Janesville, area athletes to compete at state cross country
JANESVILLE--Evan Lalor is no stranger to the WIAA state cross country meet.
The Janesville Craig senior will run for the fourth straight year at state when the Division 1 5,000-meter run takes place Saturday in Wisconsin Rapids.
And although Lalor played second fiddle to current Duke University runner Tommy Meister for much of his high-school career, Craig co-head coach Brian Lawton said Lalor will leave a big mark on the program.
“Evan has not only been one of the best runners we’ve ever had come through our program but also one of the two toughest,” Lawton said. “He went through a lot of adversity this season due to a stress fracture he was dealing with but never complained or really talked about it.
“He has the ability to suffer and endure more pain in that 15 minutes than any other kid I’ve coached.”
Lalor has improved his times at state each year and is the eighth-highest place winner returning in Division 1. His time of 16:36 as a sophomore is the fastest ever by a Craig sophomore at state.
Craig will also be represented at state by freshman Nate Farrell, while Janesville Parker junior Keegan McCluskey advanced and is coming off a second-place finish at the Verona Sectional.
“Farrell’s had a fantastic year for us,” Lawton said. “He passed four guys at Verona to qualify for state and broke 17 minutes on a very challenging course to do it.”
Harms, Kaster lead area state qualifiers
Whitewater High senior Brett Harms is a Division 2 state qualifier for the fourth straight year, while Clinton High junior Julia Kaster is making a third straight appearance.
Harms has put together a dominating season for the Whippets, winning both the Rock Valley Conference meet and the Whitewater Sectional. He was fifth at state a year ago with a time of 16:05.32 and is the second-highest returning placewinner this year.
Kaster was third at the Whitewater Sectional and is running way ahead of her state time from a year ago.
Whitewater’s Sarah Ziolkowski advanced to state in Division 2, along with Walworth Big Foot’s Fletcher Strahan, Delavan-Darien’s Kane Castel and Jefferson’s Rylee Miller.
In Division 1, Milton’s Brynn Lunaas is making her first trip to state after a surprising sixth-place finish at the Verona Sectional.
Lake Geneva Badger’s boys team will compete in Division 1, along with the Fort Atkinson girls team.