Record breaking week for multiple Pierce County track and field athletes

By Joe Peine
Posted 5/8/24

Elmwood-Plum City freshman Aurora Sampair set a new Wolves school record in discus at the Boyceville Invitational at the end of April with a 104’8” throw, but she says this is just the …

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Record breaking week for multiple Pierce County track and field athletes


Elmwood-Plum City freshman Aurora Sampair set a new Wolves school record in discus at the Boyceville Invitational at the end of April with a 104’8” throw, but she says this is just the beginning of her goals in track and field.

The previous discus record was set in 2009 at 102’2”, so for her to come in as a freshman and break a record that has stood for 15 years says something about the trajectory of an athlete in a program. Another indicator is the fact that she was the only freshman even in the top 10 at the event in Boyceville, taking second overall.

Sampair says she has high aspirations for what she hopes to achieve, but it doesn’t happen overnight; it is a journey that takes years.

“I did it in middle school for three years. When I started, I was throwing in the 60’s,” Sampair said. "There are senior girls that are throwing over 130. I mean, they’ve done it for four more years, but I think I can get there. Going to state would also be fun.”

While discus distance isn’t 100% a feat of strength, there is a lot of weight training that goes into it. That said, she’s a three-sport athlete in volleyball, basketball and track and field, so she’s constantly training her body to perform.

“I work out every day after study hall, but I have to juggle it between sports. So like, in the offseason, I’m hitting the weight room every day. Then in season, it’s whenever the team does it, so like two or three times a week,” Sampair said.

Each track and field athlete can only compete in a maximum of three events, and Sampair has whittled hers down to pole vaulting, long jump and discus – although the last two are her best.

Head Coach Amanda Webb loves what she’s seen from the freshman so early in her career.

“She is having a great year. She works hard and always wants to practice to be better,” Webb said. “I am excited to watch her continue to grow and improve over the next few years.”

Spring Valley

Abby Biggs set two school records simultaneously, becoming the Cardinals’ first ever female pole vaulter and set the bar in the process, so to speak.

A senior, Biggs has wanted to pole vault since her freshman year, although Spring Valley doesn’t have a coaching staff or existing program of which she can be a part. She has been encouraged by Head Coach Sean Hoolihan consistently to find a way to do it since her freshman year, and then, just two weeks ago, she got in touch with a coach over at Elmwood who got her started.

“I just thought it’d be fun. I was a gymnast for a long time, so going upside down and all that doesn’t bother me at all,” Biggs said. “My first day of training was Monday, and the first time I’ve ever gone over a bar was today.”

That’s right, after just three days of training, Biggs blazed a new trail for Spring Valley’s track and field program, becoming their first pole vaulter and setting the inaugural record in her first attempt, sailing over at a height of 7 feet.

Biggs says that the first thing you start with is learning your steps, and then it’s how to hold the pole, which as a rule should be heavier than you are. Beginners do a three-step run up, which is actually six steps total because you only count your left foot.

“I actually practiced on Wednesday to try to get my steps when we went to Glenwood for practice, and I was informed today that the first ones are supposed to be long and then you're supposed to get short as you get closer,” Biggs said. “It's like a process. That's why I started with three steps because the process of putting the pole down starts at three steps, so I'm very much a beginner.”

With so much experience in various events and athletics, this type of quick acclimation when adapting to a new event is natural for athletes like Biggs, who is currently on the short list for best high jump in the section in her first year of competition.

“I started high jump this year. I’ve done discus the last four years, and I do both hurdle events,” Biggs said. “Last I checked, I’m fifth in the section in high jump.”

With so much going on, and so little time before the end of the conference season next week, Biggs still aims to set the bar higher for future vaulters.

“I'm just trying to go as high as I can,” Biggs said. “I kind of want to try to get like 8’6”. I think I could do that.”


Prescott’s Ethan West was part of two teams who broke school records in the past two weeks, a trend that has surrounded the Cardinal junior for a while now.

The relay team of West, Andrew Lesso, Will Packard, and Josh Peterson broke the 4x100 meter record at Baldwin on April 23 with a time of 43.55. The record was previously set last year by West, Packard, Peterson and graduated senior Shane Butler at a time of 43.98.

Before that, it was a record that stood from 1985 by a team who won the state championship and set a state record that year (relay members were Dan Thrun, Tim Ames, Tim Lietha, and Dan Lewis). Their time in 1985 was 44.58.

More recently, the current group of boys also set the 4x200 meter record at Menomonie last week with a time of 1:31.65. This beat the previous record set by the state participating team of Grant Stanton, Josh Peterson, Andrew Lee, and Aiden Russell from 2022 by just .01 seconds. West, Lasso, Packard and Peterson reset this record again on Friday at New Richmond with a time of 1:31.54.

The boys will run their 4x100 meter relay again at St Croix Central on Tuesday with the hopes of shaving more time off ahead of the Middle Border Conference championship, which is coming up next week.

Co-Head Coach Emily Calabrese says they are continuing to work toward their peak performance as they approach conference and regionals/sectionals week in hopes that the boys get a chance to run both relays at the state tournament in La Crosse on May 31-June 1. She says they are in a great place heading into the post season, but nothing is promised, so they will continue to work hard these next few weeks to try to reach their end of season goals.

track and field, EPC Wolves, Spring Valley Cardinals, Prescott Cardinals