Hodags 9th at D2 Sectional
STAR JOURNAL REPORT
Rhinelander High School junior Alayna Franson has advanced to this year’s WIAA State Cross Country Meet as an individual qualifier.
At Saturday’s Division 2 Sectional at Waupaca High School, Franson finished the 5,000-meter girls race fifth overall in 20 minutes, 35.59 seconds.
“I am really proud of her and impressed with her progression this year,” said Hodags head coach M.J. Laggis. “She works very hard in practice, she competes hard in meets, and she never takes the easy way out in practice.
“She missed qualifying last season and she really wanted to make it this year. Alayna is really a fun kid to coach because she puts everything she has into all of her workouts.”
The Individual sectional champion, Clintonville senior Kara Pyatskowit, was more than a minute ahead of the rest of the field with a winning time of 18:59.61. Marinette sophomore Kim Carviou placed second in 20:05.49, Medford freshman Franny Seidel came in third in 20:10.05 and Lakeland senior Lauren Schilling was fourth in 20:25.12.
Franson was the only state qualifier for the Hodag girls, who placed ninth out of 15 teams at 222. The top-two teams and the top-five individuals not on the top-two teams all qualified for the state meet, which will be held this coming Saturday at the Ridges Golf Course in Wisconsin Rapids with the Division 2 girls race set to start at 2:25 p.m.
Lakeland topped the team standings at 77, while Clintonville also qualified for state as the runner-up at 79. Medford came in third at 80, followed by Peshtigo (114) and Marinette (156) rounding out the top-five teams.
RHS had only one other girls runner in the top 25 out of the 100 finishers with junior Anna Sturzl placing 24th in 22:06.93. The Hodags’ other three runners whose finishes counted toward the team total included: sophomore Claire Bowman, 57th in 24:06.13; senior Payton Hartman, 67th in 24:22.71; and freshman Valerie Dalka, 69th in 24:28.54.
BRIDGER FLORY 15TH
The Hodag boys, who also placed ninth out of 15 teams at 225, didn’t have any runners advance to state with the best individual showing coming from sophomore Bridger Flory, who finished 15th in 17:55.86.
The top-three individuals all finished in less than 17 minutes. Lakeland junior Kav FitzPatrick was the individual sectional champion with a winning time of 16:45.61. Oconto Falls senior Evan Konitzer placed second in 16:50.78 with Medford junior Trey Ulrich coming in third in 16:55.6.
Lakeland also won the boys team title at 45 with Oconto Falls advancing to state as well as the runner-up at 111. Medford came in third at 115, followed by Northland Pines (139) and New London (141) in the top five.
RHS’s four other boys runners whose finishes counted toward the team total included: senior Robert Ritchie, 41st in 18:44.65; senior Tyler Kolasa, 42nd in 18:46.65; junior Markus Johnson, 55th in 19:12.18; and freshman Robert Ritchie, 72nd in 19:55.6.