WISCONSIN RAPIDS, Wis. – Boys and girls teams and individuals earned titles in three divisions at the 2021 State Cross Country Championships at The Ridges Golf Course Saturday.
Onalaska raced to the boys Division 1 team championship for the first time in program history after placing 10th last season. The Hilltoppers finished with a five-runner score of 89 points, and Homestead finished second, five points behind at 94.
Senior Austin Henderson of Neenah earned individual medalist honors after placing third last season, covering the 5-kilometer course in 15:40.5. Senior Patrick Wills of Waukesha North came in second, improving on last season’s 12th-place finish, with a time of 15:44.6.
Middleton was the Division 1 girls team champion with a score of 61 after winning the 2020-21 alternate season title last spring. It’s the fifth team championship won by the Cardinals. Madison West was a distance second with 150 points.
Senior Lauren Pansegrau of Middleton was the girls individual champion in Division 1 after winning the alternate season crown last spring and placing runner-up in 2019. She paced the field in 17:44.7, which ranks as the second-fastest time in State Meet history. Senior Isabela Ross of Oak Creek was second with a time of 18:16.8 to improve on last season’s fifth-place finish.
Shorewood won its ninth State boys team championship, capturing the Division 2 title with 54 points. Notre Dame finished runner-up with 73 points.
Junior Nathan Cumberbatch of Shorewood ran to the Division 2 boys individual championship after placing fourth in Division 1 last season. He completed the course in a time of 16:06.4, which was more than 10 seconds swifter than the time of Eli Boppart of Mauston, who finished second with a time of 6:16.7 after placing seventh last year.
Dodgeville/Mineral Point reigns as the girls team champion in Division 2 for the sixth time with 88 points, edging Shorewood for the title by a single point, which represents the second-smallest margin of victory in the Division 2 meet history. Interestingly, the closest margin of victory in Division 2 was the championship won by Dodgeville/Mineral Point in 2010, which was determined by the highest sixth-place finisher after a tie with Onalaska through the first five finishers on each team.
Senior Kayci Martensen of Southwestern/Benton/Cuba City ran to her third straight championship, becoming just the fifth runner in State Meet history to win at least three titles. She covered the course in 18:10.0, which ranks fourth in State Division 2 history. Martensen also has a third-place finish in 2018 to go with her three titles. Freshman Faith Wehrman of New Berlin Eisenhower made an impressive debut in her first State Meet, finishing second with a time of 18:24.7.
In Division 3, Valders wins its sixth boys State championship and its fourth in the last five years with a team score of 78. Grantsburg finished in second place with 85 points after placing fourth in 2020.
A pair of Vikings were the first two boys to finish the race. Senior Shane Griepentrog cruised to the championship in a time of 15:38.6 after finishing sixth in Division 2 last season and eighth in 2019. It was the second-fastest time in Division 3 history. His senior teammate Clay Taylor was runner-up with a time of 16:14.1.
Boscobel won the Division 3 girls team championship with a score of 71 to win the program’s fourth title. Valders ran to a runner-up finish in the team standings with 108 points.
The kick of junior Elsie Kmecak of Catholic Central in the final 25 yards of the Division 3 girls race earned her the gold medal with a time of 19:47.7. Senior Abby Bartel of Weyauwega-Fremont, who won the title in 2019 and was eighth a year ago, was runner-up with a time of 19:50.2.