State Cross Country Championships Preview


State Cross Country Championships Preview

Monday, October 23, 2023

State Cross Country Championships Preview

THE MEET:  The 111th running of the Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association Boys Cross Country Championships and the 50th Annual Girls Cross Country Championships will take place Saturday, Oct. 28, at The Ridges Golf Course in Wisconsin Rapids, Wis.

ADMISSIONTICKETS: The WIAA uses GoFan Ticketing for all digital and cashless tickets. Admission is $9 plus online fees for adults and students. All tickets must be redeemed on a mobile device. To purchase tickets, visit the WIAA website at:

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 3       
12:35 p.m.      Division 2       
1:10 p.m.        Division 1       

1:45 p.m.        Division 3
2:25 p.m.        Division 2
3:05 p.m.        Division 1

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: Stevens Point raced to the boys team championship in Division 1 with a score of 39. Oconomowoc was runner-up, scoring 86 points. Manny Putz of Onalaska won the boys Division 1 individual championship in a time of 15:26.7. Notre Dame earned the Division 2 team championship by posting a score of 81 after a runner-up finish in 2022. Lakeside Lutheran was second in the team standings with 115 points. Joseph Stoddard of Mount Horeb earned the individual medalist honor in Division 2, finishing the course in 15:54.7. Kohler won the Division 3 boys team title by compiling 94 points, which was eight fewer than runner-up Pacelli, which finished with 102. Wesley Pronschinske of Cochrane-Fountain City won the Division 3 boys individual crown with a time of 16:08.9.

LAST YEAR-GIRLS:  Muskego won the Division 1 State team championship, compiling a five-runner score of 45. Slinger was a distant second with a score of 110. Sara Mlodik of D.C. Everest was the individual champion in Division 1 by completing the 5,000-kilometer course in a time of 18:06.6. Xavier captured the team title in Division 2 with a score of 81, and the former defending champion Dodgeville/Mineral Point finished second with a score of 124. Faith Wehrman of New Berlin Eisenhower won the girls Division 2 individual crown with a time of 18:14.8. Cochrane-Fountain City won the gold medal in Division 3 with a team score of 132 points, which was six points fewer than runner-up Lourdes Academy with 138. Addy Duellman of Cochrane-Fountain City won the individual title with a time of 18:58.1.

BOYS TEAM NOTES:   This year’s Division 1 field features all but one of the teams that finished in the top 10 last season, including defending champion Stevens Point.  The other eight programs in this year’s meet that finished in the top 10 a year ago are Oconomowoc (2nd), Madison West (3rd), Eau Claire Memorial (4th), Mukwonago (5th), Middleton (6th) Hudson (7th), Hartford (8th) and Neenah (10th). The Panthers return four runners that compiled 39 team points to win the title a year ago. Of the other teams that placed in the top 10 in 2022, Madison West has the most runners returning to the meet that participated at State last year with five. Eau Claire Memorial, Hudson and Hartford have four, and Oconomowoc, Mukwonago and Neenah have three with Middleton having two returning competitors. The Division 2 field of teams has eight teams returning that competed at State last year, including defending champion Notre Dame and runner-up Lakeside Lutheran. The other six teams that landed in the top 10 last year with qualifying teams this season are Shorewood (4th), Osceola (6th), Winneconne (7th), McFarland (8th), West Salem (9th) and Clinton (10th). Of these teams, Lakeside Lutheran, Winneconne, McFarland, West Salem and Clinton have the most experience coming back with five runners returning that competed in the meet a year ago. Osceola has four of its participants back in the meet; Notre Dame has three; and Shorewood has just two. Defending champion Kohler is seeking a second consecutive Division 3 team championship. There are five other teams that have qualified this season that placed in the top 10 last year, including Pacelli (2nd), Phillips (4th), Cedar Grove-Belgium (5th), Solon Springs/Northwood (7th) and McDonell Catholic Central (9th). The chase for the team title may be competitive with several teams returning with State-experienced rosters. The Blue Bombers return four runners that competed at State last year, and so does Pacelli, Phillips and Cedar Grove-Belgium. Solon Springs/Northwood has the distinction to have the most runners back from a team that placed in the top 10 last year with five. McDonell Catholic Central returns to the meet with three runners back from last year’s qualifiers.

