MINOCQUA – If not for a few points, Will Gerber could have taken the carpool lane to Wisconsin Rapids this weekend.
The Grantsburg boys cross country sophomore earned a state-final spot and a ride to Wisconsin Rapids for Saturday’s WIAA Division 3 finale at Ridges Golf Course with his 4th-place finish in last weekend’s South Shore sectional. All his teammates, meanwhile, were just eight points from going along.
Gerber led a trio of Grantsburg runners who earned top-20 finishes in the sectional and ended with 128 points, placing the Pirates third in the sectional that advances the top pair of teams to the state final. Unity (73) won the team title while Chequamegon (120) edged the Pirates for the other transfer spot, despite having just one runner with a top-20 sectional finish. Webster (368) finished 14th and Frederic-Luck was two runners shy of qualifying for a team score.
Gerber’s time was less than a minute behind Birchwood’s Matthew Marcinske, who won the sectional in 16 minutes, 34.2 seconds. No other runner recorded a sub 17-minute time and Gerber (17:27.1) was one of just four runners to finish in under 18 minutes.
Brody Bongaarts (18:33.7) finished ninth to give the Pirates a second top-10 finisher while Connor DeTienne (18:36.2) was just 1.4 seconds from a top-10 finish, placing 11th. Jordan Janes (19:40.1) was 38th for the Pirates and Mason Arnold (21:15.6) was 72nd.
Edwin Janssen led the Tigers with a 54th-place finish in 20:17.3 and was closely followed by teammate Caleb Smith (20:22.3) in 55th. Sam Smith (23:28.2) was 97th; Chris Rollins (23:37) was 98th and Brandon Petersen (24:36.3) was 107th.
Frederic-Luck’s Mike Boland was about five seconds from a top-50 finish, placing 52nd in 20:14.9. Chris Hill (22:09.7) was 85th and Richard Bugella (29:54) was 110th.
The Division 3 boys cross country state final is scheduled for a 3:10 p.m. start and is the last of the six state-final events on Saturday.
With 16.3 seconds to spare, Ayla Meyer earned a trip to this Saturday’s WIAA Division 3 cross country state finals.
Meyer led the Grantsburg girls team in the South Shore sectional last Saturday with a 7th-place finish in 21 minutes, 52.9 seconds. Her time was good enough to claim the fifth of five individual transfer spots to this weekend’s final in Wisconsin Rapids.
Grantsburg, along with Webster, were unable to claim either of the team transfer spots however. Chequamegon won the sectional with 49 points and Prentice was second with 79. Grantsburg (137) was fifth and Webster (241) was 10th.
Alexis Slater (23:44.7) added a 25th-place finish for the Pirates; Tristin Kreuser-Peterson (24:59.8) was 45th; Hope McKinley (25:01.7) was 46th and Savanna Trittelwitz (25:30.9) was 48th. Belle Quimby (25:42.6) was 50th and Alex Kammeyer (30:07.3) was 83rd as Grantsburg’s additional runners.
Jenna Gomulak led the Tigers with a 41st-place finish in 24:51.6 and Emily Doriott (25:43.7) was just 1.1 seconds from adding another top-50 finish for Webster, placing 51st. Dahlia Dorn (27:44) was 75th; Felicity Lamb (27:50.8) was 76th and Grace McCool (28:41.7) was 78th. Arwen Gustafson (48:05.4) was the team’s additional runner, finishing 92nd.
The Division 3 girls state final is scheduled to start at 1:20 p.m. at Ridges Golf Course on Saturday.