Thurs takes familiar path in return to state
Marathon junior Julianna Thurs is taking a similar journey to the WIAA Division 3 state cross country meet this year as she did in her freshman season.
Julianna, the daughter of Chad and Sarah Thurs, finished runners-up in both the Marawood Conference championship races she’s ran in 2018 and 2020. She also took fourth place in the sectional race in both these years to qualify for the state championships.
She didn’t compete in cross country last fall, because she didn’t want to place added stress on herself while she switched to attending school at Wausau West. She’s back running with a vengeance for the Red Raiders this season.
Julianna obtained her personal record of 20 minutes, four seconds at this year’s Marawood Conference race at Frey Field in Spencer. She eclipsed this mark by running another personal record of 20:01.5 at the WIAA Division 3 sectional race on Saturday in Rosholt, which helped her finish fourth and qualify for the state championships. “My goal is to qualify for state again, and if you ask my coach that’s what is defi nitely going to happen,” Julianna said with confidence after the conference championship race. “EJ Otto is an amazing coach and I’m just happy to be able to work with him.” The WIAA is taking COVID-19 precautions this year by separating the state runners into three sessions, consisting of 10 competitors each, who are vying to win a state championship this Saturday, Oct. 31. Julianna will compete in session B at 12:30 p.m. at Maple Grove Venues in West Salem.
Julianna took 17th place in her first time running at the Division 3 state cross country championships in 2018, which was held at its normal site The Ridges Golf Course in Wisconsin Rapids. Her junior Marathon teammate, Jada Prihoda, placed 25th in 22:26.5 at the WIAA Division 3 sectional race on Saturday in Rosholt. Marathon senior Cullen Krasselt took 22nd place in 18:06.7 in the boy’s sectional race. Athens junior Elizabeth Van Rixel and sophomore Nathan Wolf both achieved personal records in their sectional races in Rosholt. Van Rixel barely missed qualifying for state with an eighth-place finish in 20:20.1. Wolf, meanwhile, placed 17th in 17:55.2 in the boy’s sectional race.
Dennis Webb, Edgar cross country coach, said sophomore runner Morgan Schnelle was unable to compete in the sectional race because of a medical issue, but that she is now in good health. Schnelle took second place at sub sectional race and she was hoping to get an opportunity to qualify for the state championships for the second straight season. She took 17th place at state last year.
Webb said Edgar senior Rachel Brewster “had a great race and finished her career with a solid effort.” Brewster placed 18th in 21:51.3 at the sectional race.
Stratford freshman Kressa Wenzel took 19th place in 22:25.7 at the WIAA Division 2 sectional race on Saturday in Westby. The Colby girls won the Division 2 sectional team championship.