by Ken Brown
ST. JOHNSBURY – The Hazen Union track and field team finished up a strong season at the St. Johnsbury Last Chance Meet earlier in the week and capped it off with several personal records at the Division IV state championships in Manchester at Knapp Field.
Lisa Velten had a pair of impressive runner-up finishes on Tuesday at St. Johnsbury Academy in the 300m hurdles and high jump events. Erica Thaler of Lake Region and Hannah Badertscher took home the individual titles. Velten capped off a strong day with her best throw of the season in the shot put, good enough for sixth place behind event winner Sophia Hayes of Oxbow. Ella Considine set a personal record in the 800m event, finishing ninth behind Beatrice Lake of Randolph. Lila Meyer placed ninth in the 200m and teammate Lily Castle set a personal record in the same event, with Maia Pasco of U-32 besting the field. Meyer also ran her best time of the season in the 100m event. On the boys’ side, Bruce Fortmann posted a seventh place finish in the 200m, with Fintan Letzelter of Lake Region and Luke Page of U-32 sharing the title. Fellow senior teammate Colton Courtemanche also posted a pair of personal bests for the Wildcats in the discus and javelin field events.
On Friday, the Hazen girls’ team posted a respectable eighth place finish in the Division IV state championships. Sophomore Cassandra Royer led the way for the Wildcats with runner-up finish in the 3000m and a fourth place finish in the 1500m event. White River Valley’s Anita Miller took home both state titles in each event. Royer capped off her impressive day with a strong fifth place finish in the 800m behind state title winner Anika Leahy of Craftsbury Academy. Fellow sophomore Lisa Velten also had a strong first State Meet for Hazen, finishing third in the 100m hurdles with a personal record and a fourth place finish in the javelin. Grace Tyrrell of Green Mountain Union and Isabel Lanfear of White River took home individual state title honors. Velten finished up her day with another strong fifth place finish in the 300m hurdles, with Tyrrell taking home her second title of the day. Velten, Lila Meyer, Ella Considine, and Castle also had a strong finish in their first ever state relay event in the 4X100m.
On the boys’ side senior Bruce Fortmann ran his best time of the season in the 200m, placing eleventh behind state title winner Jaxson Nichols of Sharon Academy. Colton Courtemanche, Gabe Aubuchon, and Jasper Reagan also posted personal bests on the day for the Wildcats in their first State Meet.
Head coach Kathy Fortmann is building a formidable program at Hazen Union in Division IV in her fifth season and will return several talented underclassmen next season.