Meister, Craig boys team win sectional titles
The Cougars placed first as a team in sectional competition and were paced by junior Tommy Meister, who took first overall, as they qualified for next weekend’s state meet at Ridges Golf Course in Wisconsin Rapids.
“As far as our team, they ran great,” said Craig High co-head coach Brian Lawton. “They ran up near the front through about a mile. They executed exactly as we talked about all week as far as position in the race and being careful on the last four rolling hills back there on the lake. And they were just strong today.”
It’s the sixth consecutive year the boys team from Craig has earned a spot at the state meet, and they’ll be making the trip along with Madison La Follette, who placed second. The top two teams at the sectional meet move onto state competition.
Even though the morning rain relented just before the start of competition on Saturday, the wet condition of the course still made for a challenging environment.
“I think everybody was a little more cautious on the corners and down the hills,” explained Meister. “It’s a little bit scary out there when you step in a pile of mud and your foot slips a little bit.”
Regardless, Meister was able to run his way to a 16:11 first-place finish despite a surge from Verona’s Dan Lacroix between a mile and a mile and a half into the race.
Lacroix was second to cross the finish line at 16:20 and qualified for the state meet as an individual.
Finishing third overall was Craig sophomore Spencer Hrycay with a time of 16:40. Others placing for Craig were junior Joe Sarrow (7th), sophomore Hunter Salmon (11th) and senior Ryan Fenrick (16th).
In a sport that can be very individually focused, Meister instead chose to be focused on the team, which accomplished its goal of making it to state.
“The nice thing about him is he’s one of the captains, and he always talks about ‘team,’” said Lawton about Meister. “So his team goals are first and being strong for the team up in front.”
At the other end of the spectrum, Saturday marked the end of the streak of nine consecutive state appearances for the Craig girls team.
Placing third overall, the Cougar girls were one spot away from making it ten in a row. Oconomowoc and Verona finished first and second, respectively, to earn the trip to state.
Craig senior Rachel Gilmore, and juniors Michaela Holzhuter and Katie Bagley, came in right in a row at 13th, 14th and 15th overall, respectively, but placed just outside the qualifying mark to advance to state as individuals.
Despite dealing with the disappointment that comes with the end of their season, Lawton was instead focused on the positive and encouraged his girls to do the same.
“I think what you forget sometimes how hard it is to get to state in high school sports,” said Lawton. “That tradition is something to be very proud of, and a lot of these girls were a part of that.
“On one hand, they are probably pretty devastated, but on the other hand, if you just pause for a minute and in a week or two or whatever, it kind of rubs off. When you look back, they’ve got a lot to be proud of in their high school cross country career.”
Janesville Craig 38, Madison La Follette 50, Verona 103, Fort Atkinson 125, Janesville Parker 143, Stoughton 146, Mount Horeb/Barneveld 228, Beloit Memorial 232, Oconomowoc 234, Milton 236, Oregon 245, Elkhorn 352.
1. Tommy Meister (JC), 16:11; 2. Dan Lacroix (V), 16:20; 3. Spencer Hrycay (JC), 16:40; 4. Thor Laack-Veeder (ML), 16:45; 5. Kyle Staven (ML), 16:51; 6. Noah Laack-Veeder (ML), 16:53; 7. Joe Sarow (JC), 16:56; 8. Alec Nelson (MH/B), 16:57; 9. Riley Olson (S), 16:59; 10. Noah Brown (Ocon), 17:01.
Craig runners: 1. Tommy Meister, 16:11; 3. Spencer Hrycay, 16:40; 7. Joe Sarow, 16:56; 11. Hunter Salmon, 17:02; 16. Ryan Fenrick, 17:08.
Parker runners: 18. David Tyler, 17:14; 19. Dane Tyler, 17:19; 22. Taran Kobs, 17:25; 41. Alex Little, 18:14; 43. Joe Phillippi, 18:20.
Fort Atkinson runners: 13. Aaron Lange, 17:06; 24. Brian Beaudo, 17:36; 27. Eric Bender, 17:43; 28. Brett Bowar, 17:43; 33. Kyle Mosurinjohn, 17:57.
Milton runners: 36. Benjamin Applebeck, 18:03; 42. John Wells, 18:18; 46. James Swanson, 18:32; 49. Chris Wecker, 18:35; 63. Brian Robichaud, 19:15.
n Craig and La Follette teams and individuals Dan Lacroix of Verona, Alec Nelson of Mount Horeb/Barneveld, Stoughton’s Riley Olson and Jacob Roe, and Oconomowoc’s Noah Brown qualify for the WIAA Division 1 state meet on Saturday, Oct. 30, at Wisconsin Rapids.
Oconomowoc 67, Verona 70, Janesville Craig 103, Oregon 104, Mount Horeb/Barneveld 126, Fort Atkinson 127, Janesville Parker 132, Stoughton 207, Milton 236, Madison La Follette 237, Beloit Memorial 346, Elkhorn 353.
1. Mandy Prom (Ocon), 16:11; 2. Jenni La Croix (V), 15:20; 3. Taylor Bauer (FA), 15:25; 4. Meleana Bennin (MH/B), 15:26; 5. Nichole Bathe (V), 15:26; 6. Abby Reier (Ocon), 15:27; 7. Maranda Ricker (Ore), 15:37; 8. Aubrey Olandt (V), 15:39; 9. Sara Monson (ML), 15:43; 10. Olivia Radtke (Ocon), 15:49.
Craig runners: 13. Rachel Gilmore, 15:54; 14. Michaela Holzhuter, 15:55; 15. Katie Bagley, 15:59; 29. Stephanie Perleberg, 16:28; 32. Monica Speth, 16:37.
Parker runners: 16. Brooke King, 15:59; 24. Miranda Slaback, 16:21; 25. Ashley King, 16:21; 33. Jenna Cavey, 16:39; 34. Sadie Johnson, 16:43.
Fort Atkinson runners: 3. Taylor Bauer, 15:25; 11. Hannah Kuenzi, 15:50; 26. Kelsey Miles, 16:23; 41. Carly Wallace, 16:58; 46. Kate Abbott, 17:06.
Milton runners: 12. Mandi Speer, 15:52; 50. Kelsey Lukas, 17:17; 54. Becky Knutson, 17:25; 56. Allison Rigg, 17:32; 64. Megan Diamond, 18:12.
n Oconomowoc and Verona teams and individuals Taylor Bauer and Hannah Kuenzi of Fort Atkinson, Meleana Bennin of Mount Horeb/Barneveld, Oregon’s Maranda Ricker, and Madison La Follette’s Sara Monson qualified for the WIAA Division 1 state meet on Saturday, Oct. 30, at Wisconsin Rapids.