The Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association will celebrate the 100th Anniversary of the State Cross Country Meet with a program in conjunction with the traditional pasta dinner held the evening before the meet Friday, Oct. 26, hosted by Wisconsin Rapids Lincoln High School at 5:30 p.m.
The special event will feature a 10-minute video recounting the highlights and history of the State Meet and its outstanding individuals and teams. The program will also include an introduction of dignitaries, a special video message from Suzy Favor-Hamilton, an Olympian and four-time State champion, and a short message of well-wishes from Chris Solinsky, a three-time State champion and former American record holder. The pasta buffet dinner will follow the program.
In addition to Solinsky, a three-time State cross country champion at Stevens Point Area Senior High from 2000-2002, other dignitaries scheduled to attend the event are:
Cathy Branta-Easker, three-time girls champion at Slinger H.S. from 1978-80
Jim Brice, three-time boys champion at Wrightstown H.S. from 1975-77
Phil Downs, three-time boys champion at Madison Memorial H.S. from 1989-91
Don Gehrmann, oldest living male champion from Milwaukee Pulaski H.S. in 1945
Suzie Houston-Steel, first female State champion at Tomahawk H.S. in 1975
Paul Voss, three-time boys champion at Clinton H.S. from 1977-79
Liz Mullarkey, coach of the first State girls championship team at Prairie du Chien H.S. in 1975
Bill Smiley, oldest living boys coach of a championship boys team at Wausau H.S. in 1956
Doug Chickering, former executive director
Karen Kuhn, former associate director administering cross country
The State Cross Country Meet is scheduled to begin Saturday, Oct. 27 at 11 a.m. with the boys Division 3 race, followed by Division 2 at 11:40 a.m. and then Division 1 at 12:20 p.m. The girls races begin with Division 3 at 1 p.m. with the Divisions 2 and 3 races to follow at 1:40 p.m. and 2:20 p.m., respectively.
In recognition of the 100th Anniversary, all competitors will receive a commemorative race number. Volunteer workers will receive a pin in honor of the event.
The awards program is slated to start at 3:45 p.m. at Wisconsin Rapids Lincoln High School with several of the dignitaries participating in the awards ceremony. A special commemorative State Meet medal and team trophy will be awarded to the place winners.