State Cross Country Championships Preview

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Monday, October 23, 2017

State Cross Country Championships Preview

THE STATE MEET:  The 105th running of the Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association Boys Cross Country Championships and the 44th Annual Girls Cross Country Championships will take place Saturday, Oct. 28, at The Ridges Golf Course in Wisconsin Rapids, Wis. Ticket price for the meet is $6. 

RACE INFORMATION:  The boys and girls will both run a 5,000-meter course. The following is a listing of the scheduled start times for each race: 

Noon Division 1
12:40 p.m. Division 3
1:20 p.m. Division 2 

2 p.m. Division 1
2:35 p.m. Division 3
3:10 p.m. Division 2

STATE MEET HIGHLIGHT SHOW:  A 30-minute highlight show of both the State Boys and Girls Cross Country Meets will be aired on Spectrum Sports Tuesday, Nov. 14 with the girls program at 8 p.m. and the boys to follow at 8:30 p.m. Spectrum Sports subscribers can check their local cable listings for the channel number in their area.

HOW THEY GOT HERE:  There are 20 teams contending for the State championship in Division 1 for boys and girls, and 16 teams competing for the boys and girls Divisions 2 and 3 team titles. Teams competing for the titles qualified last weekend at their respective sectional meets. The top two teams in each of the 10 Division 1 sectionals and the top two teams from each of the eight Divisions 2 and 3 sectionals advanced. In addition to the qualifying teams, the first five individual finishers at their respective sectionals, who are not a member of a qualifying team, also qualified for the State meet. 

LAST YEAR-BOYS:  Madison West won the team championship in Division 1 last season, finishing with a score of 130. Arrowhead placed second with a score of 137. Finn Gessner of Madison La Follette won individual honors for the second straight season, coving the 5000-meter course in 15:22.13. Lakeland won the Division 2 crown with a score of 105. Valders was runner-up with 112 points. Luke Bailey of Xavier ran to the individual Division 2 title with a time of 15:44.80. Darlington won its sixth straight State Division 3 team championship and its eighth title overall with a score of 68, 17 points ahead of runner-up Aquinas with 85 points. David Vannucchi of Luther won the individual crown with a time of 15:59.33. 

LAST YEAR-GIRLS:  Sun Prairie won the Division 1 girls team title with a five-runner score of 82. Arrowhead finished a distant second with a team total of 162. Meghan Scott of Divine Savior Holy Angels was the individual champion. She covered the 5-kilometer course in 18:10.46. East Troy ran to the team title in Division 2 with a score of 88. Luxemburg-Casco finished second, 20 points back, with a score of 108. Dana Feyen of Gale-Ettrick-Trempealeau was the individual champion with a time of 18:21.48. Darlington claimed the Division 3 team championship with a score of 89, which was four points fewer than runner-up Lourdes Academy with 93. Noelle Maire of Belleville won the individual title with a time of 19:12.79. 

BOYS TEAM NOTES:  This year’s Division 1 field contains teams that comprise 11 of last year’s top 20 finishers. Last season’s champion Madison West returns to the State meet with three runners that ran in last year’s event. Middleton has four returning runners after placing third a year ago. Hudson, which placed fourth, returns five competitors that competed at State  last season. Both South Milwaukee and Monona Grove return six runners that placed sixth and 13th, respectively, last season. Kimberly, Appleton North  and Muskego have five runners returning after finishing 14th, 16th and 19th, respectively. Five of the top 10 teams in Division 2 last year return to challenge for the team title. Lakeland returns four runners that ran to the team championship a year ago. Last year’s runner-up Valders returns five runners that competed in last year’s State meet. Wisconsin Lutheran, which placed third a year ago, has only one returning runner.  Dodgeville/Mineral Point may also contend for the title with five returning runners from a team that placed fifth last year. Cedar Grove-Belgium, Notre Dame, East Troy have four returning runners from the teams that placed 10th, 11th and 12th, respectively, in 2016. Six-time defending Division 3 champion Darlington attempts to make it seven titles in a row. The Redbirds appear to have the experience to contend for another championship. They return six runners that contributed to the team title a year ago. There are five other teams finishing in the top 10 in 2016, returning with hopes of contending for the crown. They are Durand, which also returns six runners after finishing third last season; Living Word Lutheran, with six runners returning from a team that placed fourth; Assumption, which has four runners coming back from a sixth-place standing; Rosholt, which placed seventh in 2016,  which has six returning runners; and Luther, which placed eighth a year ago, has three participants returning to the meet this year. 

