Mixed emotions: Whippets' Ziolkowski makes state, but Whitewater takes third
WHITEWATER--Advancing to state isn’t supposed to leave a runner feeling this conflicted.
One year after missing out on the WIAA Division 2 state cross country meet, Whitewater sophomore Sarah Ziolkowski hung with the lead pack and finished fourth at the Whitewater Sectional Saturday to earn her spot.
She had hoped, however, to celebrate with her Whippets teammates. They finished third, just eight points shy of advancing to state as a team.
“It’s pretty awesome, but my team didn’t make it, so it’s kind of disappointing,” Ziolkowski said. “We knew we’d have to give it our all. I think we thought we’d do better.
“I wanted to run with my team. It’s bittersweet. I don’t really know how to feel.”
Pewaukee’s Lian Arzbecker won the girls 4-kilometer race in 15:37.63, beating teammate Ashton Keene by two-tenths of a second. Pewaukee took the team title with 70 points, and Deerfield qualified with 108.
Clinton junior Julia Kaster was third at 15:38.28, advancing to state for a third straight year.
“I didn’t think we’d be that close, but it was kind of nice to have someone to stick with the whole time,” said Kaster, who was bunched with the two Pewaukee runners and Ziolkowski until the final kick. “It was about three seconds slower than my (personal record), so I was pretty happy.”
Whitewater senior Brett Harms cruised to another sectional title in the boys race.
Harms, a four-time state qualifier, used the race to prepare for the state meet by hustling more than usual over his first mile.
“I wanted to go out really hard, like it will be at state, and then kind of coast through the whole race,” said Harms, who finished his first mile in 5:05 and crossed the finish line ins 16:54.78, 30 seconds faster than his nearest competitor. “This was huge.”
The Whippets finished third on the boys side, as well, with Catholic Memorial and Pewaukee easily advancing to state. Individually, Big Foot’s Fletcher Strahan, Delavan-Darien’s Kane Castel and Jefferson’s Rylee Miller advanced.