Division 1 state track and field: Beaver Dam’s Schneider sets new school standard in pole vault

LA CROSSE – Once having broken the Beaver Dam school record in the pole vault  Saturday at La Crosse, Matt Schneider didn’t stop there.

He celebrated his vault of 14 feet, 6 inches with a backflip on the landing  pad. Then he settled for fourth place in Division 1 after taking second a year  ago but he was no less enthused.

“He’s been flirting with that record all year,” Beaver Dam boys coach Dave  Sager said. “People don’t realize how tough it can be to compete there and to  break it there is really incredible.

“He’s pretty excited and he should be.”

Schneider’s drop in spots on the medal stand had nothing to do with him.

“It was pretty nerve-racking, to be honest,” Schneider said. “I knew I was on  the podium but I was waiting for everyone to sink or swim.”

They swam, led by Milwaukee Pius XI senior Kaewon Reynolds clearing 15-6 for  the win. Reynolds told Sager later he was surprised how deep the field was.

“It’s one of the deepest pole vault competitions I’ve ever seen,” Sager  said.

The Golden Beavers hoped to build off an inspired performance on Friday but  it never materialized. Instead, BD found out how miniscule the margin for error  is in the Division 1 finals.

R.J. Shelton qualified in three finals but the weekend caught up with him  Saturday. He got on the podium with a 11.04 100 dash that was good for  sixth.

He joined with Jake Heuer, Nic Knollenberg and Grant Braker on the 800 relay  that finished ninth with a time of 1:30.87. Milwaukee Riverside, even without  standout Jalen Gillie, won in a blistering 1:27.8.

“To run 1:28 is crazy and there were two 1:27s that weekend,” Sager said. “I  don’t feel bad. We had good handoffs. We’re the ninth best team in Division  1.”

Shelton battled hamstring tightness in the morning and ran dry in the 200.  Despite being second at the curve, he turned in a 22.7 to settle for ninth.

“Everything has to be your best in the D1 finals,” Sager said. “R.J. didn’t  have anything left for the 200 at the end.

“You can get away with things at sectionals but you can’t at state.”

Riley Budde hoped for a bid day in the discus after taking fifth in the shot  put Friday. Instead he scratched on all three throws.

“His foot had been bothering him,” Sager said. “The ring was really slick and  to have experience next year will be vital for these guys.

“There’s three types of athletes and the smallest group has those that work  hard and have great ability. We had that with this year’s seniors and we’ll have  that again next year.”


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