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Whippets have glorious legacy at WIAA state cross country meet

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JOHN N. BARRY
October 25, 2007
— Long-time Whitewater High cross country coach Dirk Seibold knows his boys team is peaking at the right time.

Seibold just hopes the Whippets didn’t peak too early.


Whitewater has qualified for the boys WIAA Division 2 state meet for the first time since 1996. Seibold, now in his 30th season, hopes the late-season surge continues Saturday at The Ridges Golf Club in Wisconsin Rapids.


“A lot of times when you get to state you tend to come out a little flat,” Seibold said. “Whether it’s the pressure of running at state or the step up in competition, teams tend to peak too early.


“I really don’t think we’re going to have that problem. With our three seniors providing the leadership, I believe our best race is ahead of us.”


Seibold said a state berth was not over-emphasized at the beginning of the season. Rounding into shape and putting in the miles were the key components the first two months of the season. The Whippets didn’t start to think about qualifying for state until the week of the Southern Lakes Conference meet.


“We knew that (Waukesha) Catholic Memorial was ranked seventh and was going to be in our sectional. And we were ranked 14th. And that Beloit Turner had gotten honorable mention, and they were in our sectional.


“It came down to two of those three teams would qualify for state, and fortunately, we beat Turner to get the second team berth.”


The Whippets have done it with a blend of three seniors, a junior and a talented freshman. Alex Adkinson, Michael Borglin and Armando Sandoval provide the senior leadership that Seibold said was essential to the team’s success. Zach Edwards, a junior, was the No. 1 runner for most of the season until freshman Ben Cipriano beat him at the sectional meet.


Seibold said the chemistry on the team is excellent.


“Ben stepped right in and was a wonderful addition to the team,” Seibold said. “He knew the guys from our running program and everything clicked right away.”


Whitewater won boys state titles in 1987, 1993, 1994 and 1995. Seibold isn’t planning for his team to go that high this year, but he is certain the Whippets will save their best for last.


“It’s an exciting time for us. It’s quite a hard course, and on any given day, anything can happen,” Seibold said.


It’s also an exciting time for the Milton program. Senior Cody Brown has become the first Red Hawk to qualify for the boys state meet since Tom Kreger in 1998. Brown finished 12th in the Division 1 sectional at Watertown.


The Division 1 boys race also will include two-time Southern Lakes champion Spencer Agnew, a junior and third-time qualifier from Fort Atkinson, and Blackhawk senior Jake Burow. Delavan-Darien senior Fernando Mendez also has qualified for that race.


Two Rock Valley Conference runners will compete in the Division 2 boys race. Beloit Turner freshman Jose Perez and Walworth Big Foot junior Gabe Vara advanced through the Deerfield Sectional.


Whitewater’s Sara Levine will be making her third straight state appearance in the Division 2 girls race. That field also includes Clinton sophomore Racquel Newman, Brodhead-Juda freshman Shannon Klein and Lakeside Lutheran’s team, whose No. 4 runner is Ellen Schwartz, a sophomore from Janesville.



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