W-F girls heading to state
Five individuals also advance
By Greg Seubert
A familiar face and several new ones are heading to Wisconsin Rapids for the WIAA State Cross Country Championships.
Weyauwega-Fremont senior Abby Bartel will compete in the girls’ Division 3 race at 3:05 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 30, at The Ridges Golf Course.
She won’t be the only Weyauwega-Fremont runner on the course that day, as the Warhawks’ girls’ team placed first Oct. 23 at a Division 3 sectional in Weyauwega.
Bartel, Melanie Jentsch, Madison Hansen, Emma Ziepke, Lauren Feltz, Morgan Hansen and Ava Loehrke will compete against 15 other Division 3 girls’ teams and 40 individual runners.
Another area runner also advanced out of the Weyauwega-Fremont sectional. Iola-Scandinavia’s Charlie Vater placed third in the boys’ race and will run in Wisconsin Rapids at 1:10 p.m.
Four other runners will also compete at state.
Clintonville’s Joshua Wilson and New London’s Macy Reybrock advanced out of the Division 2 Oconto Falls Sectional and will run at noon and 1:45 p.m., respectively. Hortonville’s Aidan Paschke and Noah Reynolds advanced out of the boys’ race at the Division 1 Stevens Point Sectional and will run at 12:35 p.m.
Bartel turned in a time of 19:16.53, more than 30 seconds ahead of second-place finisher Ainara Sainz de Rozas of Assumption.
It will be her fourth time at state after winning a Division 3 championship as a sophomore in 2019 and placing eighth last year.
“It’s really awesome, especially being on the home course,” Bartel said. “I usually don’t do my best on my home course. I don’t know what it is. As it got closer, I was like, ‘Well, this will be pretty cool, especially being my senior year to be able to finish here with my team.’”
Bartel placed second in her first two meets this season, but then won every other race, including her fourth CWC championship.
“We have a full team this year, so it’s been really exciting building bonds with them,” she said.
Jentsch and Madison Hansen also had top-10 finishes for the Warhawks, as Jentsch placed ninth in 21:26.1 and Hansen one spot behind with a time of 21:22.55.
Coach Nick Winn felt his girls’ squad had a chance to advance as a team if things fell into place.
That’s exactly what happened, as the Warhawks edged Assumption by three points to win the overall championship with 56 points.
“Everything that had to happen did happen,” he said. “Every one of the girls had a great race today, a lot of PRs, grit and determination. It’s all where the points lie. The girls deserve it.”
Bartel is preparing for her fourth trip to state, while her teammates will run in Wisconsin Rapids for the first time.
“I love it when more than one go,” Winn said. “They have so much fun together and go through the highs and lows together, right up to the end of the season. I like to tell them that this is a week to get your legs feeling really good. We’re not going to do hard workouts and let the cards fall where they may.”
Vater, a sophomore, is heading to state for the first time after finishing third in 17:24.95.
“It feels amazing after barely missing it last year,” he said.
Vater’s third-place finish behind Columbus Catholic’s Andrew Scheer and Pacelli’s Adam Eiden came just over a week after he won the boys’ race at the Central Wisconsin Conference meet at Standing Rocks County Park.
“I usually run a faster time at bigger meets and have a better race,” he said. “It was just a lot of work during the summer that put me ahead. That’s what did it.”
Reybrock, a sophomore, is making her second trip to state after placing 16th last year in Division 1, while Wilson is moving on for the first time.
Reybrock placed third in the girls’ race in 19:18.7 at The Patriot Golf Course and Wilson, a senior, placed second in the boys’ race in 16:55.1.
Paschke placed sixth in the boys’ race at Standing Rocks County Park in 16:46.9 and Reynolds qualified for his first trip to state by placing ninth in 17:06.4.