Great genes. Great coaching. Great attitude. Great goals.
“If goals aren’t crazy, they aren’t big enough,” Baraboo senior Josie Schaefer told WISC-TV in 2014.
At that time, the interview was a result of Schaefer breaking the Baraboo High School discus record with a toss of 142 feet, 7 inches. And then came a bigger goal, and a bigger one than that, and a bigger one yet.
Earlier this month, Schaefer ended her high school track and field career as Wisconsin’s queen of the throwing events. She earned a repeat championship in the Division 1 discus throw — though she was disappointed that tailwind conditions limited her best throw to 163-8. The throw was well below the state-meet record of 169-10 that she topped during the regular season (171-0) and blew away with a toss of 176-3 in the summer of 2016 at the AAU Under-20 Nationals in Clovis, California.
On top of that, Schaefer improved on last year’s fourth-place finish in the shot put, winning the event with a personal-best throw of 47-8.
As a double champion and repeat champ, Schaefer — a proud University of Wisconsin recruit — has been named the 2017 Wisconsin State Journal/WisconsinPrepZone.com All-Area girls track and field athlete of the year.
The double victory was the result of years of devotion, hard work and interest in the family business. After all, Josie’s father, Dan Schaefer, won the WIAA Division 1 discus title for Baraboo in 1985 with a toss of 165-9 — considerably shorter than the marks recorded by his daughter three decades later.
“My Dad and I, every night, we practice,” Schaefer said. She said that has been a tradition since she was in the fifth grade, when Dan saw Josie pull some discus out of the garage and throw them around the yard and stepped in with some no-pressure instruction.
“He has watched every single YouTube video. He has spent so much time analyzing all the throwers out there — from high school to Olympic level — trying to see what they do, and pick apart what he likes and thinks will work for me.”
After drawing the notice of area media in her freshman year, Schaefer did nothing but improve. She is a four-time WIAA sectional, regional and Badger North Conference champion, and has competed at the national and international level (she took fifth at the IAAF World Under-18 Championships in Cali, Colombia, in 2015).
Schaefer also played four years of varsity volleyball at Baraboo and returned for her third year of basketball after taking her junior year off. She signed with the University of Wisconsin and spent the spring fine-tuning her speed, balance and flexibility to get ready for Big Ten competition.
“She’s a kid who lives for a team,” Baraboo girls track coach Annie Hinkhouse said. “She really is such a selfless athlete.”
Also considered for the award were Monroe senior hurdler and jumper Jordan Hirsbrunner, also a double champion (Division 2 100- and 300-meter hurdles) and UW recruit; Janesville Craig junior distance runner Peyton Sippy; Oregon junior hurdler Alexis Jackson and Stoughton senior middle distance standout Alyson Weum.
Coach of the year: Veteran Beloit Memorial coach Bob Shaver has built a strong stable of hurdlers and jumpers and sharpened their skills against the tough competition in the Big Eight Conference. The fine-tuning reached its apex at the WIAA Division 1 state meet, when the Purple Knights took fifth as a team — after finishing seventh in the Big Eight Conference meet — and crowned an individual champion.
As a result, Shaver has been named All-Area girls track and field coach of the year for 2017.
Purple Knights senior Eva Laun-Smith won the state triple jump title, popping a throw of 39 feet, 10½ inches that was only 5½ inches short of the state-meet record. She also took seventh in the 100 hurdles. Senior teammate Yolonda Johnson was second and junior Adela Diaz finished second and third in the 300 hurdles (:44.00 and :44.31, respectively).
100: Ali Dorn, so., Monona Grove. Took third at WIAA Division 1 state (:12.44) and ran a season-best of :12.15 that ranked third statewide.
200: Sie’Anna Mitchell, sr., Verona. Finished seventh at Division 1 state (:25.59).
400: Alyson Weum, sr., Stoughton. A strong all-around performer, Weum finished fifth at Division 1 state (:56.19).
800: Hannah Constable, fr., Johnson Creek. Won the Division 3 state championship with the area's best state-meet time of the year, 2:15.64.
