The Grantsburg boys cross country team had a stellar performance in West Salem for the division three state championship.
“We had a great performance! We placed 4th in the state, just 1 point away from the 3rd place Pacelli team who were predicted to take the state title,” cross country coach Natalie Doornink said. “We challenged them, and the boys raced with everything they had and left nothing on the course. They are an incredible group of young men- humble, dedicated, and already talking about off season preparations for next year.”
Sophomores Will Gerber and Chase Doornink continued to lead the team. Gerber placed first in the D-3 B heat with Doornink coming in fifth place.
“Overall, the boys represented extremely well with Gerber placing ninth overall and earning a State medal and Doornink close behind placing 14th overall in the State,” Doornink said. “This was no doubt a breakout year for Gerber. Doornink has been deemed the "Comeback Kid" as he faced setbacks and injury his freshman and Sophomore years.”
The team is already set for next season.
“Brody Bongaarts is running 3rd for the team and will continue to aim for the top pack of guys, he is one to watch on the horizon,” Doornink said. “Connor Quimby and Jordan Janes complete the top 5 varsity positions that earn the team points and each dropped their times substantially during Sectionals and were key to the team points that propelled them to the State meet. Each athlete plays a role in the success of our team.”
This was Doornink’s first season as the boys and girls cross country coach. She says she could not have asked for a better first season as the coach.
“I am thankful for the school and community support this year,” Doornink reflected. “From the firetruck welcome after sectionals to the all school pep fest and State send off. These athletes work at 110% each week and this sport is tough on the body. They are not able to call in back ups when tired or injured, they have to self motivate and mentally overcome fatigue and pain. Our focus on mindset preparation is just as important as the physical aspect of training; pre workout and post workout recovery methods we use. These athletes earned the spotlight.”