It was a busy first week for coach Glen Gardiner's Wauwatosa East girls track and field team.
The Red Raiders closed out the week at the Nelson-Daniel Invitational on March 19 at Whitewater and placed 14th (tied with Divine Savior Holy Angels) out of the nearly 40 schools in attendance.
'We had many outstanding performances all-around and some early Division 1 state rankings,' Gardiner said, talking of the day's highlights.
Freshman Brooklyn Blackburn placed third in the high jump and raised her freshman indoor school record to an outstanding height of 5 feet, 1 inch. That jump ranked her sixth in Division 1.
Blackburn also placed sixth in the 55-meter hurdles with a time of 9.37 seconds. However, she ran her personal record of 9.24 in the prelims (ranked 10th).
The 4x200 relay of Abby Wood, Toni Bonds, Blackburn and Hannah Brooks teamed up to place eighth. Their time of 1 minute, 53.84 seconds just missed the indoor school record (1:53.27), and they are currently ranked 14th in the state.
Kacy Fisher ran an impressive race in the 800, setting a new indoor PR and placing seventh with a time of 2:30.21. Her time is currently ranked 18th in the state.
The 4x400 relay of Dom Evans, Bonds, Fisher and Brooks placed fifth with a time of 4:21. They are currently ranked eighth in state.
Junior newcomer Katie Gastrau ran a PR time of 1:06.55 in the 400 dash, and Wood, a freshman, set a PR in the 55 hurdles (10.07).
Jordyn Summerfield had a great lead leg in the 4x800, lowering her 800 PR split time to 2:35, and senior Rebekah Pryzbyl set a PR in the shot put with a throw of 29 feet, 11.5 inches.
The Red Raiders won the Whitefish Bay Invite on March 18, scoring 67 points to beat out Whitefish Bay (45) and Franklin (40).
Event winners were Andrea Mabie in the 800 (2:38.44), Summerfield in the 1,600 (5:53.28), Blackburn in the 55 hurdles (9.43), the 1,600 relay (Janet Fee, Mabie, Aidan Schertz, Gastrau) in 4:43.90 and Blackburn in the high jump (5-0).
'It was a great effort all-around,' Gardiner said. 'Many younger runners got an opportunity to compete, and early returns are good. Brooklyn had another great showing. Her 5-0 high jump is a very outstanding jump at this point in the season, in addition to her time in the 55 hurdles.
'Brooklyn has been a very pleasant surprise. Mabie continues to impress, with her win in the 800. Jordyn Summefield lowered her PR in the 1,600, winning the 1,600m. Janet Fee also lowered her indoor PR in a second-place finish time of 5:55.'
Gardiner is happy with what he has seen in the first week.
'I am very happy with the progress so far from the team across the board,' he said. 'The event areas have really stepped up, and the distance runners have put out some great efforts this early in the season.'
The girls also won the New Berlin Invite on March 16.
Mabie won the 1,600 in a time of 5:58, and Fisher was second in 6:01
The 4x100 lap relay of Brooks, Bonds, Olivia Metz, and Trinity Mayes placed first, and the 4x800 team of Fee, Malia Bavuso, Yvette Danisewicz and Ingrid Muelemans came in second.
Blackburn had an outstanding debut, breaking a 20-year-old freshman school record in the 55 low hurdles. Her time was 8.8 seconds, beating the time of 9.3 by Bri Jury in 1995.
Freshman Addison Devine also set a freshman indoor school in the pole vault with 6 feet, 6 inches.