wilson won the triple jump with a 32-09.50, and Presley Hasse won the high jump with a 4-8, highlighting the Trojan performances.

On the boys side, Brodhead-Juda senior Jeff Williams was a star, winning the 100 with an 11.71, finishing second in the 200 with a 23.77 and being a part of Brodhead's winning 4x100 team. He also placed third in the long jump, with teammate Seth Allen winning with a 19-10.50.

"I think the 200 is going to end up being my best race by the end of the season," Williams said. "I just need to get in better shape so I can all-out sprint it. Right now I'm having trouble finishing strong in that race, but I'll get there."

Clinton senior Tyler Stauss, part of last year's 4x400 WIAA Division 2 state-winning team, won the 400 with a time of 52.72, and along with Jordan Laatz, Jackson Nelson and Jordan Decker, won the 4x400 with a 3:31.90.

Cougar junior Caleb Ellefson won the pole vault with a 12-0, ahead of second-place Turner sophomore Jack Neupert's 11-6.

Turner's Ty'Shone Lomax placed third in the high jump, while teammate Steve Dillard placed fourth. Trojan freshman Camden Combs placed second in the triple jump with a 41-03.50, while Dillard placed fourth. Dillard was also a strong competitor in the 110-hurldes, placing third with a 17.21.

"Steve didn't go out last year because he wanted to focus on basketball," Turner coach Andy Coldren said. "But he's been a great addition for us this year. He's done really well in the hurdles and he's scored some points in the jumps as well."

Emilano Reyes racked up some points for the Trojans, finishing second in the discus and shot put. .

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