Payton Draeger, left, and Anna Erickson, second from left, clear the hurdles during the 100-meter hurdles.
Payton Draeger, left, and Anna Erickson, second from left, clear the hurdles during the 100-meter hurdles.

   The Ripon High School track and field teams didn’t just compete against three other teams Tuesday at the Winneconne Quadrangular.

   They battled themselves.

   Ripon broke up its regular relay teams in several events, pitting two of its teams against one another to vie for varsity points.

   It also let several other athletes experiment in events they normally wouldn’t compete in to see what they could do.

   “When we go to an invite, we want to make sure that we’re competing; we’re trying to win the trophy, a plaque or get the kids medals,” Ripon head coach Chris Gatzke said. “And when you don’t have that in a quad, you can experiment and try things because then you can really see what happens.”

   Despite experimenting at the meet, the Tiger boys still managed to finish second out of the four schools. The girls, meanwhile, place third out of four.

   Berlin won the boys’ title by 17 points over Ripon, while Winneconne claimed the girls’ crown as it defeated Berlin by five points. Campbellsport was the other team in attendance.

   Ripon’s experiments were evident from the first race as it split its top-four runners who normally make up the 3,200-meter relay into two teams.

   Riley Gatzke and Noah Borgardt teamed up with Jacob Rondorf and Jarrod Long, while Max Beuthin and Daniel Mader ran with Charlie Rondorf and Brandon Plummer.

   The two teams finished in first and third place, respectively.

Read the full story, which includes more results, in the April 20, 2017 edition of the Ripon Commonwealth Press.