At long last, CMH captures elusive gold!

Originally posted by The Waukesha Freeman…

LA CROSSE — Eddie Jones burst onto the scene in La Crosse as a freshman, looking poised for a memorable high school career.

He helped Catholic Memorial finish fifth in the Division 2 boys standings at the WIAA State Track and Field Championships in 2021, winning bronze in the 200-meter dash and running on the Crusaders’ third-place 4×200 relay.

But injuries then reared their ugly head for Jones, who was unable to compete on the final day of the state meet each of the last two years. Suddenly a senior, Jones had one last shot at winning gold on Saturday at Veterans Memorial Field Complex.

And gold, he would win — getting to do so with his younger brother, in the process.

It was freshman Eemir Jones receiving the handoff from his older sibling and bringing home the 4×100 relay for the Crusaders, who finished with a winning time of 42.76 seconds.

“It feels amazing because I’ve been through a lot these last four years,” Eddie Jones said.

There’s no questioning that considering the promise Jones showed right out of the gate. Eemir had a front-row seat to his brother’s tribulations, so it wasn’t lost on him how important it was to hold on down the front stretch.

“When I crossed the finish line I immediately thought about all of the

seniors and them being here, haven’t been able to get gold, but I did it for them,” Eemir Jones said. “That’s what my mentality was. Being a freshman in front of all these people, I just looked to my brothers.”

One of those seniors, Josh Oechsner, ran the second leg after getting the baton from one of his defensive backfield teammates in football, junior Marvanous Butler-Brown, and handing it off to another.

“I’ve been playing with my safety buddy, Marv, right here. Eddie at corner. It’s a sad thing to have to move on from, but it was great to go out on top,” said an emotional Oechsner.

Butler-Brown, a four-time medalist at state, had never finished better than third before Saturday. He helped CMH run the fastest qualifying time in the 4×100 (42.67) on Friday by one tenth of a second.

“After we saw we had the No. 1 seed, now it was just straight-up don’t take your foot off the gas,” Butler-Brown said.

They didn’t, this time finishing two-tenths of a second ahead of runner-up Osceola.

“We haven’t won a gold in a minute, so to finally win one feels good,” Butler-Brown said. “A lot of people thought since we didn’t have the same team (as last year) we wouldn’t make it here. But one, we made it, and not only did we make it, we won the gold. I’m proud of my boys.

“We’re going to celebrate and cherish it.”

Butler-Brown also won bronze in the open 100 with a time of 11.08 seconds. On the girls’ side, junior Analena Peterson was a two-time medalist. She ran the fastest preliminary time in the 200 dash but settled for third in the finals (24.94). Peterson was also fifth in the 100 dash (12.47).