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Thurs 28th at state

Marathon junior Julianna Thurs placing lower this year than she did her freshman season in the WIAA cross country state championship race doesn’t tell the whole story, according to Red Raiders head coach EJ Otto.

“Julianna’s 28th-place finish at state this year was great, considering this was one of the faster Division 3 races in recent history,” Otto said. “She would’ve placed higher in Division 2; the defending Division 3 champion ran a great race and finished in eighth place. The state meet was run in three sections this year based on geographical locations, so not running against each other also made a difference; it may have been an even faster race.”

Thurs ran the state race in 20 minutes, 27.52 seconds at Maple Grove Venues in West Salem on Saturday. She placed 17th at the state championship race in 2018. She didn’t run cross country last school year when she attended Wausau West. “Julianna has had an outstanding cross country career to date,” he said. “She has been a participant at the state meet each year she has been running with the team. Julianna is a tremendously hard worker in practice and more importantly in the classroom. Julianna is in other clubs in school, which makes her running feats even more of an accomplishment because she’s been able to balance school with running.”

Coach Otto was sure happy to have Thurs back on his team this season and he feels fortunate to have her return for her senior cross country season in 2021.

“Julianna will hopefully become a state participant again next year and lead the Marathon girl’s team to an appearance at the state meet,” he said.