East Troy High School senior Rachel Bottum brought home the WIAA Division 2 State Title in the 400 meter dash last week. (Bob Mischka photo)

By Dan Truttschel

Correspondent

The East Troy senior duo of Henry Chapman and Rachel Bottum certainly know how to make an exit.

In their final high school track meets, Chapman and Bottum left La Crosse on Saturday with three Division 2 state titles between them to punctuate a pair of stellar careers.

“Both Rachel and Henry are athletes that work hard every day,” coach Laurie Crandall said. “Through all the ups and downs, the unpleasant lingering winter weather, they just kept training with their goals in mind. Winning state is always special, but to end the season with three state champions is exceptional.”

Chapman won the 1,600 (4:16.95) and the 3,200 (9:37.26), while Bottum was first in the 400 (57.15).

As a junior, Chapman was second in the 3,200 (9:22.28) and eighth in the 1,600 (4:26.77).

Chapman also was 12th at state in the 800 (2:00.58).

East Troy High School’s Henry Chapman adds two state titles to his resume, with first-place finishes in both the 1,600 and 3,200 meter runs at the WIAA Division 2 State Meet last week. (Bob Mischka photo)

“Henry works incredibly hard. Running is something he’s gifted in and also very passionate about,” Crandall said. “We were very confident in Henry’s ability to go after both races.

“I think the keys to pulling it off successfully were staying on top of his recovery, rest, and his mindfulness. It was also very important for him to put in the time in the off season to prepare which he was very committed to doing.”

East Troy’s other entrant, senior Nate Fox, was third in the 1,600 (4:21.48).

“Nate Fox ran his career best mile on the day it mattered most,” Crandall said. “We talked strategy leading up to the race and he ran a very smart race. The top three finishers in the mile were all from the Rock Valley Conference. Nate used his knowledge and experience from racing Chapman and Pahnke to help pull him to a great third-place finish.

As a team, East Troy tallied 26 points to finish sixth overall. Freedom won the team title with 48.5 points, followed by Rice Lake with 47 and Peshtigo with 34.

Girls

Bottum, who was third last year in the 400 (58.51), added a second-place effort in the 800 (2:16.3) to go with her state title.

“Rachel not only won the 400, but she also set a new school record in that race,” Crandall said. “Both of these have been goals for Rachel throughout high school. She’s overcome several injuries and setbacks the past four years. To see all her hard work and dedication pay off on such a big stage was amazing.”

The girls 3,200-meter relay team of Morgan Bartlett, Ella Rondeau, Christina Nolting and Bottum was third in 9:32.64.

“This girls 4×800 relay has been running together at state for three years, Crandall said. “They took third this year, second last year, and were the state champions in 2017.

“To run at state for three years and podium every year is a great accomplishment. It’s been a great journey for this group of girls and I know they’ve inspired others to work hard to be part of it in the years to come.”

East Troy was seventh in the team standings with 24 points. Wisconsin Lutheran won the state team title with 49 points, followed by Freedom with 42.5 and Lodi with 30.

Crandall said the track teams will feel the loss of its senior stars next year.

“This group of seniors leaves behind a legacy of commitment and dedication,” she said. “They are a group that has put their hearts, souls, and many miles into East Troy track and field. They have been great mentors to our younger athletes and that is a legacy that will live on for years to come.”

 
 

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