Middleton’s Lauren Pansegrau’s love for running might be surpassed only by her passion for competition.
That made her excited to be back in competitive situations in cross country for the WIAA’s alternate fall season in the spring and then the traditional spring season featuring track and field.
She was particularly eager for track and field season, which was canceled in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
After her record-setting performance in winning the WIAA alternate fall season’s girls cross country meet in Janesville, the junior carried her training immediately into the track season and continued performing at a high level in the distance events.
Despite on-and-off rainstorms that drenched the competitors at the WIAA Division 1 state track and field meet in June at UW-La Crosse, Pansegrau delivered in a difficult double.
In a highly anticipated duel with Onalaska’s Kora Malecek, a University of Illinois commit, Pansegrau claimed the 3,200-meter run in 10 minutes, 21.6 seconds — ahead of runner-up Malecek (10:29.33).
Pansegrau’s victory followed her second-place showing in the 1,600 (4:58.90).
“I was just excited to race,” she said. “Cross country had started so late and track started so late, but it helped me stay focused. It had been so long, too, since we had track (2019). It was really fun to be back.”
For her efforts, Pansegrau was selected as the Wisconsin State Journal 2021 All-Area Girls Track and Field Athlete of the Year.
“She is very reserved,” said Alexa Richardson, who coaches Pansegrau in cross country and track and field. “You’d never know she was a national-level distance runner unless you saw her times, because she is a very down-to-earth person and doesn’t talk about herself — which I also think makes her stand out.”
Others considered included DeForest sophomore Anna Szepieniec (WIAA Division 1 300 hurdles state champion), Waunakee sophomore Kyla Saleh (Division 1 high jump champion), Deerfield sophomore Steffi Siewert (Division 3 100 champion) and Lake Mills senior Kayla Will (Division 2 shot put champion).
Coach of the year
Jennifer Grabarski was selected as the coach of the year after Waunakee won the Madison Memorial sectional title in a rain- and lightning- delayed meet and then to a fifth-place finish with 32 points at the Division 1 state meet.
Waunakee had the top finish among area teams at the Division 1 state meet.
Also considered was Madison Edgewood coach Jeff Gifford. The Crusaders tied for fourth in the Division 2 meet with 25 points. Freedom was the champion.
WISCONSIN STATE JOURNAL
100 meters – Steffi Siewert, so., Deerfield. 200 – Madeline Hogan, so., Monona Grove. 400 – Sarah Bova, sr., Waunakee. 800 – Rylee Coleman, jr., Janesville Craig. 1,600 – Lauren Pansegrau, jr., Middleton. 3,200 – Lauren Pansegrau, jr., Middleton. 100 hurdles – Madeline Hogan, so., Monona Grove. 300 hurdles – Anna Szepieniec, so., DeForest. 400 relay – Madison Edgewood. 800 relay – Madison Edgewood. 1,600 relay – Waunakee. 3,200 relay – Middleton. High jump – Kyla Saleh, so., Waunakee. Pole vault – Charlotte Sweet, sr., Madison Memorial. Long jump – Molly Kahl, sr., Columbus. Triple jump – Anna Szepieniec, so., DeForest. Shot put – Kayla Will, sr., Lake Mills. Discus – Kylee Doherty, jr., Wisconsin Heights/Barneveld.
100 — Lily Strong, so., Lodi. 200 — Abigail Groleau, jr., Stoughton. 400 — Chloe Larsen, sr., Waunakee. 800 — McKenzie Gruner, jr., Baraboo. 1,600 — Dani Thompson, sr., Sun Prairie. 3,200 — Dani Thompson, sr., Sun Prairie. 100 hurdles – Ana Ashworth, jr., Madison Memorial. 300 hurdles — Mya Andrews, sr., Marshall, and Brooke Crosby, sr., Sun Prairie. 400 relay — Waunakee. 800 relay – Mount Horeb. 1,600 relay – Middleton. 3,200 relay – Sun Prairie. High jump — Megan Reddeman, sr., Poynette. Pole vault — Zoe Jenks-Recker, sr., Monona Grove. Long jump — Ruby Sandeman, sr., Sauk Prairie. Triple jump – Molly Kahl, sr., Columbus. Shot put — Evelyn Walker, sr., Madison La Follette. Discus – Evelyn Walker, sr., Madison La Follette.
