Junior Jacob Marker, senior Garrett Olson, senior Brandon Knick and senior Ethan King etched their names into Bradford boys track and field lore Friday.

Competing in the Division-1 3,200-meter relay at the WIAA State Track and Field Meet at UW-La Crosse’s Veterans Memorial Stadium, the quartet had a remarkable race, landing on the podium with a second-place finish and narrowly missing a state title.

Coming off a sectional title, Marker, Olson, Knick and King posted a time of 7 minutes, 51.18 seconds at state to place second.

“That was phenomenal,” Bradford coach Mark Aslakson said.

Was he surprised, given that the group had won a sectional title?

“Mildly surprised, that’s all I can say,” Aslakson said.

Bradford was competing in the second heat, the same as Middleton’s Michael Madoch, Zach Leffel, Braedon Gilles and Caleb Easton, who edged the Red Devils for the state title with a time of 7:48.65.

The teams in the first heat all ran fast times, so those in the second heat knew they had to be ready.

“We knew the first heat was fast,” Aslakson said. “The kids were watching the times of the heat in front of them and saying, ‘Oh boy, they’re running fast. We have to run faster.’”

They did just that, as all four of Bradford’s runners set personal bests in their splits.

Olson (1:59.96) and Knick (1:59.93) started things and kept the Red Devils near the front.

“Those two guys kept us in the race,” Aslakson said.

Marker then pulled Bradford into fourth place with a 1:57.19 split, and King blistered the anchor leg in 1:54.4.

“That’s unbelievable,” Aslakson said of King. “That’s the reason we got there.”

In the process, the quartet shattered the school record of 7:55.85 in the 3,200 relay, set in 2012. They claimed Bradford’s 10th second-place finish in the boys state meet — the first since Mason Waynes was second in the 400 dash in 2012 — and also had the Red Devils’ top relay finish ever.

“We’re very happy,” Aslakson said.

King also had a strong performance in the 400 dash preliminaries, finishing second in the third heat and fourth overall in 49.36 to advance to

today’s finals. It’s his third straight state appearance in the 400 dash but the first time he’s advanced out of preliminaries.

King probably could’ve also competed in the 100 and/or 200 dashes but chose to run a pair of relays instead.

“That says a lot about somebody,” Aslakson said. “You sacrifice a little bit of your own glory to help your teammates get some of it.”

Wauwatosa East junior Chase Roberts, running in the first heat, had the top 400 dash preliminary time of 48.73.

Indian Trail senior Jaylen Grant also punched his ticket to today’s finals in the 100 dash.

He placed second in the third heat and sixth overall in 10.91. Grant also advanced to last year’s finals and finished ninth.

Milwaukee Washington senior Elijah Johnson posted a 10.71 in the third heat for the fastest preliminary time in the 100 dash. Johnson was the top seed in the event coming out of sectionals.

Grant will also be part of today’s finals in the 800 relay, as he joined junior Devin Rose, senior Ethan Krueger and sophomore Kameron Lee in posting a time of 1:28.08 in preliminaries, which won the first heat and was second overall.

Only Muskego’s Spencer Reichart, Mason Buehler, RJ Bosshart and Alex Current, running in the third heat, had a better preliminary time (1:27.39).

Rose, Grant, Krueger and Lee also competed Friday in the 400 relay but placed 13th (42.96) and did not qualify for today’s finals.

Also competing for Indian Trail on Friday was junior Trey Meier, who finished 26th in the 3,200 (10:05.15).

Mequon Homestead senior Drew Bosley won the 3,200 with a state-record time of 8:57.7. It was his second consecutive state title in the 3,200, and he’ll go for a repeat title in the 1,600 today.

Indian Trail senior James Vandun, meanwhile, finished 23rd in the 300 hurdles preliminaries (42.55) and did not advance to today’s finals.

Tremper and Bradford each had a 1,600 relay team in Friday’s preliminaries, but neither got through to today’s finals.

The Trojans’ team of junior Anton Baines, senior Tamarius Harvey, senior Gable Schmidt and sophomore Tyler Santi finished 21st (3:29.11), while the Red Devils’ quartet of senior Franco Covelli, Marker, Olson and King placed 23rd (3:35.95).

In addition to those who moved onto finals, competing in today’s Division-1 boys field will be Bradford senior Jake Lampe in the shot put, as well as Tremper’s Schmidt and Wilmot senior Alex Wank in the 800.

Division-2

Shoreland Lutheran’s 3,200 relay team of junior Johnny Innamorato, junior Drew Schneider, junior Richard Schaefer and senior Caleb Lash placed 14th with a time of 8:26.92.

Wisconsin Lutheran’s Noah Hurley, Vicente Janik, Noah Ricke and Jared Denk won the state title in 7:59.74.

Division-3

St. Joseph junior Braedon Peterson had a terrific day in the 400 dash, winning the first heat and finishing second overall in preliminaries with a personal-best time of 49.98 to cruise into today’s finals.

Only Wild Rose sophomore Ashton Schwartzman, the defending state champion in the event, was faster than Peterson, posting a time of 49.14 in the second heat.

“Braedon ran a great tactical race today,” St. Joseph coach Jon Furreness said. “We saw him come out of the blocks with more confidence than at any time in his career. Then he was able to settle into his race plan and still finish without going to the well.

“If Braedon can execute in the finals like he did today and then still get into his last gear on the home stretch, he could have himself a really fun day.”

Christian Life junior Micah Anderson, meanwhile, missed out on the podium by just one spot, as he ran his best time of the year to place seventh in the 3,200 in 10:01.04.

Rosholt senior Adam Rzentkowski won the state title in 9:37.4.

Also competing Friday was the St. Joseph 1,600 relay squad of senior Chris Catunao, senior Bryan Leconte, junior Israel Mondragon and junior Val Iaquinta. They placed 16th in preliminaries (3:37.94) and did not qualify for today’s finals.

Along with Peterson, also competing in the Division-3 boys field today will be Christian Life junior Elijah Fairbanks in the triple jump.

Mike Johnson

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