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Monday, October 22, 2012

100th State Cross Country Meet Preview

THE MEET:  The 100th running of the Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association Boys Cross Country Championships and the 40th Annual Girls Cross Country Championships will take place Saturday, Oct. 27, at The Ridges Golf Course in Wisconsin Rapids, Wis. Ticket price for the meet is $6.
 
RACE INFORMATION:  The girls will run a 4,000-meter course, and the boys will run a 5,000-meter course. The following is a listing of the times for each race:

Boys        
11 a.m          Division 3    
11:40 a.m.    Division 2    
12:20 p.m.    Division 1    

Girls
1 p.m.           Division 3
1:40 p.m.      Division 2
2:20 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-GIRLS:  Arrowhead won the Division 1 team title by scoring 56 points, 25 points ahead of runner-up Neenah, which finished second for the second straight season, with 81 points. Dodgeville/ Mineral Point won its second consecutive Division 2 championship with 45 points. Edgewood placed a distance second with 115 points. Lourdes Academy also claimed back-to-back titles in winning the Division 3 meet, compiling 57 points. Runner-up St. Mary’s Springs finished 15 points behind with 72. Alexandria Fons of Franklin won the Division 1 individual championship for the second straight year, completing the 4,000-meter course with a time of 13:56.48. In Division 2, Molly Hanson of Dodgeville/Mineral Point ran to the individual title with a time of 14:23.10, and Molly Seidel of University Lake School became the second runner in meet history to win four State titles, winning the Division 3 race with a meet record time of 13:39.59.

LAST YEAR-BOYS:  Arrowhead won its second consecutive Division 1 team  championship with 71 points, well ahead of  runner-up Janesville Craig with 134 points. Wisconsin Lutheran captured the Division 2 crown with 77 points, 15 points fewer than runner-up Nekoosa/Port Edwards with 93 points. Darlington won the Division 3 team championship by scoring 46 points. Grantsburg finished second with 74 points. Chandler Diffee of Madison La Follette won the individual title in Division 1 with a time of 15:35.47. Ryan McCoy of New Glarus/Monticello captured the Division 2 individual crown with a time of 15:38.27, and Tyson Miehe of Darlington ran to the Division 3 individual championship with a time of 16:02.14.

BOYS TEAM NOTES:   This year’s field contains the teams that comprised the top seven finishers last year, including two-time defending champion Arrowhead.  The other teams returning after placing in the top seven in 2011 are Janesville Craig, La Crosse Logan, Madison West, Marquette, Madison La Follette and Stevens Point, respectively. Arrowhead attempts to defend its title with three returning runners. La Crosse Logan, Madison La Follette and Stevens Point each have five returning runners to challenge for the team title. Janesville Craig and Madison West have four returning runners. Eleven of the 16 teams from last year’s field return to compete for the title in Division 2, including defending champion Wisconsin Lutheran, which returns three runners back from last year’s State meet. Among the leading challengers is Shorewood, which has four runners returning after last season’s third-place finish, following back-to-back championships in 2009-10. Dodgeville/Mineral Point, Aquinas and Monroe return four runners from teams that finished fourth through sixth last year, respectively. Freedom, which placed seventh, returns six of the seven competitors that ran at State in 2011. The top eight teams  in Division 3 last year return for another shot at a team title, including defending champion Darlington. The Redbirds are attempting to defend their crown with three of the seven competitors that ran in the State Meet last year returning. Among the other teams that finished in the top eight a year ago, most have three or four returners that participated in the State meet a year ago; however, Chequamegon returns five after placing sixth.

BOYS INDIVIDUAL NOTES:  Senior Chandler Diffee of Madison La Follette returns in quest of a second straight individual title. Among the other experienced returners expecting to challenge for the championship are seniors Ryan Kromer of Hudson, who placed fourth last year; Carl Hirsch of Brookfield Central, who was fifth; and Brad Woodford of Waukesha South, who was sixth. Other possible contenders based on sectional finishes are seniors Patrick Campbell of Wauwatosa West, James Frederickson of Racine Case, Armando Torres of Green Bay East and McKena Ramos of Sheboygan South; junior Alec Miller of West Bend West; and sophomore Olin Hacker of Madison West. In Division 2, senior Ryan McCoy of New Glarus/Monticello looks to retain individual honors after racing to the title last season. He’ll need to hold off a host of experienced runners, including senior Michael Evans of Valders, who returns in an attempt to regain the glory from 2010 when he won the championship. The toughest competition to the two former champions may come from senior Trevor Wunnicke of Dodgeville/Mineral Point, who has finished  runner-up the last two years. Another challenger to watch is senior Bryce Miller of Ashland, who was eighth in 2011. Other potential contenders based on sectional performances are senior Garrett Miller of Kettle Moraine Lutheran; juniors Mitchell Bilitz of Winnebago Lutheran and  Brett Harms of Whitewater, who placed 11th last year; and sophomore Sam Hinz of Freedom. Junior Tyson Miehe of Darlington is the returning champion in Division 3. He  should be considered a favorite to repeat, but last year’s runner-up Kevin Ryan, a junior from Kenosha St. Joseph should contend again as should junior Andrew Studinski of Marathon, who placed fourth a year ago. Other possible challengers for the individual crown after racing to sectional titles are senior Sam Wensink of Oostburg; juniors Darin Lau of Eau Claire Immanuel Lutheran, Sasha Maro of Mondovi, and Jacob Ohnstad of Grantsburg; and freshman Luke Weber of Lourdes Academy.

