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May 27—CHIPPEWA FALLS — Chippewa Falls track and field coach Becky Nette knew she was getting a good athlete in Brooklyn Sandvig. Her middle school numbers were strong, but there was expected ambiguity about her potential early success after Sandvig’s freshman spring was wiped out due to COVID-19.

A short preparation time before meet No. 1 this spring didn’t help enlighten her much either.

“Honestly, I had no idea what number she was going to run,” Nette said.

Turns out, Chippewa Falls was waiting to unleash one of the fastest runners in the state.

Sandvig made about as strong a first impression as you could possibly ask for when the Cardinals traveled to Menomonie for their first meet of the season on April 30, setting school records in both the 200- and 400-meter dashes in her inaugural high school meet.

You can include Sandvig among those who were taken aback. Even she didn’t see this coming.

“Definitely not,” Sandvig said. “I was surprised by my first meet and these coming meets, my time getting faster.”

Sandvig said she’s enjoyed running since she was little, a skill honed by an early love of chasing others down. By the time she reached eighth grade, she set a goal for herself — break the Chi-Hi record in the 400.

By finishing in 57 seconds, she bested the Chi-Hi previous mark by over a second. Quickly, it was time to set some new goals.

“I didn’t think I was going to hit it the first meet, but I thought I was going to get at least a minute, somewhere around there,” Sandvig said. “And then once I got it, I was shocked.”

She found out shortly thereafter, alerted to the feat by a teammate who was helping her prepare for the 200.

And then, once again, she rewrote the record book. With a 25.67, she topped the previous Chippewa Falls best in the 200 by two-tenths of the second.

“When she broke the 200 record, I was like, ‘Oh man, she’s the real deal,'” Nette said.

Success in two events is impressive, but that’s far from the whole story with Sandvig. She also won the high jump in Menomonie, won the 100, 200 and 400 at the Cards’ home meet and the 100, 200, 400 and long jump at a meet last Friday in Eau Claire.

“I don’t think we’ve had somebody in our program that can run a 100, 200, 400, long jump, high jump, getting numbers that she’s doing, all in one season,” Nette said. “I don’t think we’ve had a girl in a really long time with just so much diversity and versatility. It’s pretty rare to see something like that. It’s pretty cool that she’s with us.”

Now Sandvig is competing against herself, focusing on simply improving. She showed progress in that regard with her performance at the Memorial-hosted event last Friday, breaking the 400 record once again.

There’s more to accomplish too when it comes to the record book. She’s close to breaking school bests in the 100 and long jump. As just a sophomore, time is on her side.

She says there are clear areas where she still can improve speed-wise, something she’s reminded of by her coaches. She’s working on her starts as well as her arm motions, focusing on a more straight-up approach. Having clear ways to cut down even further on her time is good news considering she’s already competing with the best Wisconsin has to offer.

Sandvig’s personal bests in the 100, 200 and 400 rank in the top five in the state according to Her 56.95 in the 400, set at the Old Abe Invite, is good for second in Wisconsin. Her best time in the 100, a 12.62 also set in Eau Claire, is good for third, and her Menomonie finish in the 200 slots her in fourth.

“It’s definitely scary to think of that,” Sandvig said. “But I try not to focus on that, because it definitely overwhelms me a little bit. I just focus on my own times.”

Such success so early can come with added pressure, of course. But Nette has seen her respond well to the competition, a bar that should only increase as the upcoming postseason moves along. She has no doubt Sandvig will get faster still.

Early on in her career, Sandvig has shown she doesn’t shy away from the moment.

“It’s definitely hard to stay out of your head, just stressing for the next meet to come up,” Sandvig said. “But once you’re on the line, it kind of just all disappears. You’re ready to go.”