1,600: Peyton Sippy, jr., Janesville Craig. Finished fourth at Division 1 state (5:01.89) and had a season-best time of 5:00.11 that ranked fourth statewide.
3,200: Peyton Sippy, jr., Janesville Craig. Earned Division 1 state runner-up honors (10:55.81) with a season-best time that ranked third in the state overall.
100 hurdles: Alexis Jackson, jr., Oregon. Battling an injury, the 2016 state champ finished third at Division 1 state (:14.97) with a time well below her regular-season best of :14.45.
300 hurdles: Jordan Hirsbrunner, sr., Monroe. Won Division 2 state (:44.20) after earlier earning the title in the 100 hurdles. Her season-best of :43.77 ranked second in the state for the year, regardless of division.
400 relay: Edgerton (Marguerite, Lawrence, sr.; Ashlyn Oren, jr.; Kathleen Reilly, sr.; Nikkia Johnson, jr.). Finished second at Division 2 state (:49.06) after running a regular-season best of :48.69 that ranked fourth in the state for the year, regardless of division.
800 relay: Oregon (Olivia Marsden, fr.; Danica Keisling, sr.; Alexis Jackson, jr.; Scarlet Egwuonwu, so.). Finished second at Division 1 state (1:41.08) with a performance that ranked second-best statewide for the season.
1,600 relay: Monona Grove (Ellie Trulson, sr.; Carson Weber, sr.; Payton Jenks-Recker, so.; Ali Dorn, so.). Took third at Division 1 state (3:54.46) with a performance that was the third-best recorded in the state all season.
3,200 relay: Madison Edgewood (Estella Moschkau, sr.; Kelly Rodriguez, jr.; Maeve O’Driscoll, fr., Caitlyn Link, jr.). Finished second at Division 2 state (9:30.77).
Pole vault: Natalie Pfann, sr., Sun Prairie. Finished eighth at Division 1 state (11-6).
High jump: Jordan Hirsbrunner, sr., Monroe. The Division 2 champ in both hurdles races also finished third in the high jump (5-5).
Long jump: Kiara Lee, so., Madison La Follette. Took fourth at Division 1 state (18-7 ¾).
Triple jump: Eva Laun-Smith, sr., Beloit Memorial. Won Division 1 state (39-10½) with a performance that ranked second-best in the state for the year.
Shot put: Josie Schaefer, sr., Baraboo. Won Division 1 state (47-8) with her best performance of the season, ranking second statewide for the year.
Discus: Josie Schaefer, sr., Baraboo. Won Division 1 state (163-8) and had a regular-season best of 171-0 that led the state.
100: Scarlet Egwuonwu, so., Oregon (eighth at D1 state, :12.62).
200: Scarlet Egwuonwu, so., Oregon (ninth at D1 state, :25.59).
400: Brooklyn Schyvinck, jr., Reedsburg (seventh at D1 state, :57.30).
800: Kaitlyn Galgon, sr., Waunakee (sixth at D1 state, 2:16.10).
1,600: Maddie Thompson, so., Sun Prairie (eighth at D1 state, 5:05.88).
3,200: Trista Pringle, sr., Sun Prairie (fourth at D1 state, 11:00.93).
100 hurdles: Jordan Hirsbrunner, sr., Monroe (D2 state champion, :15.28).
300 hurdles: Yolonda Johnson, sr., Beloit Memorial (second at D1 state, :44.00).
400 relay: Monroe, Josie Eberle, sr.; Cassi Gersbach, fr.; Casey Rielly, sr.; Cammi Ganshert, so. (fifth at D2 state, :49.84).
800 relay: Middleton, Tai Pritts, so.; Alyssa Leminrande, sr.; Jennifer McGinnis, jr.; Hadley Braaten, so. (ninth at D1 state, 1:44.14).
1,600 relay: Lodi (MacKenzie Heyroth, so.; Hannah Busser, so.; Alex Armbrust, jr.; Rhianna Walzer, so. (sixth at D2 state, 4:03.32).
