State track: Topercer tops area state qualifiers

Westosha Central junior Bryan Topercer races in a meet held earlier this season. Topercer finished second in the 400-meter dash at the WIAA Division 1 State Track and Field Championships to earn a spot on the podium.

Central junior reaches podium in 400 dash

By Jason Arndt

Westosha Central junior Bryan Topercer had a memorable day during the June 26 WIAA Division 1 State Track and Field Championships at Veterans Memorial Stadium on the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse campus.

Topercer, who qualified in two events, battled intense rainfall and finished second in the 400-meter dash with a new school record time of 49.22 seconds.

The record-setting performance, which he has broken several times this season, earned him a spot on the podium.

“He was an cloud nine after placing second, he said he felt great and was ready for the 4×400 relay,” said Falcons coach Deirdre Reeves.

Zachary Zenner, a senior from Oconomowoc, won the 200 dash at 48.88.

Topercer, meanwhile, helped the 1,600 relay team consisting of sophomores Connor Wade Joey Kavalauskas and senior Sam Hardesty finish 22nd at 3:33.74.

As for the 400 dash, Reeves and her coaching staff had little doubt Topercer would reach podium, considering the junior sprinter entered the meet in a favorable position.

“We were confident he would be on the podium, just not sure how high he would place,” said Reeves, noting Dylan Rivard serves as sprint coach. “The other athletes’ seed times were close, so it was going to come down to race day performances.”

Austin Kurylo, a 2017 graduate, previously set the school 400 dash record in 2017 with a registered time of 50.45.

Topercer, however, wasn’t the only Westosha Central athlete to appear at the state meet.

Junior Will Allen qualified in three events, including the 1,600 run, where the distance runner finished 14th at 4:28.50.

Allen also anchored the 3,200 relay team, which finished 15th, and included Wade, Ian Slade and Dylan Hartnek.

In the 800 run, meanwhile, Allen placed 24th at 2:03.93.

“Will gave each race everything he had. He ran an amazing split in the 4×800 relay (1:56) and raced well in the heavy rain during the 1,600,” said Reeves. “Participating in three events at the state level is very challenging and Will showed just how much physical and mental strength he has developed.”

On the girls side, Kialis Anderson appeared in two events, and came close to reaching the podium in the 100 dash.

In the 100 dash, Anderson finished seventh, recording a time of 12.74.

“The rain during her races was steady, so I felt that it affected everyone’s performances levels,” Reeves said. “She ran well in the finals of the 100 meter and I believe just missed being on podium by 0.01 seconds.”

Anderson, in the 200 dash, placed 13th in the preliminary round at 26.42 and did not advance to the finals.

“She is a fierce competitor and she will be back strong next season,” Reeves said.

Anderson’s appearance marked her second in as many years dating back to her freshman season in 2019.

Sophomore Clare Fallon finished 23rd in the 400 dash (1:05.81).

Reeves came away impressed with the team’s performance, especially when rainfall caused many disruptions, such as moving the pole vault indoors and creating muddy conditions in the shot put area.

“The shot put area was almost completely under water, there were puddles on the track and the tent city area for the athletes was a mud bath,” Reeves said. “The kids were absolutely awesome! They gave their best performances under those horrible weather conditions and I know the coaches are all very proud of them.”

For Wilmot, which saw three athlete compete in four events, senior sprinter Tyler Wilson produced the school’s top performance.

Wilson, who advanced in two events, placed 11th in the 400 dash (51.53) and 14th in the 200 dash (22.79).

Senior Miranda Kendall notched 12th in the high jump with a score of 5-00.

In the pole vault, senior Gabe Handorf cleared the bar at 12-06, good for 14th.

Hartland Arrowhead won the team state championship for boys with 66 points while D.C. Everest won the girls team title (46).


WIAA Division 1 State Track and Field
Veterans Memorial Stadium – La Crosse

Girls results
100 dash – 7. Kialis Anderson, WC, 12.74
200 dash – 13. Kialis Anderson, WC, 26.42
400 dash – 23. Clare Fallon, WC, 1:05.81
High jump – 12. Miranda Kendall, WIL, 5-00.

Boys results
200 dash – 14. Tyler Wilson, WIL, 22.79
400 dash – 2. Bryan Topercer, WC, 49.22; 11. Tyler Wilson, WIL, 51.53
800 run – 24. Will Allen, WC, 2:03.93

1,600 run – 14. Will Allen, WC, 4:28.50
1,600 relay – 22. Westosha Central (Connor Wade, Joey Kavalauskas, Sam Hardesty, Bryan Topercer) 3:33.75
3,200 relay – 15. Westosha Central (Connor Wade, Ian Slade, Dylan Hartnek, Will Allen) 8:17.20.
Pole vault – 14. Gabe Handorf, WIL, 12-06