State-bound Vikings excited for opportunity

We are a day away from State track and field. Let’s preview what Holmen High is sending to UWL this weekend.

They’ll four athletes Saturday for Division 1 action, including discus thrower Rayna Baumgarn. Her state qualifying literally came down to her final throw. Her freshman teammate Jayda Roden jumped past her into the final qualifying spot, so Rayna went up and cleared her teammate by half an inch to take that last spot.

“When she hit it I was like oh boy, now I have to try a little more,” Baumgarn said. “But I think I just wanted to have a positive attitude. If I don’t make it, I don’t make it.”

Kaden Banks will be throwing discus and shot put. For Banks, this state meet has been a long time coming. Junior year of course was canceled, but he also tore his hip off the bone the first meet of his sophomore year.

Banks comes into State among not just the top throwers in the state, but the entire nation. In his sectional he went up against Wisconsin Football recruit Jackson Acker, who has the fourth best discus throw in the country, and Jake Schaefer, who’s 20th in the nation. He took second among them in discus and third in the shot put at sectionals, and is excited for a rematch at State.

“The goal’s always to win,” he said. “I just want to do my best, PR, and leave with a smile on my face.”

Joining them will be two other first-time qualifiers, Tanner Groshek in the 800 run, and Kellen Lomas in the pole vault.

Groshek’s coaches say he’s been peaking at the right time, and Lomas has at various times not had a pole vault coach this season, so he’s been teaching himself.

Hard work’s gotten them to this point, and they’re excited for the final meet.

“I’ve been thinking about it since freshman year,” Groshek said. “Finally making it has been a dream come true.”

“I just want to give a big thanks to all the teammates,” said Lomas. “I thought this year we had a really good mentality as a team. Everybody was really dedicated to what they were doing.”