MONROE — Stoughton senior Sam McHone endured a knee injury during football season that required meniscus surgery in October — a circumstance that left him worried about how he would perform during the spring track and field season.
“Honestly, I was pretty negative during those months that ‘I’m going to be so slow and it’s going to be a bad senior season (in track),’ ” McHone said. “Not until indoor season did I think that this could be a good year. Now we are finally getting some good weather, good meets and good competition. Each week we have time to get better and better, so I’m excited.”
On Tuesday night, McHone set a conference record in the 100-meter dash and also won the 200 and long jump at the Badger South Conference meet at T.R. Holyoke Field.
He finished the 100 in 10.84 seconds, breaking the meet mark of :11.10 established last year by Stoughton’s Jordan DiBenedetto. Monroe’s Jordan Montgomery (:11.14) was second.
“I felt pretty good about it,” McHone said. “I felt my start was good. That’s what I’ve been working on. I drove through the acceleration and drive phase and stayed smooth. I’m happy with it.”
DiBenedetto returned just recently from a torn anterior cruciate knee ligament sustained during football season and competed in the 100 finals, but injured his left hamstring during the race.
McHone later won the 200 in :22.25, with Montgomery again second. McHone claimed the long jump with a leap of 21 feet, 9¾ inches.
Monona Grove defended its boys title with 160 points. Monroe was second (122) and Oregon third (119).
Monona Grove senior Carter Aquilera won the discus with a throw of 160 feet, 2 inches, while teammate Michael Williams-Davis was second (144 feet). Williams-Davis, a junior, later won the shot put with a toss of 54-10 on his last attempt, topping runner-up Brett Wannebo (53-3¼) of Oregon.
“I had to come through the last two throws,” Williams-Davis said after defending his meet title. “(Wannebo) really did put up a good fight. I wanted to do something for the team. … It’s not about me. It’s about helping the team.”
Williams-Davis said he wants to improve his technique as he looks toward the postseason, where he hopes to reach the podium at the WIAA Division 1 state meet this year after placing 11th last year.
The Silver Eagles’ 3,200 relay opened the boys meet with a victory, finishing in 8 minutes, 24.79 seconds. Included among other top Monona Grove finishes: senior Anthony Ellis-Krehl (high jump winner, 6-2) and junior Leo Curatola (pole vault winner, 12-6).
Oregon senior Kardelle Phillips won the 300 hurdles (:41.29) and triple jump (44-4¼). Watertown senior Ben Schmied took firsts in the 400 (:51.02) and 800 (2:01.57).
In the girls meet, Oregon scored 147 points to win and end Stoughton’s seven-year reign as conference meet champion. Watertown was second (106) and Monona Grove third (101).
Oregon senior Alexis Jackson, in her first meet in four weeks since pulling a quadriceps muscle, set a meet record in the long jump. She leaped 18-7 in the preliminaries and then scratched out of the finals. The previous meet record (18-3¼) was held by MG’s Gabby Beauvais since 2014.
University of Wisconsin commit Jackson also won the 100 hurdles (:14.77) and 300 hurdles (:45.58). She placed second in the 200 behind MG junior Ali Dorn, who set a meet record of :24.73. The old mark was :24.96 (Beauvais, 2014).
“I want to score as many points as possible and it looks pretty good,” Jackson said. “I will run the best I can and see what happens. I think we have a pretty good chance (to win the team title). That’s the goal.”
Jackson had a breakout WIAA Division 1 state meet performance as a sophomore, winning the 100 hurdles and 300 hurdles and being part of Oregon’s victorious 800 relay. But she was hampered last year by a knee injury that she reinjured at state and didn’t come home with any gold medals.
“I don’t have as much of an injury as last year; I feel way better than I did last year,” she said. “I hope to get my state titles back this year after last year. I want to make it big.”
In addition to winning the 200, Dorn defended her title in the 100 (:12.16). She finished just ahead of runner-up Scarlet Egwuonwu (:12.50) of Oregon.
Egwuonwu, a junior, was the 400 winner (:59.92), while Madison Edgewood senior Caitlin Link defended her 800 title (2:22.31). Watertown senior Alyssa Rivest won the discus (125-8) and shot put (40-3½).
MG opened the meet with a win in the 3,200 relay (9:56.53).