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View from the cheap seats

View from the cheap seats View from the cheap seats

A weekly perspective on sports

It amazes me when I realize my Marathon High School Class of 1996 members already have children competing in varsity high school sports. Maybe I just can’t believe I’m already old enough to witness this happening.

Jackie Radtke, who graduated both high school with me in 1997 and technical college with me in 1997, approached me for the first time in 22 years at the WIAA Division 3 sectional awards ceremony by the Erbach Park shelter in Athens. Her maiden name is Lang, and she grew up on a dairy farm located on CTH N in the town of Cassel.

I discovered from Jackie her daughter, Kayla Radtke, is a sophomore runner on the Marathon girls cross country team that has qualified for the state championships this Saturday for the first time in school history. Kayla finished as the Red Raiders girl’s pivotal No. 5 runner at the Athens sectional, which is significant because the top five cross country runners earn points for their teams in the standings.

Besides high school, Jackie and I also graduated with one-year technical degrees in welding in 1997 from Northcentral Technical College (NTC) in Wausau. It was at NTC that I also met my good friend, Tom McMeeken of Stratford, who studied machine tool and die and then worked at Greenheck Fan Corporation in Schofield before he unfortunately passed away. Please don’t ask me to perform any welding now, though, as it’s been several years since I’ve laid a perfect bead of weld to attach to pieces of metal.

It’s always interesting to talk with EJ Otto, who is both the Marathon boys and girls head cross country coach and the boys track and field coach, following meets. I love how passionate Otto is during my interviews with him about his athletes. It was also neat to hear Craig Prihoda, who also attended high school with me but he graduated a few years ahead of me, tell me at the sectional awards ceremony it was touching for him to read my subhead “Prihoda siblings lead Red Raiders.”

Craig told me the same headline appeared in the newspaper when he and his younger brother, Jay Prihoda, were playing on the same Marathon High School sports team in high school. Of course Marathon didn’t have a cross-country running program at that time; I believe the cross-country program began a few years after I graduated high school.

It’s also cool to see how influential the other area cross country coaches like Dennis Webb of Edgar, Korey Rottscheit of Athens and Kevin “Tiny” Michalski of Stratford are on their student athletes’ success. I witnessed Michalski show good sportsmanship by shaking Otto’s hand, in order to congratulate him on his Marathon boy and girl teams qualifying for state. People should ask Michalski about the neat tshirt he received from his runners.

Casey Krautkramer Reporter The Record-Review