BOYS INDIVIDUALNOTES:  The Division 1 individual competition has four runners back in the field that placed in the top seven a year ago, including defending champion Manny Putz a junior from Onalaska. He returns to contend for back-to-back titles to go with a seventh-place finish in 2021. Putz will need to contend with a pair of Stevens Point seniors. Aloysius Franzen finished third last season, and Bode Erickson was fourth after placing 10th in 2021. He also ran to the 1,600-meter title in track last spring. Sophomore Grady Lenn of De Pere placed seventh last season and attempts to improve his time and finish this year. Others returning to State this season after finishes in the top 17 last season are seniors Logan Salzmann of Kimberly, who was 12th after placing 13th in 2021; senior Finnian Stringer of Madison East (14th); senior Zach Temple of Madison West (15th); and sophomore Cooper Erickson of Stevens Point (17th). Other contenders for the title following sectional titles last week are senior Brock Bjerke of Hudson, senior Nico Castellanos of Madison La Follette, junior James Lennington of Oconomowoc, senior Diego Serraino of Muskego, senior Ben Stricker of Fort Atkinson, sophomore Zackery Taylor of Kenosha Indian Trail and junior Evan Wheeler of Brookfield East. In Division 2, only two individuals return after placing in the top 10 last season. The most notable is senior Owen Clark of Lakeland, who should again contend for the title after finishing third last season and 20th in 2021. Senior Noah Kuhn of Edgewood jumped up 40 places last year to seventh after placing 47th in 2021.  A number of runners just outside the top 10 seek to challenge for the individual championship as well. Senior Will Chelberg of Shawano was 11th last year and 82nd in 2021, and senior Cameron Weiland of Lakeside Lutheran was 12th after he placed 13th in 2021 and 49th in 2020.  Others finishing within the top 16 a year ago vying for positions on the medal stand are junior Spencer Alf of McFarland (13th), sophomore Grant Wenzelow of Winneconne (14th), junior Ethan Onesti of Shawano (15th) and junior Isaac Ewing of McFarland (16th). Other qualifiers that won their sectionals last week that may be in the running for the State title include junior Layne Aurit of Dodgeville/Mineral Point, junior Eli Gallagher of Two Rivers, junior Jack Hefty of Whitewater, junior Kyle Kieper of Kettle Moraine Lutheran, junior Morgan Martens of Northwestern and senior Max Voss of Amherst. The race for the individual crown in Division 3 features five top-12 finishers returning from last year’s championships, including two that finished in the top four. Senior Carter Scholey of Belleville is the top returning runner after placing third last year to go with an eighth-place finish in 2021. Junior Gavin Stewart of Ladysmith finished on Scholey’s heels last season in fourth place, improving on his 55th-place finish his freshman season. Senior Charlie Vater of Iola-Scandinavia appears primed to challenge for the medalist title after he finished 11th a year ago and 17th in 2021. In addition, he won both the 1,600- and 3,200-meter runs in track last spring. Senior Jonathan Skemp of Aquinas is back for his fourth State Meet. He’s competing to again finish among the leaders after placing 12th last year, 16th in 2021 and 15th in 2020. Other runners that were sectional champions last week that may finish among the leaders are senior Sam Adams of Kenosha Christian Life, junior Isaac Dickenson of Solon Springs/Northwood, junior Taylor Karcz of Crandon, and junior Matthew Wilterdink of Oostburg.

GIRLS TEAM NOTES:  Muskego, the defending team champion in Division 1, returns a squad with three runners that participated at State last year. There are four other teams that have qualified that finished in the top 10 a year ago, including Slinger (2nd), Kaukauna (3rd), De Pere (9th) and Holmen (10th). Of these, Slinger and Kaukauna have the most returning runners with six, followed by De Pere with four and Neenah with three. The Division 2 field has seven teams qualifying this year that finished in the top 10 last year, including Xavier, which earned the team championship. The others are Dodgeville/Mineral Point (2nd), Notre Dame (3rd), Shawano (6th), Medford (7th) and West Salem (8th). The Hawks are positioned to make a run at a second straight title with four returning runners from the team that won the championship last season. Both Dodgeville/Mineral Point and Notre Dame could both contend for the team title with five runners returning to the State Meet. Shawano has the distinction of having the most participants returning from last year’s State Meet with six; Medford has five and West Salem has four. In Division 3, six of the top 10 teams in last year’s results are back for another run at the title, including runner-up Lourdes Academy. The five others are Dodgeland (4th), Lancaster (5th), Bonduel (7th)  Cedar Grove-Belgium (8th) and Assumption (10th). Dodgeland and Bonduel are loaded with runners that experienced State competition last season with six returning participants. Assumption, Cedar Grove-Belgium and Lancaster are next on the list of last season’s top 10 teams returning the most runners with five.

