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Sullivan, Moore finish with the elite in state CC races

Sullivan, Moore finish with the elite in state CC races Sullivan, Moore finish with the elite in state CC races


For Medford’s Joe Sullivan and Prentice- Rib Lake’s Serena Moore, being part of the WIAA state cross country meets Saturday afternoon was nothing new.

But, just about everything else about the events was a new experience.

Instead of a huge event at The Ridges Golf Course in Wisconsin Rapids, this fall’s championship was separated by division to three different venues, including nearby Colby High School. Unfortunately, neither runner was at that Division 2 meet.

Sullivan, a junior, was with Division 1’s best male runners at Hartland Arrowhead High School, while Moore, a senior, joined Division 3’s top females at Maple Grove Venues in West Salem, where Onalaska served as the host high school. Both earned solid upper-division finishes in their respective races.

Sullivan is 33rd

In his second state appearance, Sullivan placed 33rd overall out of 114 runners in the Division 1 boys race. He competed in the day’s third and final session and was the 12th finisher out of 38 runners in that heat.

“Joe Sullivan is the real deal,” Medford head coach Kevin Wellman said. “Joe raced in the last wave of the D1 meet and had a tremendous race.”

Sullivan’s time was 16:39.6, which was just off his personal-best pace of 16:36.8 set a week earlier at the Chippewa Falls sectional. At state, he ran with the qualifi ers from that meet as well as the Hortonville sectional in Session C.

“He clocked his first mile in 5:15 and hit the two-mile mark in 10:40,” Wellman said “For the first two miles, a pack of eight runners held the lead with Joe in a smaller pack off the lead. In the last mile, the lead pack broke up and it was on. Joe was able to move up the field by finding another gear in the last mile. A truly great race by a great individual runner.”

Joshua Truchon, a senior from West Allis Hale, won the race handily in a time of 15:18.3. He was 19.7 seconds ahead of runner-up Cael Grotenhuis, a senior from Slinger. Neenah junior Austin Henderson was third in 15:48.7. Sullivan missed a top-30 spot by only 2.3 seconds.

Six of the top 10 overall finishers were in Session C, including Henderson, fifthplace finisher Charlie Wirth of Hortonville (15:56.3) and sixth-place finisher Max Blader of New Richmond (15:57.8).

Oconomowoc won the team championship with 109 points, 20 better than Marquette University High School of Milwaukee. Whitefish Bay was in third, a point behind Marquette, with 130 points.

The team qualifiers from the Chippewa Falls sectional, Menomonie (138) and New Richmond (160) finished in fifth and eighth place.

A year ago, Sullivan finished 31st out of 152 runners in the Division 2 race at Rapids with a time of 17:03.5.

Sullivan’s state run completed a season where Sullivan won all seven of the regular-season races he competed in, including the Great Northern Conference championships in Tomahawk Oct. 15. He won the WIAA subsectional meet in Medford by six seconds in 17:33 on Oct. 21 and placed seventh out of 37 runners at the Chippewa Falls sectional.

Moore finishes 30th

Moore didn’t quite hit her goal of breaking the 20-minute barrier, but she still closed her cross country career with the Hawks in fine fashion by placing 30th out of 112 runners in the girls Division 3 overall standings Saturday.

She was among the top runners in the early-afternoon Session B, finishing seventh out out 37 runners in 20:30.89. Session B featured qualifiers from the Cameron and Three Lakes-Phelps sectionals.

“She had a really strong start where she was with the front pack of our heat for the first half of the race,” said Gabe Sandoval, the Hawks’ co-head coach from Prentice. “However, I think she started to lose some of that steam after going through the hillier section of the course, so she couldn’t maintain that pace. Even though the same amount of excitement attributed to the state meet was present at the race, it did feel different by only racing against a third of the competition in person.”

Manitowoc Lutheran junior Brooklyn Luebke won the race in 18:55.53, 8.51 seconds ahead of runner-up Halle Van Horn of Random Lake, who is a freshman. Kickapoo-LaFarge junior Anelise Egge was third in 19:17.48, just 1.1 seconds ahead of Colfax sophomore Molly Heidorn.

Lancaster won the team title with 93 points, 10 better than Ozaukee. Kickapoo- LaFarge was third with 125 points. The team representatives from the Cameron sectional that Moore competed in, Chetek-Weyerhaeuser (209) and Cameron (237), finished 11th and 12th.

The only runners faster than Moore in Session B were Weyauwega-Fremont’s Abby Bartel, eighth overall in 19:41.01; Saint Mary Catholic’s Kaela Groppel, 13th in 19:53.43; Chequamegon’s Claudia Lasiowski, 18th in 20:06.67; Chetek-Weyerhaeuser’s Lana Blumer, 24th in 20:16.28; Kallie Volk of Three Lakes-Phelps, 25th in 20:19.55, and Marathon’s Julianna Thurs, 28th in 20:27.52.

In Moore’s three previous state appearances, she was 28th in 20:42.12 in 2017, 29th in 20:22.6 in 2018 and 59th in 21:12.4 last year while not running at 100% health.

This year, she earned her fourth straight All-Marawood Conference honor with a fifth-place finish at that Oct. 15 race. She won the Oct. 20 WIAA Hurley subsectional in a season-best time of 20:09.7 and was sixth overall at the Cameron sectional on Oct. 24 with a time of 20:16.3.

“Overall, I’m pleased with her performance and her drive to continue fighting for her personal goals throughout the season,” Moore said. “There were a lot of things different than last year –– a more competitive field, changes to the format of post season meets and overall uncertainty of the season due to COVID –– which made achieving her goals that much more difficult. She told me several times on Saturday that she was sad the season was coming to an end because she loves the sport and, in my opinion, because she started to see her potential after a summer/fall season of working hard only to get a few inches away from what she wanted to accomplish.”

Prentice-Rib Lake’s Serena Moore gets out to a fast start during Saturday’s WIAA Division 3 girls state cross country race at Maple Grove Venues in West Salem.DOUG ETTEN/VILAS COUNTY NEWS REVIEW