TRACK & FIELD: Bangor 4x200 relay team makes early statement at Cashton indoor meet

Bangor quartet sets up season of intrigue after spurning Cashton's surge in 800-meter challenge


When Bangor's Aubrey Langrehr accepted the baton from teammate Marin Gasper to start the third leg of the girls' 800-meter relay on Saturday, there was nothing but open road ahead of the junior sprinter.

That changed in less than 100 meters.

The rival relay from Cashton was about to apply some unexpected pressure from one of their freshmen.

Aubri Schaldach began the third leg of the 4x2 comfortably behind Langrehr. Through the first and second turn on the indoor track at UW–La Crosse, Schaldach closed the gap. Going into the third turn, the Cashton freshman was even, if not narrowly ahead, and seemed poised to change the outcome of the race.

In the end, Bangor managed to stave off defeat. Langrehr retook the advantage in the home stretch and freshman Jaycee Michek exploded ahead on the final trip around the oval, leading by nearly 10 meters after the second turn and winning the race three seconds ahead of the next team.

After the race, Langrehr admitted that she wasn't aware of Schaldach's push in the opening half of their leg of the race.

"Not until I just almost felt her presence and then all of a sudden, I just felt a little nudge and then I just knew I had to kick it in and just really push and get back at it instead of relaxing," Langrehr said. "Knowing she was right behind me I just felt like I had to go, like I need to do my part (for the relay), so I gave it everything I had."

Teammate, and lead runner for Bangor on Saturday, Bliss Knox said she watched as Langrehr's lead dissolved, but held on to the hope her team would finish strong.

"At first I was a little concerned because we had our lead shortened, but after she (Langrehr) got passed and didn't let her (Schaldach) pass I knew we had it because Jaycee (Michek) made the lead even bigger after she got the baton."

Bangor wound up running the race in a time of 1:54.29, which was an improvement over its seed time of 1:56.35 — the fastest seed time coming into Saturday's indoor meet. Brookwood was second with a time of 1:57.34 followed by Luther and then Cashton (1:58.09), who drifted to fourth place.


The duel between Bangor and Cashton in that third leg of the race, however, may just be a microcosm of what's in store for the two teams this season.

Bangor and Cashton each had sent a relay to state last year. The Cardinals qualified in the 400-meter relay while the Eagles made it through in the 800-meter relay. What happened at state, however, were two very different stories.

Bangor's 4x1 group that included Megan Marr, Aubrey Langrehr, Joeryn Freit and Bliss Knox were taken out of contention at the opening gun. Marr left the baton on the ground while coming out of the blocks and had to run back to get it. Knox and Langrehr said the story they heard was that the gun made some sort of weird noise that caused some confusion at the onset of the race.

The faux pas left the foursome dead in the water, finishing with a time of 54.08 — a far cry from their sectional runner-up finish time of 51.24. For Marr and Freit, it was the end of the road, though Langrehr and Knox still have a chance at redemption should they get back to state later this season.

Though there's focus on getting back to state in that event, it should be noted that the Cardinals' 800-meter relay squad nearly punched a ticket to state as well. Less than a second kept the pair from qualifying with Marr and Freit in a second event as Bangor posted a time of 1:49.1 — just behind Kickapoo/La Farge's fourth-place time at sectionals of 1:48.22. The mark of 1:49.1 would have put the foursome in the mix for a chance to run in the final during championship Saturday at state, but that's a dream that will have to stay as motivation for the time being.

Cashton's 4x2 squad — Makayla Gooselaw, Gabby Hyatt, Braylee Hyatt and Adrianna Biever — managed to make some part of their dreams come true after placing fifth at state, finishing the season with a time of 1:46.59. Of the quartet, only Braylee Hyatt — who also won the open 200 — graduated.

That means the level of experience is high for these groups just in terms of proven ability from last year. However, there was even more talent waiting in the wings as Cashton's alternates included Maddie Klinkner and Madison Hansberry — now a junior and senior, respectively — while Bangor's reserves included Grace Wenthold, now a junior.

However, the plentiful coffers for Cashton took a hit when former third runner, Biever suffered an injury earlier this year that will have her out for the entirety of the track season.

That doesn't mean Cashton can't compete with one of the area's best short distance relays. Though the relay rosters will likely rotate at various points in the regular season, the deep stable of sprinters will make any clash between the Eagles and Bangor's group a must-see spectacle for fans and a proving ground for the competitors themselves.

"I think it'll be fun," said Knox about the opportunity to square off against the Cashton sprint corps several times throughout the year and into the postseason. "There's no point in competing against people that are below you so you have to compete with people the same level or better so you can better yourself. So, I think it'll be good for us."

Bangor track & field, Cashton track & field, Bangor Cardinals, Cashton Eagles, Wisconsin track & field


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