2016, what a crazy year it’s been. A lot of political madness, death, and sadness, however you can’t forget about all the wonderful moments that took place. So how about we look back at the 2016 high school state champions.

We begin our tour of 2016 with the first state tournament, swimming. Paul Delakis is his name and winning is his game. As an Eau Claire Alliance junior, the Ohio State commit won two of his six career state titles by winning the 200-yard freestyle and the 100-yard breaststroke.

Next up, individual wrestling. Amery’s Hunter Marko headlined the weekend. Marko became the 14th Wisconsin wrestler to win four consecutive state titles. His teammate Bennett Paulson was also champion at 195 pounds. Menomonie’s Mason Stokke claimed the division 1 title at 220 pounds, his second state championship. Over his last two high school seasons, Stokke compiled a perfect 75-0 record. Ellsworth’s Sam Stuhl won his second consecutive state title. He also helped the Panthers win the division 2 team state championship the very next weekend. In division 3, Boyceville’s Brock Schlough won the state title at 138 pounds, while Spring Valley/Elmwood’s Ethan Hofacker won at 220 pounds. From the Coulee Region, La Crosse Central’s Jaden Van Maanen, West Salem/Bangor’s Devin Bahr, and Sparta’s Hayden Krein all won state championships.

To the ice, the Hayward Co-op’s girls hockey team avenged a 2015 championship loss to the University School by defeating the Wildcats 4-1 in 2016 to win the state title. Just a week after the hockey title, the Hurricanes also took home the division 3 state crown in girls’ basketball as they defeated the Milwaukee School of Languages, 43-31.

Staying on the court, the McDonnell Central boys’ basketball team brought home its first gold ball in 2016, as they were victorious over Burlington Catholic Central, 63-41.

It was also a record setting year on the track. Eau Claire Memorial’s Aubrey Roberts capped off her prep running career with a state championship in the 3200-meter run. She broke a 31-year-old state record by winning in a time of 10 minutes, 13.68 seconds. Rice Lake’s Kenny Bednarek laid his claim as one of, if not the fastest man in the state of Wisconsin. The sophomore took home two titles in 2016, winning the 200-meter dash and setting a state record in the 400-meter dash with a time of 47.42 seconds. In division 1, Hudson’s Maddie Nelson brought home gold in the triple jump, while Eau Claire North’s Brock Holman won his 3rd straight wheelchair shotput title. In division 2, Spooner’s Daniel Pederson and Amery’s Alicia Monson followed up cross country titles with wins in the 3200-meter run, Bloomer’s Kyra Arendt repeated as state champion in the triple jump, and Arcadia had a pair of titlists, Abbey Zastrow winning the 400-meter dash and Jim Hoesley doubling in the 110 and 300 meter hurdles. In division 3, Cadott’s Elizabeth Kyes and Melrose-Mindoro’s Dominik Umnell swept the 800-meter runs, Pepin-Alma’s Caiden Haake won the discus, and Bangor’s Kellen Kravik leapt his way to gold in the pole vault.

It was a banner year on the golf course for Spring Valley’s Tyler Leach. In his sophomore campaign, Leach took home the division 3 state title, shooting a combined score of 146.

On the diamond, the Thorp softball team capped off an incredible season by claiming the division 4 state title down in Madison.

Over at the Ridges Golf Course in Wisconsin Rapids, G-E-T’s Dana Feyen improved upon a runner-up finish at the 2015 state cross country meet by cruising to a division 2 championship. And last, but certainly not least, state football.

Eau Claire Regis capped off a perfect 2016 season by defeating Darlington 27-14 in the division 6 state championship game. While in division 4, St. Croix Central knocked off River Valley 49-28. With that, we say so long to the year 2016, and get ready for what hopes to be a fantastic 2017.