Four Gillett athletes headed back to state track & field meet

Oconto Falls’ Albrecht, Suring’s Stegeman will also compete

Oconto Falls’ Kari Albrecht runs the 100-meter hurdles at the Division 2 Oconto Falls Regional on May 20. Albrecht will compete at the state meet in the event. (Times Herald photo by Morgan Rode)

Gillett’s Derek Hanson competes in the 1,600-meter run at the Suring Invite on April 23. Hanson is one of four Gillett athletes that will compete at state. (Times Herald photo by Morgan Rode)

The Gillett High School track and field team will be well-represented at the 2019 State Track and Field Championships at Veterans Memorial Stadium in La Crosse this Friday and Saturday.

Junior Bo Krueger (discus) will join sophomores Derek Hanson (1,600-meter run), Aubrey DeBauch (300 hurdles) and Sylvia Hansen (1,600, 3,200) at state. Each athlete will be making their second straight appearances at state, qualifying in the same events as last year.

Oconto Falls and Suring will each have one athlete participating at state. Junior Kari Albrecht will represent the Panthers, running the 100 hurdles. Senior Mitchell Stegeman will compete in three events for the Eagles — the pole vault, 300 hurdles and high jump.

Stegeman will be making his third trip to state. He’s qualified for pole vault in each of those years.

As a sophomore, Stegeman took 12th in pole vault before tying for fifth last year. This year, he owns to top seed height of 14 feet, 6 inches.

“Being top seed gives me extra confidence, but I know that everyone will bring their best so I’m just going to focus on my own vaulting and let the chips fall as they may,” Stegeman said.

Stegeman will compete in the 300 hurdles at state for second straight year — he came in 12th in the prelims last year. This will mark the first year Stegeman competes in the high jump at state after earning a spot as an extra qualifier.

Krueger came in 14th in the discus at last year’s state meet. He’s hoping that experience will help him improve his finish at this year’s meet.

“My goal is to get at least top six and improve my distance a little bit,” Krueger said. “I learned from last year that I need to calm down and not get so nervous that a lot of people are watching.”

Krueger enters state as the eighth seed after a throw of 139 feet, 5 inches at sectionals.

Hanson also hopes his state experience last year can help him improve his finish this time around.

He finished 16th in the mile as a freshman, but enters this year’s meet as the seventh seed after finishing third at sectionals with a time of 4:35.25.

“Last year’s state appearance didn’t go as I hoped, but I’m confident it helped me learn and shake off the first-time nerves,” Hanson said. “I’m hoping for a much better shot at a great race this year.”

Hansen put her name on everyone’s radar after a pair of top-five state finishes as a freshman. She came in second in the mile, and fifth in the two-mile.

Hansen enters the state meet with the fourth-best time in the 1,600 (5:18.35) and 10th-best mark in the 3,200 (11:49.96).

“With the field being competitive this year, my goals this year are to go into this weekend confident and end with strong podium finishes,” Hansen said. “I also want to work for personal records in both my events.”

DeBauch posted a seventh-place finish in the 300 hurdles as a freshman. She enters state with a seed time of 47.48, the fourth-fastest of the 18 qualifiers.

Albrecht is the only local state qualifier who doesn’t have state experience. She plans to lean on her friends and family for support on the sports biggest stage.

“Going to state is such a great honor, especially with this being my second year in track ever,” Albrecht said. “I never thought in high school that I would be able to go to state so it’s a great feeling.”

Albrecht heads into the state meet with a seed time of 16.05.

For a full list of state qualifiers, heat sheets and an order of events, visit