Oconto's Woller Wins Gold Medal; Coleman's King is State QualifierIssue Date: October 31, 2019
It shouldn't surprise anyone that paid attention to this season, but the Gillett Tigers cross country teams are headed to state.
From the start of the season, the Tigers looked poised to make a run at state, and they earned their way there on Saturday with two first-place team finishes at the Westfield Sectional. The Tigers were comfortably first in the girls' standings, beating 14 other teams, led by Sylvia Hansen and Ryann Wagner. The junior and sophomore were third and fourth, respectively, with times of 20 minutes, 50.44 seconds and 20 minutes, 54.06 seconds.
The rest of the Gillett team wasn't far behind at all, with six finishers in the top 16. Kasay Hansen took ninth (21:50.49), Angela Mosconi was 11th (22:08.33), Cheyenne Krueger took 12th (22:13.44), Megan Wagner was 14th (22:24.71) and Alaina Herzog came in 16th (22:37.20).
At the mile mark, the Tigers had a handful of runners between spots 12 and 16, and they did their work down the stretch.
"I knew these kids wouldn't let each other down" Gillett coach Bill DeJung said. "They held or improved those positions over the last two miles."
Bonduel and Laconia, each with more than double the points Gillett finished with, were second and third, respectively.
The Gillett boys did nearly the same thing, with less than half the tally of second-place Bonduel and third-place Weyauwega-Fremont.
Freshman Alex Peterson was one of two runners to finish under 18 minutes on the day, finishing in 17 minutes, 34.43 seconds. Not far behind was Derek Hanson, who took third in 18:00.09.
Evan Peterson was ninth (18:32.85), Connor Hanson took 10th (18:35.78) and Riley Engebretsen came in 15th (19:01.61). Antonio Lizarrag was 88th (22:26.94).
"We felt confident going in that if both teams ran solid races, we would be in good shape," DeJung said. "With no seniors on either team and five freshmen running, those young runners held up very well, and they will all get a state race as experience next Saturday."
The Coleman girls were fifth as a team, but they won't be without representation at state, with Faith King taking sixth overall to earn her spot in Wisconsin Rapids. King finished in 21:24.73 to take sixth in the field of 103 runners. The top five runners not on a state-qualifying team head to state.
"She ran a solid race and I knew at the one-mile mark she'd be running in Wisconsin Rapids," Coleman coach Becky Chaltry said. "She's really grown into a beautiful runner, learning how to kick it in at the right times and she's also learned how to tune into her own ability. She really believes in herself and it showed today. I'm so proud of her."
King also made school history, as she's the first girl to advance to state cross country for Coleman.
For the rest of her team, Sara Seefeldt was 20th (22:57.07), Mariah Mursau took 39th (24:36.88), Ember Dewitt was 43rd (24:51.68), Megan Seefeldt took 47th (25:08.87), Mariah Payette was 71st (26:30.80) and Molly Seefeldt came in 78th (27:04.41).
The Coleman boys were sixth in the field of 14. Karson Casper missed state by one spot, finishing 11th of 108 runners with a time of 18 minutes, 42.32 seconds. Chaltry called it a "hard pill to swallow," but fortunately he's just a sophomore, so there will be more chances to come.
Also just a sophomore, Alex Rennie finished 16th overall (19:05.79), Noah Rennie was 31st (19:48), John Nowak took 60th (20:43.99), Chance Gruber came in 69th (21:05.54), Sam King took 80th (21:37.76) and Ray Lemieux rounded out the Cougar finishers in 84th (22:06.73).
Chaltry said she's excited for King, but also mentioned how "awesome" it was to see other teams from the area have such success, namely Gillett.
"What awesome runners," she said. "I'm happy for them and their coach."
The Oconto boys were eighth in the field, but Josh Woller represented the Blue Devils well with a dominant first-place finish of 108 runners. Woller won the race by nearly 20 seconds, finishing in 17 minutes, 14.98 seconds.
Logan Allan led the rest of the Blue Devils with a 35th-place finish (19:52.61), Bryton Fuller was 64th (20:54.34), Josh Maynard took 65th (20:56.15), Angel Jordan took 72nd (21:13.54), Preston Williams was 75th (21:22.54) and Sean Durand came in 87th (22:24.34).
Oconto's girls were 14th overall. Josie Mireles was 48th (25:09.01), Hannah Wusterbarth took 69th (26:24.40), Brooklyn Rasmussen took 70th (26:30.51), Eleanor Finger took 77th (27:02.49), Elizabeth Petersen was 87th (27:57.22), Jadyn Floyd was 89th (28:08.20) and Maddelyn Olive took 94th (29:08.18).
Crivitz was 10th as a girls' team. Isabella Galindo took 22nd (23:08.92), Riley Roman took 56th (25:29.99), Zoey Brown was 62nd (25:46.06), Taylor Giese took 81st (27:17.54), Abrielle Bauer took 82nd (27:18.43) and Brook Bourne was 102nd (32:55.03).
The Wolverine boys took 14th. Kougar Wagner took 44th (20:08.34), Joey Pickett was 63rd (20:50.22), Jacob Behrendt was 79th (21:33.84), Fox Gerner took 100th (23:17.62) and Liam Roman was 105th (24:38.62).
Suring took 11th in the girls' race. Olivia Noack took 18th (22:52.11), Hailey Thomson was 42nd (24:51.60), Chantelle Vandenelzen was 79th (27:07.85), Madison Vandevelde took 83rd (27:24.19) and Carley Geniesse was 84th (27:32.44).
The Lena boys took ninth. Kadin Baxter took 28th (19:39.31), Cody Dellise was 43rd (20:07.54), Dylan Comins took 62nd (20:46.39), Norman Aguilar took 70th (21:06.92), Max Beyer was 77th (21:26.89), Reed Hosking took 90th (22:38.72) and Luke Misco placed 93rd (22:47.84).
The Lena girls took 15th in the field. Kennedy Marquardt led the way in 49th (25:17.40), Alexis Misco was 73rd (26:36.38), Megan Shallow placed 80th (27:09.73), Ciara Urbanek was 101st (32:53.54) and Samara Vanark took 103rd (32:57.97).
Wausaukee had one runner in the girls' race, Madelyn Schlies, who took 25th (23:31.30). For the Suring boys, Andrew Schroeder was 34th (19:51.24), Cole Caylor was 46th (20:11.47), Casey Nutt took 71st (21:07.23) and Mikeal Shedlock-Davis placed 89th (22:35.02).
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