Boys Track & Field - History

Boys Track & Field History

The first state high school track & field meet was held in Wisconsin in 1895 at UW's Camp Randall Stadium on June 8, 1895.

Track & Field was conducted in a single class of competition until 1920 when it was split into large (A) and small (B) schools. Another division, Class C, was added in 1927. The three classes have remained through the years, although the enrollment cutoffs between them have changed and terminology was revised in 1991 from classes to divisions (1-2-3).

Until 1958 (except in 1936), the State Meet was held at Camp Randall Stadium. The 1936 meet was held in Milwaukee. With the renovation of Camp Randall, the meet could not return to that site. For a period of years, it was divided into separate events at three different sites. One year, 1963, all three classes were together at Monona Grove. The same site also had all three classes from 1967 to 1971. The meet moved to Mansfield Stadium in Madison in 1972, and at that same site in 1976, became a boys and girls meet. It remained in Madison until 1990 when it moved to La Crosse.

Manual timing was utilized at the State Meet through 1978, and the meet went to Fully Automated Timing (FAT) in 1979.

Milwaukee Riverside (then called East) was the early dominant team in boys track & field. Riverside had won 11 championships by 1922 and all of its 16 titles came by 1938. Whitefish Bay, however, has the most championships with 18, and 16 of them came in succession from 1937-52, all in Class B. Kohler has won 16 titles, all of them in Class C during the years from 1946-79. Milwaukee Washington and Milwaukee South have won nine titles, Madison West eight, Arcadia and Milwaukee West seven, and Horicon and Port Washington five.

Milwaukee South has the distinction as having won the most events in meet history with 99. Whitefish Bay is next with 97, followed by Milwaukee West with 92 and Milwaukee East with 90. Milwaukee Washington is a distant fifth with 65. Others with 50 or more event championships include Madison West with 58, Kohler with 56 and Port Washington with 53.

Only five boys have ever won State championships in the same event four years in a row. David Greenwood of Park Falls won the high jump from 1976-79, and Paul Annear of Richland Center won the same event from 2005-08. Kevin Bledsoe of Milwaukee South was a member of the winning 400 relay team four years (1984-87) as was Josh Dickerson of D.C. Everest (1993-96), and Greg Bracey of Milwaukee Vincent equaled that feat in the same event from 2000-03.

Justin Austin of Brown Deer holds the record for the most titles with nine. He won the 100 and 200 dashes in 2006-08 and was a member of the 800 relay in 2005 and the 400 relay in 2006 and 2008. Paul Annear of Richland Center and Darrell Jansen of Kimberly won eight titles during their careers. Annear won the high jump from 2005-08, the long and triple jumps in 2007-08. Jansen won the 120 high hurdles and 180 low hurdles in 1958-60 and also the high jump in 1959-60. A. Meyer of Milwaukee South, Graff of Milwaukee Riverside, John De Merit of Port Washington and Kenneth Bednarek of Rice Lake are next with seven. Meyer won the 100 in 1906-08 and the 220 and high jump in 1906-07. Graff won the javelin in 1920-22 and also the discus and shot in 1921-22. De Merit was a member of the 880 relay in 1952-54 and he won the 200 and broad jump in 1953-54. Bednarek won the Division 2 100 dash in 2018, and the 200 and 400 dashes from 2016-18.

Alvin Kraenzlein of Milwaukee East is the only athlete to win five events in the same State meet, capturing titles in the 100 dash, 120 and 220 hurdles, broad jump and the shot put at the 1895 State Meet. Andrew Rock of Stratford is the only other boy to win four individual events in one State Meet in 2000, as he captured the 100-meter high hurdles, 300 intermediate hurdles, the 200 dash and the long jump.

In the boys' wheelchair competition, Joe Schubert of Marquette won both the 100 and 400 dashes four times (2014-17). Schubert won 10 wheelchair events during his career, including the 100 and 400 dashes from 2014-17 and the 800 meter race in 2016-17.

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