Once again Lisa Foss and her Brookfield East Spartans girls track and field team had a wonderful season.
East's girls finished first at the Greater Metro outdoor and relays and finished second at indoor. They won the WIAA Regional and placed third at the WIAA Sectional. They were a WIAA State team runnerup for Division 1.
But it wasn't easy.
'It was a tight finish to get there,' she said. 'We knew that going into the mile relay Arrowhead could only take second or less, and Waukesha West (the No. 1 seed going into finals) had to take fourth or less. We knew that it would be a challenge for these things to happen, but were hopeful.
'During the final 200 meters of the race, the stars aligned, and we were able to hold that second place spot by half a point. That half a point that was earned earlier in the meet by high jumper Eleni Tongas, who tied for fifth in high jump. It was an exciting finish.'
Losing led to winning
Losing the GMC Indoor was actually a blessing in disguise for the Spartans.
'There is something to be said for how an individual and a team respond in the face of adversity,' Foss said. 'This season we were hit by a curveball, taking second at the indoor conference meet. This was a humbling moment for our team, and it reminded us that we are not invincible. We regrouped and set our focus on the next conference meet. There was no doubt in their minds that we were going to fight to earn that top spot in the conference back, and that is exactly what they did.'
Several Spartans received honors for their outstanding seasons. Team Awards went to MVP and GMC Athlete of the Year Allie Bullen, who won the awards for the second year in a row. The Newcomer of the Year Award went to Suzie Swietlik, and the Most Spirited Award went to Bella Auger. The Character Matters Award was earned by Sierra Fischer for the second year in a row.
The following athletes were named All Conference, having finished in first place at the outdoor conference meet: Rachel Werking (mile), Allie Bullen (100 high hurdles) and Eleni Tongas (high jump).
Graduating seniors are Auger, Bullen, Fischer, Gabi Alioto, Kendall Barlow, Ellen Bruhn, Jalyn Byrd, Elena Faye, Bridget Haessly, Ashlea Kielar, Emma Larson, Katie Linhart, Timasia Mack, Sara Manjee, Madi McDonald, Bella Moreno, Elizabeth Noel, Molly Perkins, Angela Schmidt, Rachel Werking and Sarah Werking.
'This senior group is resilient and strong,' Foss said. 'We will miss the family and success they have helped create.