Locals punch state cross country meet tickets

Locals punch state cross country meet tickets

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The goals heading into the season were virtually the same for the Indian Trail boys cross country team.

And with one week left in the campaign, the Hawks have duplicated those on every level.

Indian Trail ran to the team title with 27 points at Saturday’s WIAA Division-1 sectional meet at UW-Parkside to punch a repeat ticket to next week’s State Meet at the Ridges Golf Course in Wisconsin Rapids.

The Central boys were second with 74 to also earn a state meet berth. The Hawks and Falcons are joined by Tremper junior Nathan Jackson, who finished seventh overall to qualify.

On the girls’ side, Central senior Heaven Anderson, Indian Trail senior Molly Balch and Wilmot freshman Amber Blount each advanced to state.

Blount’s time of 20:07 set a school record, as she became the first Wilmot girl to advance to state since 2010.

Indian Trail coach Brian Vanderhoef was pleased to see the boys reach their overall team goal yet again.

“This has been a goal for the team the entire year,” he said. “The great part about our boys is they’re such a tight-knit group. They get along in practice and are super close. It’s fun to watch them grow as a group and accomplish one of their goals.

“They wanted to win the county (invitational), win conference and win the sectional. (Now, we can) hopefully improve on how we did at the state meet last year.”

Muskego’s Erik Kain won the sectional title in 16:23.6, followed by Central’s Will Allen in 16:49.4.

From there, it was a flurry of Hawks that filled five of the next seven spots.

Senior Trey Meier led the way in third (17:01.4), followed by sophomore Eric Salgado, fourth (17:10.2); senior Tonatiuh Chavez, fifth (17:11); sophomore Keegan Meier, sixth (17:15.3); and sophomore Nick Klinkhammer, ninth (17:21.3).

Indian Trail seniors Mason Scoggin were 20th (17:38.7) and 27th (17:51.4), respectively, to fill out the Hawks’ efforts.

“We just ran a smart race,” Vanderhoef said. “They’ve been running as a pack throughout the year, just kind of continuing that team mentality we knew would be super helpful today.

“That’s one of our huge advantages, is they’re able to pick each other up and run together. They’re so close in time that if one young man has an off day, someone else can fill in.”

Finishing behind Allen for Central were senior Nick Pflug, eighth (17:19.7); sophomore Daniel Koffen, 13th (17:23.7); senior Carson Meredith, 22nd (17:45.3); and senior Carson Edquist, 29th (17:55.6).

Junior Frank Quinones was 31st (17:59.1) for the Falcons, while junior Dylan Hartnek was 33rd (18:01.4).

“What a big day for our team and our program,” Central coach Keith Olsen said. “Heaven ran smart and very determined in punching her third ticket to the state meet.

“The boys team used the setback from conference to motivate their performance today. They ran their guts out.”

Jackson earned his state berth with a seventh-place finish in 17:18.3.

Tremper tallied 95 points to finish fourth, while Bradford had 223 to finish seventh, and Wilmot had 242 to finish eighth.

Anderson was third among the girls in 19:42, while Balch was fourth in 19:51.2. Blount was 10th overall with her school-record effort.

The state trip is the second straight for Balch.

“She ran a great race today,” Vanderhoef said. “It was a PR (personal record), the best race she’s ever run. She put herself in a great position immediately and kept contact with a pack of girls from Muskego. She had people to run with the whole race. You could tell she was running great, and she really finished strong.”

Muskego won the sectional team title with 29 points, while Racine Case was second with 106. Indian Trail finished fourth with 116, Bradford was seventh with 174, Central was eighth with 201, and Wilmot was ninth with 229.

Divisions 2, 3

Shoreland Lutheran senior Richard Schaefer finished fourth overall at the Division-2 Whitewater Sectional to earn a trip to state.

Schaefer posted a time of 17:27.8. Deerfield sophomore Zach Huffman won the race in 17:15.3.

In Division-3, the Christian Life boys finished second overall behind Ozaukee to qualify as a team.

Ozaukee tallied 59 points, while the Eagles had 86.

Senior Micah Anderson led Christian Life in second (17:26.6), followed by sophomore Brett Mezatis, 11th (18:18.7); sophomore Michael Oware, 23rd (18:58.3); junior Nathan Klimt, 28th (19:07); and junior Jaden Wright, 30th (19:11.3).

Brookfield Academy’s Nathaniel Osborne was the meet medalist in 17:04.1.

Dan Truttschel

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