100 — Summer Grigg, fr., Waunakee; Abigail Groleau, jr., Stoughton; Joy Bailey, jr., Verona; Adyn Theriault, jr., Fort Atkinson; Lilly Wepking, fr., Verona; Joelle Browne, sr., Madison Edgewood. 200 — Morgan Cross, jr., Sun Prairie; Sykora Stanek, so., Reedsburg; Kenzie Nickels, sr., Middleton; Lauryn Milne, sr., Lodi; Lily Strong, so., Lodi; Steffi Siewert, so., Deerfield. 400 — Madeline Hogan, so., Monona Grove; Lauren Haas, sr., Fort Atkinson; Bre Lambert, jr., Monroe; McKenzie Kruse, so., River Valley; Mya Hemling, jr., Lakeside Lutheran. 800 — Jada Zorn, jr., Fort Atkinson; Peighton Nelson, sr., Monona Grove; Ellie Backus, fr., Watertown Luther Prep; Mara Brown, fr., Cambridge. 1,600 — Natalie Rhodes, sr., Madison Memorial; Mara Talabac, jr., Milton; Emma Gilbertsen, sr., Watertown; Katelyn Chadwick, sr., Poynette; Paige Krahn, fr., Lakeside Lutheran; Ella Whinney, jr., Madison Country Day. 3,200 — Zaira Malloy-Salgado, so., Middleton; Reagan Zimmerman, jr., Sun Prairie; Mara Talabac, jr., Milton; Katelyn Chadwick, sr., Poynette; Jesse Salimes, so., Edgerton. 100 hurdles — Brooke Crosby, sr., Sun Prairie; Anna Szepieniec, so., DeForest; Mya Andrews, sr., Marshall; Amber Grosse, jr., Madison Edgewood. 300 hurdles — Kiara Malloy-Salgado, sr., Middleton; Stacy Kipkoskei, fr., DeForest; Amber Grosse, jr., Madison Edgewood; Elaine Clark, jr., Mount Horeb. 400 relay — Stoughton; Madison Memorial; Verona; Janesville Parker. 800 relay — Sun Prairie; Madison Memorial; DeForest; Watertown. 1,600 relay — DeForest; Oregon; Fort Atkinson; Stoughton; Lodi; Lake Mills; Columbus. 3,200 relay — Waunakee; Oregon; Beaver Dam; Lake Mills; Mount Horeb; Columbus. High jump — Leah Burchardt, so., Beaver Dam; Hailey Campbell, so., Reedsburg; McKenzie Gruner, jr., Baraboo; Samantha Cook, fr., Waunakee; Maddie Reott, so., Stoughton. Pole vault — Carleen Snow, sr., DeForest; Audrey Seefeld, fr., Sun Prairie; Amber Schoville, sr., Janesville Parker; Emma Messerschmidt, sr., Watertown; Samantha Pili, sr., McFarland; Megan Reddeman, sr., Poynette. Long jump — Sarah Bova, sr., Waunakee; Kyla Saleh, so., Waunakee; Jeniyah Everson, so., Janesville Parker; Abigail Toepfer, jr., Lake Mills; Brooke Mosher, sr., Waterloo. Triple jump — Ruby Sandeman, sr., Sauk Prairie; Annie Tangeman, jr., Stoughton; Chloe Larsen, sr., Waunakee; Lauryn Milne, sr., Lodi; Brooke Mosher, sr. Waterloo. Shot put — Bree Wannebo, jr., Oregon; Riley Quinn, jr., Watertown; Kobi Davis, sr., Middleton; Madilyn Vander Sanden, so., Middleton; Morgan Hahn, sr., DeForest; Ella Puls, jr., Lodi. Discus — Riley Quinn, jr., Watertown; Miranda Manghera, jr., DeForest; Jesse Alderman, jr., Janesville Craig; Kobi Davis, sr., Middleton.