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Three county qualifiers head to state harrier meet

Victoria Simones leads a Sparta runner Paige Nowaczyk on the back stretch of the Schultz Farm course in Arcadia.

Ellsworth's Ike Taplin, Prescott's Victoria Simones and Spring Valley's Breanna Colbenson will all be at the WIAA State Cross Country meet next weekend in Wisconsin Rapids as they all qualified in Saturday's sectional meets.

Taplin finished seventh in the Division 2 Arcadia Sectional at Schultz Farm. He becomes the first boys runner from Ellsworth in many years to qualify for state. His time was 17:20. The Panthers finished short of their goal of qualifying as a team as they took fourth.

Simones finished sixth in the D-2 girls race at Arcadia in a time of 16:21. This will be her second straight trip.

Also heading back to state is Colbenson as she second at the Division 3 Boyceville Sectional. After beating Colfax's Sarah McMahon in the Dunn-St. Croix Conference meet the week before, McMahon edged her by five seconds at the finish line. Still, Colbenson ran a 14:38.

Ellsworth's girls team placed sixth. Kennedy Kowalchyk had the Panthers' best showing with a 23rd place. Prescott's boys team was ninth led by Matt Pechacek's 34th place while the Cardinal girls finished 10th. Spring Valley's girls placed sixth in their sectional and the boys were 13th out of 17 teams.