Beyond the Game: Riverside High School 1600 meter relay team

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

MILWAUKEE (WITI) -- It has nothing to do with lumber, but there is a 2x4 relay team on a Wisconsin girls track team that is playing pretty hard to catch!

The girls who comprise the 1600 meter relay team at Riverside High School have a lot in common. First of all, they can fly -- having set a record at state last year. Secondly, they are unified in seeking to improve their time this year.

"We're trying to work hard and beat our title right now, and set a new record," Helen Thames said.

The lead-off runner in the record books is Angel Malone. Number two is Helen Thames. Number three: Valerie Thames, and the anchor runner is Crystal Malone.

"It was real exciting. As soon as I seen my sister go past the line, I looked at the time and the time was the record, so we was jumping around and stuff -- happy and stuff. Almost cried!" Angel Malone said.

They have good numbers for track at Riverside High School, but a group, even in this mass, stands out. The 1600 state champion relay team. The 1600 state record relay team. The sister/sister relay team.

"That's the best part about it. I love being with my sister because I know her strengths and weaknesses, so I know exactly what to say to motivate her. Then with Crystal and Angel, we've been together since my freshman year, and I've known Angel since before she came to Riverside, so we're all like a big family," Valerie Thames said.

"It's actually cool. I actually love it because I knew my sister had the potential because we've been running ever since we were little. I just wanted her to get that spotlight just like me. I wanted everybody to know that she has talent just like me," Crystal Malone said.

Crystal Malone is sifting through college choices. Valerie Thames has committed to Southern University in Louisiana. The younger sisters are only sophomores, but there is no doubt this group is trying to make sure it takes its shot at the brass ring this time around.

The Riverside girls are not strictly relay-oriented. Crystal Malone is the defending state champion in the 400 meters, while Valerie Thames finished third at the state meet in the 300 meter hurdles.