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Wednesday

September 2014

17

Track and field

Seidel leaves a trail

ULS standout Seidel closes out brilliant career with two more titles

Despite a little heartbreak, University Lake School's Molly Seidel closed out her brilliant high school running career last Friday and Saturday by capturing two more state championships at the WIAA state track and field meet at Veteran's Memorial Field at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse.

However, her career didn't exactly end the way she had hoped.

After winning the 3,200-meter run in Division 3 with a new state record time of 10:21.93 on Friday, Seidel came back and won the 1,600 on Saturday with a clocking of 4:54.81. But in that race, about 100 meters into the third lap of the four-lap race, she felt a twinge in her right foot. She battled through that pain for the final 500 meters to win the race by 10seconds over talented Breanna Colbenson of Spring Valley.

Seidel was scheduled to run her final high school race five events later in the 800. But after completing the 1,600, an on-site track doctor told Seidel she most likely had suffered a stress fracture. That injury forced her out of the 800.

"It's obviously not the way I wanted my career to end," the ULS senior said. "I was really looking forward to the 800. It was a new race to me. I was excited about the challenge. It was disappointing, but the state meet once again was such a great experience for me. I'll never forget everything that's happened. I feel so blessed to have had this wonderful opportunity. I've had a fantastic time in both cross country and track."

Seidel left the state meet using crutches and a walking boot. She said she was hoping to get an MRI on Monday.

"I'll try and get in for the MRI as soon as I can," Seidel said. "It hurt a lot after the mile. I knew something wasn't right. Hopefully everything will work out."

Still, Seidel emerged from the meet with her fourth consecutive state titles in the other two races, making her just the second girls track and field athlete to win two events all four years. Throw in four cross country titles, and Seidel reeled in a remarkable 12 golds in her four-year career. The 2012 meet marked the first time she had qualified in the 800.

Just a sophomore, sister Isabel Seidel also grabbed two outstanding finishes on Saturday, taking fourth in the 1,600 (5:11.58) and sixth in the 800 (2:20.82).

"I'm so proud of my sister for doing so well yesterday," Molly said. "We wanted to run together in the 800, but she did a great job without me. She's an outstanding runner."

In the team scoring, ULS finished tied for fourth place with Shell Lake with a school-record 28 points. Molly got a rousing ovation from the fans in the bleachers on Friday as she approached the finish line in the 3,200, defeating Colbenson by 40 seconds. Her time in that race is the ninth-fastest in the country this year. It was her seventh state track title and 11th state title in cross country and track.

On Saturday, Seidel was cruising in the lead when she heard a noise in her foot, and still she won the race by 10 seconds over Colbenson. The future runner at Notre Dame leaves as the most decorated track competitor in Lake Country high school history.

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