Ellenbecker will try to win a gold medal
She could end her career with three state titles
By Casey Krautkramer
Edgar senior Marissa Ellenbecker will attempt to become just the third female in WIAA Division 3, and the fifth female among all divisions to win a third WIAA Division 3 individual state championship this Saturday, Nov. 2. She has won two straight Division 3 state titles, after placing third at state in her freshman season. She is one of only 12 girls among all divisions to win two individual state championships.
Loyal junior Savannah Schley edged out Ellenbecker by a mere one tenth of a second at Friday’s sectional race at Erbach Park in Athens. Ellenbecker finished the sectional race in 19 minutes, 35.5 seconds, just behind Schley in 19:35.4.
The top five individual runners who are not on the top two teams qualify for the state championships. Edgar freshman Morgan Schnelle took fifth place in the sectional race in 20:14.5 to join Ellenbecker in qualifying for the state championships.
Schnelle was still in awe of her great accomplishment, while walking down the hill to the awards ceremony outside the Erbach Park shelter.
“I am really excited and I am truly thankful to my teammates for getting me here because they have always pushed me to do better, and I wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for them,” she said.
Schnelle appreciates the guidance she’s received from her teammate, Ellenbecker, who certainly has gained a ton of experience running on various cross-country courses during her high school career.
“She is always a big role model for me and she always gives me pointers on what to do or how to do things, so I’m really thankful to her,” she said about Ellenbecker.
The Division 3 girls state championship race begins at 1:20 p.m. this Saturday, while the boy’s race is at 3:10 p.m. at The Ridges Golf Course in Wisconsin Rapids.
Boys bound for state
Athens senior Johnathon Nowacki took second place behind Wisconsin Rapids Assumption senior Garrett Dolan in the Division 3 sectional race on Friday. Nowacki had just beaten Dolan on Oct. 17 to win the Marawood Conference championship race at Frey Field in Spencer.
Nowacki ran the sectional race in 16:50.6, while Dolan completed the race in 16:26.9. Nowacki is looking forward to competing on the state championship course again, after taking 38th place at state last season. “I’m really happy because I made it to state last year, and my goal was to make it back to state again this season so I can make it on the podium.” Stratford senior James Heeg is also making a return trip as an individual to the state championships, after placing fifth in 17:01.6 at the sectional race. He took 60th place at state last season.
“I want to get a better time at state than I did last year, and obviously I’ll be more ready for the hilly course this year,” Heeg said.