WIAA state track and field: After missing last year’s postseason for commercial fishing in Alaska, BRF’s Blake Williams takes second in D2 discus | Preps
In the final Coulee Conference meet last season, Blake Williams started to find state qualifying distance in the discus, which should have given him some positive momentum heading into the postseason.
But there was just one problem for the Black River Falls thrower.
“By that time, I had already scheduled my flights for Alaska,” Williams said.
“So, I’m a commercial salmon fisherman, and I do fishing and hunting guiding up on Kodiak Island,” he said.
The senior called it a “dream job,” but he made sure to push his flights back a bit this year in case this season proved fruitful.
That decision paid off Friday at the WIAA Division 2 state track and field meet at the Veterans Memorial Field Sports Complex, where Williams finished second in the discus with a throw of 160 feet, 11 inches.
Little Chute senior Gavin Fritsch retained his title in the event with a toss of 169-2. Logan senior Martell Owens finished eighth at 144-1.
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“It feels pretty good,” Williams said of the finish. “I mean, I was pretty excited when I hit the 160 mark. And then the other guy went out and threw 169, which — I mean — it’s a good throw and he worked hard for it, so I congratulated him. I was happy for him. I wasn’t super butthurt because at the beginning of the year, I didn’t think I would make it to state.”
Williams’ first throw is typically his best, and that remained true on Friday. He held the top mark in the event until Fritsch’s fourth throw, while Williams scratched on his fourth. Williams’ final two throws came in at 155-7 and 156-10, a performance he was pleased with despite not earning the title.
“I was constantly in the 150s. I didn’t have anything below that,” he said. “So, I mean, I hit my peak today, and I had to roll with it.”
And with his track and field season wrapped up, Williams now turns his attention to Alaska.
He got the opportunity last year with some help from connections through his grandparents and received an offer to return this summer. After how enjoyable it was last year, he didn’t turn it down.
“I would like to do it every year, just because, I mean, it’s a fun way to make money — going fishing,” Williams said. “I can’t complain about that.”
The first leg of his flight leaves Minneapolis at 7 a.m. Sunday for Seattle. From there, he’ll go to Anchorage and then Kodiak.
“And then, from Kodiak, I have to take a floatplane down to where we actually fish,” he said.
And for Williams, it’s a great way to follow up a second-place finish at state.