WIAA Division 2 and 3 state cross country preview
What: The 107th running of the WIAA boys state cross country meet and the 46th running of the WIAA girls state cross country meet.
Where: The Ridges Golf Course, Wisconsin Rapids.
When: Saturday, Nov. 2. The girls Division 2 race is at noon and the Division 3 race is at 1:20 p.m. The boys Division 2 race is at 2 p.m.
Who: In Division 2, the Medford Raiders qualified for girls team competition and will start in lane 2, while Raider Joey Sullivan qualified individually and will start in lane 16. In Division 3, the Prentice-Rib Lake Hawks qualified for girls team competition and will start in lane 12.
Division 2 girls
Team qualifiers: Sectional champions include Medford, Tomahawk, Osceola, Appleton Xavier, Winneconne, McFarland, Shorewood and Lake Mills. Sectional runners-up include Wisconsin Dells, Freedom, Hayward, Little Chute, Kewaskum, Mount Horeb, Port Washington and Jefferson.
Medford is the defending state champion, while Freedom was second and Shorewood was fifth. Winneconne finished sixth last October, Jefferson was seventh, Wisconsin Dells was ninth, Hayward was 10th, Lake Mills was 11th and Osceola was 13th.
At the end of the regular season, Shorewood, Freedom and Medford were the top three ranked teams in the state by the Wisconsin Cross Country Coaches Association. Wisconsin Dells, Tomahawk and Port Washington were ranked fifth through seventh. Winneconne had the top three finishers in the Mayville sectional.
Potential individual contenders (sectional times in parentheses): Five of the top eight finishers from last season are back in the Division 2 race, including last year’s third-place finisher, Kayci Martensen, a sophomore who won the River Valley sectional by over a minute in 18:28.5. Sophomore Anna Gallagher of Two Rivers was fifth last year and took second in the Two Rivers sectional in 18:52.5 behind Green Bay Notre Dame junior Molly Desotell (18:44.8).
Lakeland senior Ashley Peterson was sixth last year. The Great Northern Conference Runner of the Year was third at the Tomahawk sectional behind Marinette senior Katelyn Kitzinger (19:28.8) and Tomahawk senior Haley Voermans-Dean (19:34). Appleton Xavier senior Annie Higgins returns after taking seventh last year. Higgins (19:17.4) was third Saturday at Two Rivers. Wisconsin Dells senior Laura Beghin (20:07.3) won the Colby-Abbotsford sectional ahead of Medford’s Franny Seidel (20:21.9) and was eighth in last year’s state meet. She was the state runner-up the previous two years.
Winneconne freshman Joey Perry (20:07.96) won the Mayville sectional, Osceola freshman Rachel Ulrich (19:23.1) won the St. Croix Central sectional over teammate Lauren Ellefson (19:53.1), Waukesha Catholic Memorial junior Elle Erato (20:08.8) won the Whitewater sectional ahead of three Lake Mills runners and Shorewood sophomore Bella Lozier won the Wisconsin Lutheran sectional in 19:01.5.
Division 2 boys
Boys team qualifiers: Sectional champions include La Crosse Logan, Deerfield-Cambridge, Freedom, Osceola, Shorewood, Mount Horeb, Valders and Wautoma-Wild Rose. Sectional runners-up include Elk Mound, St. Croix Central, New London, Winneconne, Green Bay Notre Dame, Jefferson, New Glarus-Monticello and Wisconsin Lutheran.
Valders is seeking its third straight state title and has five runners back. Notre Dame has six returning runners from its runner-up team of 2018. Wisconsin Lutheran was fourth last year, Jefferson was sixth, Shorewood was seventh and La Crosse Logan was eighth.
Valders, Wisconsin Lutheran and Freedom were the top three ranked teams at the end of the regular season.
Potential individual contenders (sectional times in parentheses): Only two runners from last year’s top 10 return. Lucas Florsheim of Shorewood (16:16.1) was eighth last year and won last weekend’s Wisconsin Lutheran sectional. Senior Zach Slevin of La Crosse Logan (16:57.2) won the Colby-Abbotsford sectional and placed ninth at state last year.
Other sectional champions include senior Xavier Lasee of North Fond du Lac-Oakfield (16:39.84), junior Leo Richardson of Madison Edgewood (16:08.3), junior Jakob Engen of St. Croix Central (17:04.6), junior Jack Reiter of Freedom (16:34.6), sophomore Shane Griepentrog of Valders (16:32.8) and sophomore Zach Huffman of Deerfield-Cambridge (17:15.3).
Division 3 girls
Girls team qualifiers: Sectional champions include Chequamegon, Glenwood City, Gillett, Durand, Auburndale, Lancaster, Oshkosh Lourdes Academy and Ozaukee. Sectional runners-up include Prentice-Rib Lake, Burlington Catholic Central, Darlington, Oostburg, Bonduel, Marathon, Brookwood and Cameron. Lancaster is the defending state champion, while Auburndale was second and Oostburg was fifth. Bonduel was 11th last year, Durand was 12th, Glenwood City was 13th and Cameron was 15th.
At the end of the regular season, Lourdes Academy held the number-one ranking, followed by Gillett, Glenwood City and Lancaster.
Potential girls individual contenders (sectional times in parentheses): Six of the top 10 finishers from the 2018 state race are back, including two-time defending champion Marissa Ellenbecker of Edgar (19:35.5), a senior who was also third in 2016. She was second in Friday’s Athens sectional in a great finish with Loyal-Greenwood junior Savannah Schley (19:35.4). Sophomore Madison Sand of Durand (20:34.9) was third at state last year but was just fourth at Saturday’s Westby sectional behind Kickapoo-LaFarge sophomore Anelise Egge (19:25.9), senior Shelly Powell of Brookwood (20:12.2) and freshman Reese Ehrat of Cochrane-Fountain City (20:25.5). Egge was eighth in the state in 2018.
Junior Helen Carstens of North Crawford (20:17.6) was sixth last year but was just sixth at Saturday’s Boscobel sectional, which was won by Wisconsin Heights-Barneveld freshman Samantha Herrling (19:06.6). Poynette junior Katelyn Chadwick (19:20.7) was second. Valley Christian freshman Leah Patterson (21:31.09) won the Westfield sectional. Waterloo senior Christi Forman won the Whitewater sectional (20:34.1) ahead of last year’s 10th-place state finisher senior Hannah Constable of Johnson Creek (20:46.7). Freshman Molly Heidorn of Colfax (19:51) won at Boyceville Saturday.
Another freshman, Claudia Lasiowski of Chequamegon (20:36.8) was a sectional champion, taking the South Shore race. Manitowoc Lutheran sophomore Brooklyn Luebke (19:45.4) won her home sectional.
––Sports Editor Matt Frey