BOYS INDIVIDUAL NOTES:  Junior Drew Bosley of Homestead is the top returning individual in Division 1. He was runner-up last year after a seventh-place finish in 2015. Other competitors returning to this year’s field from last season’s top 10 are senior Luke Guttormson of West Bend West, who placed seventh; senior Jordan Janusiak of South Milwaukee, who was eighth; and junior Rowen Ellenberg of Kimberly, who was ninth. Other possible contenders based on their sectional titles earned last week are seniors Wesley Schiek of Oshkosh North, who was runner-up last year in Division 3 and 10th in 2015 running for Valley Christian; Charlie Ellenbecker of Monona Grove; Ansel Fellman of Kenosha Bradford/Reuther, David Ecker of Eau Claire North; as well as juniors Justin Krause of Pewaukee, Caleb Easton of Middleton and Matt Meinke of Neenah. In Division 2, senior Trevor Wenzel of Valders is the top returning individual after racing to a fourth-place finish last season. Two other runners returning from top-10 finishes last year are seniors Miguel Mathias of Nekoosa/Port Edwards, who placed fifth, and Trey Ulrich of Medford, who was 10th. Other potential contenders for the individual title based on their sectional performances are seniors Tanner Maier of Lodi, Walker Miller and Maury Miller of Ashland, Kavanaugh FitzPatrick of Lakeland, Hayden Fredrickson of Westby and Stephen Lavey of Cedar Grove-Belgium; and juniors Andrew Pahnke of McFarland and Jared Denk of Wisconsin Lutheran. In Division 3, junior David Vannucchi of Luther is the defending champion after placing 13th in 2015. Four other returning runners who finished in the top 10 include junior Payton Heinberg of Darlington, who was third last year and 16th in 2015; junior Adam Rzentkowski of Rosholt, who was fourth a year ago; senior Dan Lau of Eau Claire Immanuel Lutheran, who was seventh last year and in 2015; and senior Garrett Franczek of Hilbert/Stockbridge, who placed ninth in 2016. Other possible challengers for the individual crown after racing to sectional titles last week are junior Alex Mielke of Lake Country Lutheran, sophomores Gunner Schlender of Brillion and Owen Dickenson of Solon Springs/Northwood, and freshman Josh Waller of Oconto.

GIRLS TEAM NOTES:  Six of last year’s top nine teams have qualified in the Division 1 field this year. Defending champion Sun Prairie is back with five of its runners returning from the 2016 title team. Waukesha West also returns five runners to the meet after placing fourth a year ago. Stevens Point returns four runners from the team that finished sixth, as does Divine Savior Holy Angels, which placed seventh last year. Other programs placing in the top 10 a year ago that return this year are Muskego, which placed eighth and Brookfield Central, which was ninth. The Division 2 field features six of the teams finishing in the top 10 last year. Freedom is the top returning team after placing third last season. The Irish have four returning runners in pursuit of the team title this year. Wisconsin Lutheran returns four participants from a team that produced a fourth-place finish a year ago. Wisconsin Dells also has four runners returning from its fifth-place squad last year. The other three top-10 teams last year that have qualified this year are McFarland, which was seventh; Westby, which returns all seven runners from the team which placed eighth; and Plymouth, which finished 10th. In Division 3, Lourdes Academy is back in an attempt to win its fourth title in the past five years after finishing runner-up last year. The Knights qualify this season with four returning runners. Five other teams that placed in the top 10 last season have qualified again this season, Rosholt returns three runners from the squad that placed third in 2016, and Dodgeland has four runners coming back from a team that placed fourth. Other teams qualifying this season after finishing in the top 10 last year are Chequamegon, which placed seventh, Glenwood City eighth, and Auburndale ninth.

