Athlete of the Week: Maddy Pietz

Senior dominates start of track season

Contributed Photo Wittenberg-Birnamwood High School senior Maddy Pietz finished first in the 55-meter dash in 7.35 seconds at the Wausau West Warrior Invitational on Thursday. Pietz’s relay team also earned first place in the 4x400 and four-lap relays.

Athlete: Maddy Pietz

Sport: Track

Events: 100-meter dash, 200, 400, 4x400 relay and long jump

School: Wittenberg-Birnamwood High School

Year: Senior

Maddy Pietz is showcasing a dominating start to her final track season for the Chargers with six first-place individual and four first-place relay finishes over three meets. Most recently, Pietz earned first place in the 55-meter dash with a time of 7.35 seconds and second in the long jump at 17 feet, 6 inches at the Wausau West Warrior Invitational on Thursday. Pietz’s relay team also finished first in both the 4x400 and four-lap relays. Pietz, a state champion and four-year track participant, will be continuing her track career at Winona State University in Minnesota next year.

Q Where did your interest in track begin?

A Sixth grade. I wasn’t really sure where I’d fit in in a sport like track. I remember my mom telling me to be a distance runner, but I always knew I wanted to sprint. I ran my first meet that year and fell in love with the sport.

Q What’s your favorite part about the sport?

A I love that I am always improving. Sometimes I feel like I’ve ran my fastest time in an event, but then the next race I can go out and run even faster than before. In a sport like track, you can always defy your expectations of yourself.

Q How does it feel starting the season out with first place finishes, both individual and relay?

A It feels great to start out this year on a high note. I feel like I’m picking up right where I left off last season as I continue to improve.

Q What have you done in the offseason, along with your underclassman years, to establish yourself as a key contributor this year?

A My offseason has consisted of two other sports. Cross-country and basketball help to keep me in shape when it’s not track season. During the summer, I workout and lift during the week. I have also gone to track camp at UW-Madison the last two summers to improve my skills.

Q What are your goals for your final season?

A From an individual standpoint, it’s my goal to repeat as the state champion in the 400 dash. I also have my eye on the state record in the 400 and think I have a shot at breaking it. From a team standpoint, it would be amazing to repeat as team state champions, and I think we can do it again.

Q Do you have a favorite memory of Witt-Birn track?

A I have many, but my favorite one is winning the state championship as a team last year. We were brought back into town late at night led by fire trucks. It’s the highlight of my high school career.

Q What athlete do you look up to and why?

A Cathy Easker. She ran cross-country and track for UW-Madison and she now coaches for us. I really look up to her because I know she is a hard worker and she is very knowledgeable about the sport.

Q Do you have any pre-meet rituals?

A I warm up the same way before every meet, otherwise I don’t really have any superstitions.

Q What’s your favorite thing to do in your free time?

A I really enjoy reading when I have time. I also like watching Netflix and playing with my dog. I like hunting and fishing as well.

Q Do you have a favorite quote or verse?

A “It’s never too early for ice cream.” — Michael Scott (The Office)