Ellman And Bhatoya Pace Area Runnes At State Cross-Country
A pair of M-O Conference standouts, Emily Ellman of Lena-STAA along with Peshtigos Aaron Bhatoya, paced the area runners across the finish line at the 100th annual WIAA State Cross-Country meet Saturday in Wisconsin Rapids.
Making her second straight trip to state, Ellman, by far, had the best race putting together a 15:10.85 clocking over the 4000 meter course for a fifth place finish. The state run enabled Ellman to become the first Lena-STAA runner to make an appearance on the Division 3 medal stand.
Emily did a great job at state...hung with the leaders for the first mile, moved into fifth place at mile two and stayed there. Prior to the run, one of her goals was a top ten finish and she accomplished that, Lena-STAA coach John Holman said.
The state run was 13 seconds faster than her personal best effort earlier in the season and set a school record. Last year the tireless Ellman finished in 24th place at state in 16:02 while bettering that mark by 19 places and 52 seconds. Ellman broke the school record by Beth Beyer of 15:40 set during her freshman year in 2005-06.
This year I knew what to expect and I was a lot more relaxed, Ellman said after the race.
Running at state is nothing new for Ellman, who finished 10th in the 3200 meter event in track this past spring.
Spring Valley claimed D-3 team honors in the 16-team field at 108 followed by Darlington 110, Cedar Grove-Belgium 123, Random Lake 182 and Laona-Wabeno 187.
Megan Tarlton topped Laona-Wabeno with a 12th place time of 15:33 followed by Miranda Tarlton 32nd 16:01, Alanna Benaszeski 74th 16:56, Amanda Stefanski 93rd 17:12 and Catherine Krawze 105th 17:26.
Individual winner in D-3 was Andrea Ostenso of Ladysmith at 14:34.
In the Division 2 girls run, Bailey Wolf of Oconto Falls posted a 38th place time of 15:47. Top time in D-2 was run by Jamie Shannon of McFarland in 14:38.
The Green Bay Notre Dame girls, coached by former Peshtigo resident John Gard, finished in second place with a score of 98, behind state champion Dodgeville/Mineral Point 84.
Bhatoya Claims 27th
In Boys State Classic
Aaron Bhatoya cruised the 5000 meter boys run in 16:44 to claim 27th place in the Division 2 race. Just a junior, Bhatoya got out to a fast start with a 5:05 first mile, before slowing down his pace.
Our goal was for Aaron to run a 5:10 first mile, he actually ran 5:05, so he certainly showed his fearlessness at the championship. I had him in 10th place at the 800 and about 15th at the mile, Peshtigo coach Jim Stillman said.
I thought that Aaron could finish in the top 20 runners in the field. We talked about the various challenges the course offered him as we walked around The Ridges before the race. Aaron ran just about as I expected. He felt that his first mile was a bit fast, and he backed off in his second mile to what he felt more his pace. However, I believe he could have continued to push. That comes with experience, Stillman added.
Nevertheless, to finish in 27th place in WIAA Division II championships during his first year of cross country demonstrates Aarons ability as runner, and I believe he will use this experience as a springboard to next season. Running at Rapids will give him valuable experience for the spring track season as well.
Battling the flu, Marinette senior Austin Wright was clocked in 17:40 for 90th place.
The best time in D-2 went to Ryan McCow of New Glarus/Monticello in 15:28. Team honors were won by Shorewood with a score of 80 followed by Freedom 91.
In the Division 3 race, Gilletts David Rosenlund ran 17:44.40 over the 5000 meters for 59th place.
Tyson Miehe of Darlington won individual honors with a 15:51 effort.
Darlington was the team champion at 50 followed by Boscobel 99 and Chequamego 132.
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