GIRLS INDIVIDUAL NOTES:  Senior Megan Scott of Divine Savior Holy Angels is back after winning the gold medal last year, which followed a fourth-place finish in 2015. There are 13 competitors qualifying this year that placed in the top 15 a year ago, including seven in the top 10. Junior Kate Jochims of Muskego was third last season and 10th in 2015. Senior Peyton Sippy of Janesville Craig was fourth last year, and senior Leah Neustedter of Brookfield Central placed fifth. Senior Annika Linzmeier of Pulaski finished sixth, and junior Reagan Hoopes of Waunakee was seventh. Senior Grace Dargiewicz of Waukesha South and sophomore Autumn Dushack of Sun Prairie were eighth and ninth, respectively. Other potential challengers based on their sectional performances last week are seniors Katie Rose Blachowicz of Sun Prairie and Abby Mauermann of Brookfield Central; juniors Brooke Jaworski of Wausau West, Madison Hughes of Fond du Lac and Zoe Goodmanson of Pewaukee; sophomore Rachel Ball of Hudson; and freshmen Anna Fauske of  Kaukauna and Kate Sperka of Muskego. In Division 2, six of the top-10 finishers last season return to the field this season led by junior Dana Feyen of Gale-Ettrick-Trempealeau, who ran to the championship last year after finishing runner-up in 2015. Sophomore Laura Beghin of Wisconsin Dells finished second last year in her freshman season. Another sophomore, Annie Higgins of Xavier, came in fourth a year ago in her first season. Other top-10 finishers last year back to challenge for the title include senior Erin Sorg of Delavan-Darien, who placed eighth in 2016 after a fifth-place finish in 2015, and the Freedom tandem of senior Jaci Hinz and junior Lauren Vosters, who finished ninth and 10th, respectively. Other contenders that may possibly challenge for the individual championship based on sectional results are seniors Olivia Moll of St. Croix Central and Elise Large of Random Lake/Ozaukee, junior Jenna Cuene of Notre Dame, sophomore Ashley Peterson of Lakeland, and freshmen Madelynn McIntyre of Brodhead/Juda and Marcella Yatso of Shorewood. Five of the top nine individual finishers from last year’s meet return for another run at the title in Division 3. Junior Lydie Murphy of Lancaster should again contend for the individual championship this season after placing runner-up last season and seventh in 2015. Sophomore Marissa Ellenbecker of Edgar returns to the State meet after running to a third-place finish last season in her freshman campaign, and junior Meygan Benzing of Dodgeland was fourth a year ago. Senior Erika Kisting of Iola-Scandinavia returns after placing seventh last year and third in 2015, and junior Erica Kallstrom of Colfax took ninth a year ago. Others who could be in contention for the title based on their sectional championship are senior Kassye Todd of Elmwood/Plum City, who placed 12th at State last year; sophomore Kari Herman of Osseo-Fairchild; and freshmen Helen Carstens of North Crawford, Olivia Stenzel of Sevastopol and Erica Loe of Ladysmith. 

NEED THE QUALIFIERS?:  All rosters and qualifiers are available on the boys and girls cross country tournament information pages on the WIAA website.

NEED RESULTS?:  The most efficient way to get results will be to access the WIAA website at: and choose the cross country home page. In addition, PT Timing will be providing live updates from the course during the races. To access the updates, go to:

FOLLOW STATE MEET ON SOCIAL MEDIA:  Receive updates of the State Cross Country Championships on the WIAA State Tournament Twitter account @wiaawistate with the hashtag #wiaaxc. Also like us on Facebook, follow us on Instagram at wiaawi, and add us on Snapchat at wiaawis.

# WIAA #

Written by WIAA Communications


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