County harriers to compete for state titlesPierce County will feature three runners running at the WIAA State Cross Country meet Saturday in Wisconsin Rapids.
Pierce County will feature three runners running at the WIAA State Cross Country meet Saturday in Wisconsin Rapids. The races will be run at The Ridges Golf Course.
Ellsworth junior Ike Taplin will compete in the Division 2 boys race at 11: 40 a.m. Spring Valley sophomore Breanna Colbenson will compete in the Division 3 girls' race at 1 p.m. and Prescott's Victoria Simones will run in the Division 2 girls meet which starts at 1:40 p.m.
Taplin is making his first appearance at state and is the first Ellsworth boys runner at state since the whole team qualified for state back in 1992. Top runners in the Division 2 boys' race will be sophomore Ray McCoy of New Glarus-Monticello, who is the top returning finisher from 2009 placing eighth last season, along with seniors Brett Johnson of St. Croix Central, Garrett Patrick of Columbus and Josh Marin of Pewaukee, Joe Luedtke of Lomira and Joseph Pendleton of Shorewood; juniors Grey Davis of Lakeside Lutheran and Weston Brusky of Oconto Falls and sophomores Michael Christianson of La Crosse Aquinas, Michael Evans of Valders and Trevor Wunnicke of Dodgeville-Mineral Point.
Simones competed in the D-2 girls race last season, finishing 22nd in a time of 15:50. Junior Tricia Serres of Platteville is last year’s highest finisher returning in Division 2 girls race with her sixth-place effort. Three other runners that placed in the top 11 last year are back to compete, including senior Emily Bachhuber of Shorewood, Other top 11 finishers from a year ago are junior Rachel Sudbury of Tomahawk, senior Maddie Hibshmann of Onalaska and junior Caitlin Dachelet of Luxemburg-Casco. Senior Allie Woodward of Green Bay Notre Dame has the fastest sectional time in the state, 13:44 she ran last week at the Freedom Sectional. Indeed, the Freedom Sectional produced some of the fastest times in the state in D-2 as Lakeland's Delaney Fitzpatrick took second in 14:56 and Sudbury placed third in 14:59. Plymouth junior Hayley Johnson ran a time of 14:48 to win the Mayville Sectional and the runner-up there, Random Lake freshman Delaney Sinnen finished with a time of 14:58.
Colbenson ran a time of 14:38 to finish second in the sectional. At least year's state meet, her first, she finished the course in 15:28 to place sixth overall and is one of the contenders for the individual title along with junior Molly Seidel of Hartland University Lake School, who is back to defend her back-to-back titles in the Division 3 race, senior Sarah McMahon of Colfax, who finished runner-up to Seidel last season after a fifth-place finish in 2008, senior Elisa Caminiti of Wisconsin Heights, who was fifth in 2009, senior Marina Paul of Cedar Grove-Belgium, who was seventh and sophomore Lizzie Pospyhalla of Edgar, who was eighth. Others who could be up among the leaders based on their performance in the sectionals are senior Haley Steig of Osseo-Fairchild; juniors Miranda Brown of Fond du Lac St. Mary’s Springs and Katlyn Kretzschmar of Mellen and freshman Michaela Welsh of Oshkosh Lourdes.