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THE CITY REBORN FROM THE ASHES OF AMERICA'S MOST DISASTROUS FOREST FIRE
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Gillett Girls Return to State; Four Area Individuals Advance

Issue Date: October 28, 2020

Gillett Girls Claim Sectional Title, Hanson, Peterson Advance

A year after sending both their teams to state, the Gillett Tigers will look to make their mark at the state meet once again.

Gillett's girls' cross country team and two Tigers individuals will move on after Saturday's Division III sectional in Manitowoc.

Gillett's girls won the sectional by a tight margin, narrowly edging Sevastopol and Lourdes Academy by two points apiece. The Tigers were led by three top-ten finishers: senior Sylvia Hansen took sixth (20:07.9) of 37 runners, sophomore Carleigh Kaczmarek took seventh (21:10.7) and junior Ryann Wagner was eighth (21:12). Junior Angela Mosconi (22:59.8) and sophomore Megan Wagner (23:10.9) rounded out Gillett's qualifying scores in 21st and 23rd respectively. Laney Debauch (23:46.5) and Alaina Herzog (23:46.5) also competed for Gillett, taking 30th and 31st in the field.

For the Gillett boys, who took third of four teams, senior Derek Hanson and sophomore Evan Peterson will join the girls at state. Hanson won the race with a time of 16 minutes, 46.1 seconds, 13 seconds better than anyone else in the field. Peterson was 10th of 36 runners (17:45.7).

Also for Gillett, senior Riley Engebretson was 21st (18:43.1), freshman Ben Matczak took 26th (19:05.8) and a trio of freshmen were 34th, 35th and 36th: Wyatt Wilz (22:41.6), Garrett Klein (23:57.8) and Grayson Klein (24:32.2).

Coleman's boys were fourth as a team. Junior Alex Rennie was one spot from an individual state berth in 14th (18:07.2).

"Alex ran a solid race and finished strong," Coleman coach Becky Chaltry said.

Junior Karson Casper was 17th (18:16), sophomore John Nowak took 30th (19:46.6), Ray Lemieux placed 32nd as a sophomore (20:08.1) and senior Coby DenRuyter took 33rd (22:19.3).

Crivitz had a lone runner in the boys' race, Sam Lieuwen, who was three spots from state in 15th (18:09.2). Just a freshman, he'll be looking to take that step forward next year.

Coleman and Crivitz did not have full girls' teams in the race, but each had two runners. For Coleman, junior Sara Seefeldt was 19th (22:55.7) and freshman Kiersten Jensen was 24th (23:26.7).

"Despite not moving on to the state meet, I am so proud of my athletes this year considering the circumstances. We made it through the season with no one having to quarantine, our school continued in-person so no sports cancellations and everyone stayed healthy, so to me, that's a win," Chaltry said. "I know we didn't have our normal meets or even the number of normal meets we usually run, but the kids adapted and we still had a lot of fun and got to run on some really scenic courses."

For Crivitz, senior Lyvia Caine took 28th (23:37.7) and Grace Allard was 29th (23:38.7).

The state meet will be split into three different locations and three different sessions due to COVID-19. The DIII races take place Saturday beginning at 9:30 a.m. in West Salem.

Bulldogs Lund/Smith Earn D2 State Starts

Two years after her first state appearance, Peshtigo's Sydney Lund is headed back, with teammate Caleb Smith also set to make his first appearance.

Lund, a junior, was fourth of 38 runners in the field with a time of 20 minutes, 7.9 seconds and Smith took seventh of 38 runners with a time of 16 minutes, 53.80 seconds.

For Lund, it was good to see some strong competition heading into state, though she had to work her way up to fourth place.

Peshtigo coach Keith Nault said Lund got pinched off at the start of the race until about 400 meters into the 5,000-meter race. Coming to the mile, she was further back into the pack, but by the end of a mile, she had made her way to fifth, eventually finishing with a new personal record.

"To work her way up through the pack and not panic and get to where she needed to be really speaks to the runner she is. She's got a good mind for racing," Nault said, noting that she could have held her own at the top of the pack if she would've started out toward the front of the pack.

For Smith, it came down to the final 800 meters. Needing to pass one runner to make his way into an individual qualifying place (five runners outside the team qualifiers).

In front of him was junior Joe Adams of Oconto Falls. Digging deep, Smith burst past Adams in the final 600 meters to beat him by eight seconds, also passing Freedom's Jack Reiter by .4 seconds to solidify his place at Colby High School on Saturday.

Smith has worked all season to overcome an injury and subsequent fix in his stride to make state. Now healthy, he still has more in the tank, Nault said.

"He was able to put together a good race," Nault said. "I think he has a better race in him than what he's run, but he's run terrific."

Adams ended up finishing ninth (17:01.5). Marinette junior Hadley Reines finished 14th with a time of 20:56.30. Oconto Falls freshman Hannah Ludemann came in 21st with a time of 21:13.20.

The state meet will be split into three different locations and three different sessions due to COVID-19. The DII races take place Saturday beginning at 9:30 a.m.


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