3,200 relay: Sun Prairie (Michaela Nelson, so.; Hannah Ray, fr., Katie Rose Blachowicz, jr.; Maddie Thompson, so. (sixth at D1 state, 9:37.23).
Pole vault: Danielle Schilling, sr., Lakeside Lutheran (fourth at D2 state, 11-0).
High jump: Sydney Staver, sr., Dodgeville/Mineral Point (10th at D2 state, 5-2).
Long jump: Ashlyn Oren, jr., Edgerton (second at D2 state, 18-0¾).
Triple jump: Kiara Lee, so., Madison La Follette (second at D1 state, 37-11¼).
Shot put: Julia Hartwig, so., Janesville Parker (fourth at D1 state, 41-3½).
Discus: Emily Stendel, jr., Jefferson (D2 state champion, 147-11).
100: Ashlyn Oren, jr., Edgerton; Cammi Ganshert, so., Monroe.
200: Brooklyn Schyvinck, jr., Reedsburg; Rhianna Walzer, so., Lodi.
400: Rhianna Walzer, so., Lodi; Hannah Constable, fr., Johnson Creek.
800: Caitlyn Link, jr., Madison Edgewood.
1,600: Trista Pringle, sr., Sun Prairie; Mariah Linse, so., Jefferson; Noelle Maire, sr., Belleville/New Glarus.
3,200: Katie Rose Blachowicz, jr., Sun Prairie; Autumn Dushack, fr., Sun Prairie; Laura Beghin, fr., Wisconsin Dells; Noelle Maire, sr., Belleville/New Glarus; Ella Weaver, fr., McFarland.
100 hurdles: Eva Laun-Smith, sr., Beloit Memorial; Krista Diaz, sr., Belleville/New Glarus; Emily Hottinger, jr., Jefferson.
300 hurdles: Adela Diaz, jr., Beloit Memorial; Alexis Jackson, jr., Oregon; Madelyn LaBrode, jr., Mount Horeb.
400 relay: Madison La Follette (Tyra Turner, jr.; Montana Cruz, jr.; Kaytlin Eder, so.; Seleata, McDonald, sr.); Baraboo (Kaylee Mueller, sr.; Jamie Runnels, so.; Hannah Crowe, sr.; Emily Kieck, sr.).
800 relay: Jefferson (Audry Wright, jr.; Parker Fetherston, jr.; Emily Becker, jr.; Emily Hottinger, jr.); Dodgeville/Mineral Point (Jaynie Gorgen, sr.; Sydney Staver, sr.; Madison Stumpf, jr.; Jalissa Weier, sr.).
1,600 relay: Madison Edgewood (Kaitlyn Barth, so.; Kelly Rodriguez, jr.; Maeve O’Driscoll, fr.; Caitlyn Link, jr.).
3,200 relay: Madison Memorial (Sydney Peterson, jr.; Corra Griffin, jr.; Mary Kate Anderson, sr.; Caroline Bergman, sr.); Wisconsin Dells (Laura Beghin, fr.; Lindsay Cunningham, fr.; Taylor Campbell, jr.; Monica Jaled, sr.); Deerfield (Maren Jensen, jr.; Jessica Jacobs, sr.; Ashley Jacobs, so.; Reece Matheson, sr.).
Pole vault: Madeline Pflasterer-Jennerjohn, sr., Middleton.
High jump: Morgan Briggs, sr., Portage; Katie Chesebro, so., Milton; Sophee Mink, so., DeForest; Aubrey Tesch, sr., Fort Atkinson.
Long jump: Tyra Turner, jr., Madison La Follette; Alexis Jackson, jr., Oregon; Sydney Staver, sr., Dodgeville/Mineral Point.
Triple jump: Mikayla Brouette, sr., Pardeeville; Mya Lonnebotn, sr., Stoughton; Amber Rowoldt, jr., Lakeside Lutheran; Sitori Tanin, fr., Middleton; Leilani Kapinus, fr., Madison Memorial.
Shot put: Emily Stendel, jr., Jefferson; D1-7, Alex Dynes, sr., Columbus.
Discus: Kelsey Judge, sr., Baraboo.