GIRLS TEAM NOTES:  Seven of last year’s top nine teams return to the Division 1 field this year. Arrowhead is back to defend its title in Division 1 with three of its runners returning from the 2011 title team. Perhaps the leading challenger to contend for the team title is Neenah, which returns five runners from last season’s second-place squad. Hudson also returns five competitors from a team that finished sixth last year. Madison West and Wausau West each have three runners returning from last season’s teams that placed third and fifth, respectively. The Division 2 field features seven of the top 10 in last season’s team standings. Included in that group is two-time defending champion Dodgeville/Mineral Point, which returns three runners from last year’s championship season. Wisconsin Lutheran and Shorewood may be in the best position to make it tough for the defending champions, with six returning runners from last year’s squads that placed fifth and sixth, respectively. Freedom placed third in 2011 and returns five runners to the meet as does Sparta who finished eighth. Last year’s runner-up Edgewood returns four competitors. In Division 3, Lourdes Academy has possessed the title the last two seasons and has sights on a third title with four returning runners from last year’s championship squad. Five other teams in the top seven last year with loads of State experience return to challenge for the crown. Cedar Grove-Belgium, Living Word Lutheran and Spring Valley have virtually their entire cast with six of their runners back after placing fourth, fifth and seventh, respectively. Darlington, which placed third a year ago, and Edgar, which placed sixth, have five runners back that competed in the meet last year.

GIRLS INDIVIDUAL NOTES:  Junior Jackie Dubnicka of Arrowhead is the top returning runner from last year’s Division 1 race, placing runner-up after finishing fourth in 2010. She should be among the leading contenders for individual honors. Others expecting to challenge for the title are four that finished in the top 10 a year ago. They include senior Taylor Clyse of Slinger, who finished fourth; senior Alison Parker of Neenah, who placed sixth; junior Elizabeth Flatley of Brookfield Central, who was seventh the past two seasons; and senior McKaela Christenson of Baraboo, who was 10th after an eighth-place showing in 2010. Other potential challengers include seniors Jill Englebert of Green Bay Preble, Brittney Feivor of Kenosha Tremper; juniors Jessica Parker of Neenah and Natalie Schudrowitz of Wauwatosa East; sophomores Kennidi Knoblock of Wausau East and Nikki Staffen of Stoughton; and freshmen Aubrey Roberts of Eau Claire Memorial and Payton Wesley of Arrowhead. In Division 2, senior Kristen Linzmeier of Chilton, has the distinction of being the top returning placer from last year’s meet, placing fifth. The only other finishers in the top 10 last year that are back to contend for the title are sophomore Hannah Owens of Dodgeville/Mineral Point, who was seventh, and junior Katelin Cunningham of Ripon, who was 10th. Other contenders that may possibly vie for the individual championship based on sectional results are seniors Jordan Johnson of Northwestern, Kinsey Harmon of Berlin and Liz Bloy of Freedom; juniors Anna Eisenzimmer of Dodgeville/Mineral Point and Taylor Miller of Mauston; sophomores Amy Davis of Edgewood and Julie Kaster of Clinton; and freshman Morgan Florsheim of Shorewood. With four-time champion Molly Seidel graduated, a new champion will be crowned. Among the leading contenders is senior  Breanna Colbenson of Spring Valley, who was runner-up last season, third in 2010 and  sixth in 2009. Others expected to be among the front-runners are senior Andrea Ostenso of Ladysmith, who was third last year after placing 10th in Division 2 in 2010, and junior Delaney Sinnen of Random Lake who placed fourth last year. Junior Isabel Seidel of University Lake School has sights on keeping the title in the family. She has credentials to contend after finishing fifth a year ago and eighth in 2010. Junior Abby Moore of Lourdes Academy placed seventh in 2011 and should also be among the leading finishers. Others who could be in contention for the title are senior Allyson Daines of  Westby, juniors Leah Johnson of Pardeeville and Natalie Miller of Three Lakes, and sophomore Nora Keller of Lourdes Academy.

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

NEED RESULTS?: The only way to get results will be to access the WIAA website at: www.wiaawi.org and choose the cross country Tournament Information page.
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