WISCONSIN RAPIDS — The McDonell boys cross country team capped a successful 2013 season by taking fifth place in the WIAA Division 3 state boys cross country meet on Saturday afternoon at The Ridges Golf Course in Wisconsin Rapids.
The sectional-champion Macks were led by the senior duo of Nick Zander and Grant Pulver. Zander took fourth place overall with a time of 16 minutes, 14.3 seconds and Pulver finished sixth in 16:27.8. Kendall Dorn was third best for the Macks in 59th, Sam Bleskachek took 92nd and Ben Ruf was 116th.
“It’s hard to get everybody to run well on the same day and we weren’t able to get that done today,” McDonell coach Marty Bushland said. “But the kids did well all season long and it was a good place to end and I’m proud of them.”
Overall, McDonell finished with 170 team points. Darlington won the Division 3 state title with 87 points, two ahead of Chequamegon. Eau Claire Immanuel Lutheran finished third with 160 and Marathon was fourth with 161. Darlington’s Tyson Miehe won his third straight Division 3 state individual title with a time of 15:57.5.
Elsewhere in the Division 3 boys race, Stanley-Boyd’s Nathan Bauer ended his junior season with a 95th-place finish. Bauer was running 77th after the first mile, but developed a side ache and slipped back in the pack. Stanley-Boyd coach Travis Logslett said he was proud of Bauer and hoped this performance and experience could help springboard Bauer to bigger and better things next year.
“We’re real proud of him and we’re hoping that motivates him to come back next year and be hungry and get back there again,” Logslett said.
McDonell freshman Verbick takes 61st in D3 girls race
McDonell freshman Julia Verbick finished her first season of cross country on a high note, taking 61st overall in the Division 3 girls race with a time of 16:40.5. Verbick made her way through the pack as the race went on to finish in the top half of the field in her first state meet.
“She really executed her race plan perfectly,” Bushland said. “Everyone comments about how well for her age she handles the situations and for a first-time person at the state meet, ran an equivalent to her personal record. You can’t ask for anything more out of her, she really came through.”
Lake Holcombe/Cornell sophomore Kayla Vavra finished in 85th place in 17:13.5. She is the second LH/C runner to advance to the state meet in the two-year history of the co-op. Lexi Moussette qualified for state and finished in 88th place last year. Lake Holcombe/Cornell coach Jake Ebner said Vavra achieved a goal she set for herself to finish in the top-100.
“I thought she ran well, she wasn’t as nervous as I thought she’d be,” Ebner said.
Random Lake’s Delaney Sinnen won the Division 3 girls individual title with a time of 14:22.6 and Oshkosh Lourdes grabbed the team championship with 45 points. Colfax finished in fourth as a team and Eau Claire Regis took eighth.
Bloomer junior Bruxvoort 48th in D2 girls race
For the first time this season, Bloomer junior Cora Bruxvoort did not take first in a race she competed in.
Bruxvoort finished in 48th place in the Division 2 girls race with a time of 16:02.8. The race marked her second appearance in the state cross country meet. She significantly improved on her 123rd place finish from 2011 when she ran as a part of the Bloomer team that finished in 14th.
“I thought she did really good, I thought she ran a good race,” Bloomer coach Char Kelley said about Bruxvoort’s day.
Shorewood’s Morgan Florsheim took the Division 2 individual title in 14:29.1 and Edgewood grabbed the team championship with 84 points. Rice Lake took 12th as a team and Northwestern was 16th.
Fellow Blackhawk Clint Heinze ended his high school cross country career by taking 71st in his second appearance at the state meet with a time of 17:42.6. He finished 94th at the state meet last year.
“Anytime you see improvement, it’s exciting and it’s rewarding and it helps you remember why you put in all those miles over the summer,” Kelley said. “I think he felt good about it and felt a lot better this race.”
Monroe’s Ethan Moehn won the Division 2 individual championship in 15:59.0 and Wisconsin Lutheran grabbed the team title with 63 points. Northwestern was 14th with 315 points.
Eau Claire Memorial’s Aubrey Roberts took sixth place in the Division 1 girls race with a time of 14:39.0. The Old Abes took third as a team in the Division 1 boys race and sixth in the Division 1 girls race. Brookfield Central’s Elizabeth Flatley won the girls title and Arrowhead grabbed the girls team championship. On the boys side, Madison West’s Olin Hacker won the boys race and Stevens Point was crowned Division 1 boys team champions.