What has been the staple for the Mercer track team all year came through once again at the sectional meet in Colfax on Thursday.

Three members of the team will head to the state track meet in Madison. Shot put for defending state champion Sydney Thompson - who will also compete in discus - Tyler Bianga for shot put and Aubrey Schoeneman for shot put.

Thompson topped the shot put with a throw of 43 feet, 3 inches, seven feet past Kayle Faldet of Osseo-Fairchild in second place.

"Sydney threw over 43 feet to stay at the top of the rankings in D3 shot put," head coach Bob Schenk said.

Thompson also won the discus with a distance of 132-3, more than 15 feet past Faldet, again in second.

Aubrey Schoeneman also qualified for the state meet in the shot put, finishing in third with her distance of 36-2 1/2.

"Aubrey came through on her last shot put to qualify for state as a freshman, only half an inch behind second place," Schenk said. "Aubrey also made the finals in the discus, but didn't qualify for state."

Schoeneman's throw of 101-3 in discus put her in eighth.

Bailey Thompson made the finals of the shot put, coming in eighth overall with her throw of 32-2.

The only athlete to qualify on the boys' side for the Tigers was Tyler Bianga, who finished in second in the shot put with a throw of 48-2. John Chenal of Grantsburg took first with a throw of 49-6 3/4.

Bianga also reached the finals of the discus, coming in seventh with 127-10.

Rebecca Spagnuolo nearly qualified for the state meet in the high jump, missing by one inch with her height of 4-10 to finish in fifth place. The top three finishers qualified for the state meet, which takes place Friday and Saturday at UW-La Crosse.

"Rebecca tied her best high jump after suffering a painful thigh injury at regionals, but missed by one inch of qualifying for state," Schenk said.

Spagnuolo also competed in the triple jump, finishing in 16th with 29 feet, 3 and a quarter inches.

On the track, Caitlyn Hiller reached the finals in both hurdle events. Hiller finished seventh in the 100 hurdles (18.66 seconds) and eighth in the 300 hurdles (53.09 seconds).

"Caitlyn made the finals in the 100 and 300 hurdles despite the fact she has probably ran a full flight of hurdles only six times this year," Schenk said.

Both of Mercer's relays were unable to qualify. The 4x100 relay took 15th with 58.16 seconds, while the 4x200 took 14th with 2:05.11.

"Both girls relays did well and had best times of the year despite a new lineup," Schenk said.

While most of the team's season ended, Schenk said it was still a positive day all around.

"It was a really good day and a very long day," he said. "Overall, the girls finished 4th out of 35 teams to undoubtedly finish higher than any Mercer team in memory has done."

Ben Gauger may be reached via email at bgauger@lakelandtimes.com.