GIRLS INDIVIDUAL NOTES:  Five individuals return to the qualifying field after they finished among the top nine last season in Division 1. Most notably, senior Sara Mlodik of D.C. Everest is the defending champion returning from the 2022 State Meet after placing 12th in 2021. Junior Kate Schmoll of West De Pere should again contend for a position on the award stand after placing third last year and seventh as a freshman in 2021. Junior Mackenzie Babcock of Monona Grove placed fourth last year, which came on the heels of a third-place finish in 2021. Sophomores Ella Anschutz of Muskego and Olivia Chellevold of Middleton also return after placing in the top nine last season, with sixth and ninth-place finishes, respectively. Anschulz went on to win the 1,600-meter in track last spring. Other potential challengers based on their sectional titles last week include a couple with top-20 finishes at State a year ago, are freshman Tessa Bruckhart of Stevens Point; sophomore Bella Heideman of De Pere; senior Lily Kriegel of Whitefish Bay; junior Leah Moe of Pewaukee, who placed 17th last season; senior Emilee Moen of Franklin, who finished 20th a year ago; and sophomore Piper Schuster of Slinger. In Division 2, seven of the top nine finishers at last year’s State Meet return in pursuit of the individual crown this season, including defending champion Faith Wehrman, a junior from New Berlin Eisenhower. In addition to the gold medal she earned last year, Wehrman earned the silver medal in 2021. Senior Nora Gremban of Northland Pines was runner-up last season following a third-place finish in 2021. She also captured the 1,600-meter title in track last spring. Junior Ellie Robinson of Dodgeville/Mineral Point also returns following a third-place finish last season and a fourth-place standing in 2021. Senior Sophie Yetter of Winneconne is a four-time qualifier. She ran to a fifth-place finish last year to go with an 11th-place finish in 2021 following a sixth-place standing in 2020.  Senior Abigail Sadler of Mount Horeb could contend for another finish among the leaders after placing sixth last year and winning the Division 1 800-meter run last spring, and senior Lilie Fouts of Xavier sets out to improve on last season’s seventh-place finish. Sophomore Emmerson Drobac of Deerfield/Cambridge is coming off a ninth-place finish as a freshman last year and has her sights on challenging for an individual title. Also returning to the field is junior Annie Robinson, twin sister of Ellie, after she placed 12th last year following a seventh-place finish in 2021. Other contenders that could possibly challenge for a medal based on their sectional championships are senior Paige Damman of Clinton, who was 18th in 2022; freshman Ciara Hartman of Bloomer; and sophomore Addison Volgel of Kiel. Division 3 features returning champion Addy Duellman, a sophomore from Cochrane-Fountain City. She is one of six runners that placed in the top seven last season returning to this year’s race. Junior Nora Jillson of Boscobel is considered a title contender after finishing runner-up to Duellman last season, which followed a sixth-place finish in 2021. Senior Autumn Michalski of Chequamegon should also be considered a contender for the crown after a pair of third-place finishes the past two seasons in addition to the gold medals she won in the 800- and 1,600-meter runs in track last spring.  Sophomore Lucy Dolan of Assumption burst on the scene last year to finish fourth as a freshman. This season, she appears poised to be among the top finishers again. Seniors Ava Raasch of Dodgeland and Sophia Bablitch finished fifth and seventh, respectively last year. Bablitch won the 3,200-meter run last year in track. They both return to the group of experienced and decorated runners seeking to approve on last season’s finish. Another returning runner that has had past success in the medal chase is junior Hannah Welch of Valders. She was fourth in 2021 but fell to 50th last year. Another group of qualifiers who could be in contention for a top-10 finish based on their sectional titles last week are freshman Maggie Behler of Kohler, sophmoreAdalee Berget of Darlington, junior Mallory Kohn of Dodgeland, junior Erin Moore of Lourdes Academy and freshman Inez Schmidt of Cameron.

AWARDS CEREMONY:  The award ceremony for teams and individuals will be held at the Ridges Golf Course beginning 15 minutes after the start of the final race. Awards presented in the order of the races at the podium to the west of the starting boxes.

NEED THE QUALIFIERS: All rosters and qualifiers are available on the boys and girls cross country Tournament Information pages on the WIAA website. Additional information regarding the State Cross Country Championships can be downloaded or reviewed 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:

ORDER STATE MEET APPAREL ONLINE: WIAA licensed State Championship apparel is available for sale at the course. Post-meet apparel will be available for sale online beginning the evening of Oct. 28 and running through Sunday, Nov. 5 prior to midnight. A link to the post-meet online store will be available on the Cross Country Tournament page on the WIAA website.

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 and follow us on Instagram at wiaawi.

# WIAA #




Theme picker