Rhinelander sophomore Rebecca Lawrence was the lone female for the Hodags to advance to the 2019 Division 2 WIAA State Track meet at UW- La Crosse and would tie for second overall as a special qualifier in the girls’ high jump.
It was a roller coaster ride on her journey to state after Lawrence missed the top-four at sectionals in Mosinee which were automatic berths to state. There was confusion with the tie-breaking criteria and she was originally told she took fourth and would advance but found out that was not the case after another coach challenged the outcome.
She did not find out until the next day when the WIAA released the qualifiers that she made it as as special qualifier for having one of the top eight best heights in Division 2 sectionals state-wide with a personal-best of 5'2".
Lawrence made the most out of her second opportunity at state and would clear her first three heights (4-10, 5-0, 5-2) to land in a three-way tie for the state tie with senior Maddy Weisensel (Wautoma) and junior Nicole Johnson (Dodgeville). All three jumpers cleared 5'2" and would have a jump-off for the title.
Out of the 17 girls' high jumpers, 12 of them advanced when the bar moved to 5'4". All missed at that height and also missed 5'3" and would all clear 5'2" again. Johnson cleared 5'2" on her second attempt to win while Lawrence and Weisensel did not clear the same height on their second attempts and would tie for runner-up.
Lawrence as a sophomore tied her personal best height but will keep pushing and will look to break the school record set by Taylor Wissbroeker at 5'4" as well as seek the state title. The Division 2 girls' state record was set in 2007 at 5'9".