Janesville Craig’s girls cross country team made it a three-peat Saturday.
For the third straight year, the Cougars are headed to the WIAA Division 1 state cross country meet.
Craig finished second at the D1 Kettle Moraine Sectional to earn an automatic bid to next Saturday’s state meet in Wisconsin Rapids.
Big Eight powerhouse Sun Prairie won the sectional title with 34 points, with Craig second with 81.
On the boys side, Craig’s Bryan Bloomquist also made it a three-peat. The junior qualified for state individually for the third straight year by finishing second in the 5,000-meter race.
Madison LaFollette won the boys team title and advanced to state along with runner-up Oconomowoc. Craig was fifth to lead area teams.
Thanks to its top five runners all finishing in the top 20, depth was the key for the Craig girls.
“The girls have done a great job of evolving this season as far as running together as a pack,” Craig co-head coach Brandon Miles said. “Today, that pack running and pack training really paid off.
“They stayed strong and started passing people to get up to where we were safely in second place. It was a great run by them.”
Seniors Ellie Lorenz and Maddy Arrowood led the way with 10th- and 14th-place finishes, respectively, followed by sophomore Rylee Coleman 18th, senior Lauren Shanks 19th and junior Clare Hulick 20th.
Milton sophomore Mara Talabac just missed a state berth, finishing 11th overall in the girls race.
Bloomquist finished second with a time of 16:05.4 to earn a third straight trip to state. Oconomowoc’s Alexander Vance won the race with a time of 15:55.2
After re-injuring his left ankle at last Saturday’s Big Eight Conference meet, Bloomquist showed no ill effects Saturday, according to Miles.
“Bryan ran a pretty strong race today,” Miles said. “The kid that beat him is one of the best runners in the state and had beaten Bryan by a much wider margin earlier in the season. Bryan stayed close with him today.
“Bryan looks to be in postseason shape and has a chance to do very well at state if we can keep that ankle strong.”
Milton senior Devin Woodcock and Parker junior Aiden Schuh just missed qualifying. Woodcock was 15th overall in the boys race and was one spot away from a state bid. Schuh was 16th.
Division 1 Kettle Moraine Sectional
BOYS TEAM SCORESMadison La Follette 37, Oconomowoc 40, Sun Prairie 83, Stoughton 118, Janesville Craig 173, Elkhorn 213, Milton 224, Janesville Parker 275, Fort Aktinson 284
INDIVIDUAL LEADERS1. Alexander Vance (Oc) 15:55.2; 2. Bryan Bloomquist (JC) 16:05.4; 3. Karl Olson (ML) 16:24.6; 4. Chris Wolfe (ML) 16:40.2; 5. Kade Kenyon (Oc) 16:52.6.
OTHER AREA TOP FINISHERSMilton—15. Devin Woodcock 17:13.4. Parker—16. Aiden Schuh 17:15.9. Elkhorn—23. Riley Buchheit 17:39.6. Craig—29. Kadin Wojcik 17:56.0.
GIRLS TEAM SCORESSun Prairie 34, Janesville Craig 81, Oconomowoc 105, Oregon 106, Stoughton 165, Madison La Follette 194, Elkhorn 218, Milton 219, Janesville Parker 353
INDIVIDUAL LEADERS1. Kate Kopotic (SP0 19:02.1; 2. Hannah Ray (SP) 19:25.7; 3. Tara Braun KM) 19:34.7; 4. Dasha Vorontsoc (Or) 19:40.0; 5. Jenna Lovejoy (FA0 19:48.3
AREA TOP FINISHERSCraig—10. Ellie Lorenz 20:16.3; 14. Madalyn Arrowood 20:34.7; 18. Rylee Coleman 20:48.4; 19. Lauren Shanks 20:53.6; 20. Clare Hulick 20:54.0
Milton—11. Mara Talabac 20:17.6. Elkhorn—31. Gwen Richardson 21:37.4. Parker—59. Brooke Schroeder 22:55.2