The cross country season will continue for four runners from area high school teams.
Dan Nelson of West Allis Hale, Katie Wardinski of West Allis Central and Alex Richardson and Jasmine Van Tine, both of Whitnall, all qualified for this week's WIAA Division 1 State Meet with their performances in sectionals on Saturday.
Nelson was the highest individual finisher, claiming third place with 16 minutes, 28 seconds in Hale's sectional at Mitchell Park in Brookfield.
He ran even better than he did at the Greater Metro Conference Meet the previous week, Hale head coach Ron Kurtz said.
"Dan improved on his first-team all-conference run by running 18 seconds faster and beating two runners who finished ahead of him (at conference)," Kurtz said. "He even ran with two-time conference champ Stephen Browne (of Brookfield East) for about 2 1/2 miles before Browne pulled away for the (sectional) win."
Nelson will make his second straight trip to state when he runs at 2:25 p.m. Saturday at the Ridges Golf Course in Wisconsin Rapids.
Wardinski runs confidently
Wardinski came in ninth with 15:52 in Central's sectional, also at Mitchell Park.
"Katie ran an aggressive and confident race," head coach Mark Klobukowski said. "She jumped out with the top runners and stayed with them the entire race. She battled with those girls and maintained her position until about 300 meters to go, then she flew down that final stretch and into the chute.
"She ran with great confidence and a positive line of attack as she finished her race."
Wardinski will compete at 12:40 p.m. Saturday in the Division 1 girls race.
Richardson came in ninth with 16:55 for the Falcons, who competed in the Shorewood Sectional at Kern Park.
Van Tine will also represent Whitnall at state after running 13th with 16:24 at the sectional.
"Jasmine ran a great race and has definitely put in the time and effort," Whitnall girls head coach Mike Thompson said.
Richardson will run in the Division 2 event at 1:50 p.m. and Van Tine at 12:05 p.m.
None of their teams qualified for state but the local squads did put in some good efforts, coaches said.
The Huskies tallied 81 points for third place as a team in the sectional, which was won by Marquette at 42 points. Brookfield East was second with 70 points and also qualified for state.
"We came up 11 points short of qualifying for the second year in a row," Kurtz said. "We were able to move closer to Marquette and Brookfield East."
Tony Lozano, running with an injured knee, finished 14th in 17:11, missing the final qualification spot by four seconds.
Alec Krause placed 16th (personal-best 17:16), missing qualifying by nine seconds. Alex Elliott took 23rd (personal-best 17:28), moving up in the Hale positioning for the fourth straight week, Kurtz said.
Bailey Keune ran 26th (17:35), Aaron Wojtysiak 30th (17:43) and Kevin Reed 40th (17:59), with all improving their times from the conference meet.
After Van Tine, Nora Imperl came in 16th (16:35), Kim Hurst 18th (16:42), Alyssa Woo 19th (16:43), Jennifer Bahling 34th (17:30), Kristy Crivello 39th (17:53) and Lily Zablocki 54th (18:58).
The Falcons claimed fourth in the sectional with 100 points.
"It was the best meet of the season," Thompson said. "Nora, Kim and Alyssa just missed out on qualifying for state. Alyssa has really impressed these past three weeks, seeing as she was in a walking boot to start the season and couldn't even run for six weeks."
The Falcons totaled 143 points for fourth place in the sectional meet.
After Richardson, Seth Nowak captured 26th (17:56), Matt Paruzynski 29th (18:04), Tyler Nape 30th (18:08), Alex Meyers 49th (19:37), Cade Dombrowski 52nd (19:47) and Blake Stencil 55th (19:54).
After Wardinski, Becky Schwindt placed 52nd (season-best 18:27), Kirsten Donnerbauer 60th (19:02), Amanda Cieslinski 62nd (19:18), Hannah Pfister 64th (personal-best 19:36), Dana Batchelor 68th (personal-best 20:09) and Kristen Walters 69th (20:17).
"Amanda is really learning to run," Klobukowski said. "Her approach, her work habits and her enjoyment in competing are starting to come together and being only a sophomore, she will be contributing down the road."
The Bulldogs scored 244 points for ninth place.
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