What: The 105th WIAA state boys cross country meet and the 44th state girls cross country meet.
When, where: Saturday, The Ridges Golf Course, 2311 Griffith Ave., Wisconsin Rapids
Tickets/parking: Tickets are $6 at the gate. No spectator parking is available at or near the course. Shuttle buses will be running to and from three park-and-ride locations: Hockey rink field (1731 Grove Ave.), Wisconsin Rapids High School (1801 S. 16th Street) and Grand Rapids Lions Club (2411 S. 36th St.)
On the Web: Find lineups, schedules, sectional results, meet history and results at https://www.wiaawi.org/Sports/BoysCrossCountry.aspx and https://www.wiaawi.org/Sports/GirlsCrossCountry.aspx. Fans also may request live updates for specified runners at the 1-mile, 2-mile and finish of their races by signing up in advance at https://live.sporthive.com/event/3790.
Schedule: Girls — Division 1, noon; Division 3, 12:40 p.m.; Division 2, 1:20 p.m. Boys — Division 1, 2 p.m.; Division 3, 2:35 p.m.; Division 2, 3:10 p.m.
2016 team champions: Boys — Division 1, Madison West; Division 2, Minocqua Lakeland; Division 3, Darlington. Girls — Division 1, Sun Prairie; Division 2, East Troy; Division 3, Darlington.
2016 individual champions: Boys — Division 1, Finn Gessner, sr., Madison La Follette (second consecutive victory); Division 2, Luke Bailey, sr., Appleton Xavier; Division 3, David Vannucchi, so., Onalaska Luther. Girls — Division 1, Meghan Scott, jr., Milwaukee Divine Savior Holy Angels; Division 2, Dana Feyen, so., Gale-Ettrick-Trempealeau; Division 3, Noelle Maire, sr., Belleville.
TEAMS TO WATCH
Division 1 boys — Top-ranked Middleton returns four runners from last year’s team, which finished third. Second-ranked Madison West has three returnees from last year’s state champion squad. Sussex Hamilton is ranked third and Stevens Point fourth among the field. Hudson, fourth last year, has five runners back this year but is ranked 11th, and Monona Grove (13th last year) and South Milwaukee (sixth) each have six runners back and are ranked ninth and sixth coming in, respectively.
Division 1 girls — Defending champ and top-ranked Sun Prairie, which has been a force all year but especially over the last couple of weeks, is the favorite to repeat, with five runners back from last year. Muskego (eighth last year) is ranked second and Waukesha West (with five back from last year’s fourth-place team) is ranked third. Janesville Craig enters with the No. 4 ranking, Madison West is ranked 11th and Stoughton is ranked 15th of 20 qualifying teams.
Division 2 boys — 2016 runner-up Valders enters with the top ranking and is one of five teams in the 10-team field that qualified last year. Second-ranked Port Washington will be a top challenger along with third-ranked Dodgeville/Mineral Point, which features five returnees from last year’s fifth-place team. McFarland enters ranked fourth and Jefferson is ranked eighth. Cedar Grove-Belgium, Green Bay Notre Dame and East Troy each return four runners from teams that took 10th, 11th and 12th, respectively.
Division 2 girls — Six of last year’s top 10 teams return, and the leader in the pre-meet rankings is Freedom, which returns four runners from last year’s fourth-place team. Wisconsin Dells is ranked second, with four back from last year’s fifth-place team. Lake Mills is ranked third, Jefferson fifth and McFarland 13th entering the meet.
Division 3 boys — Darlington is chasing its seventh consecutive state championship and is ranked No. 1 coming in, with six runners back from last year. Five other top-10 teams from 2016 are back this year, led by seventh-place Rosholt (ranked second) and third-place Durand (ranked third) with six returnees each. Young New Glarus/Monticello is ranked 16th.
Division 3 girls — Oshkosh Lourdes returns to chase what would be its fourth title in five years, with four runners back from last year’s runner-up team. The Knights are ranked fifth, though. The top-ranked qualifier is Dodgeland, with four runners back from last year’s fourth-place team. Palmyra-Eagle is ranked third and Lancaster fourth, with Marshall seventh.
INDIVIDUALS TO WATCH
Division 1 boys — Eleven of last year’s top 20 individual finishers return, led by junior Drew Bosley, last year’s runner-up (seventh in 2015). … Also back from top-10 finishes last year are South Milwaukee senior Jordan Janusiak (eighth) and Kimberly junior Rowen Ellenberg (ninth). Oshkosh North senior Wesley Schiek is new to Division 1 after taking second in Division 3 last year (10th in 2015), for Oshkosh Valley Christian. … Junior Caleb Easton of Middleton and senior Charlie Ellenbecker of Monona Grove won sectional titles last week. … Senior Sam Jaeger and junior Michael Madoch helped to give Middleton a sweep of the top three spots in the DeForest sectional, with Madison West senior Aaron Letscher, Madison East junior Max Loetscher and West senior Daniel Jacobs finishing in the top six. … Sun Prairie junior Ash Francis, Watertown senior William Kitzhaber, Madison La Follette senior Josh Freitag and Monona Grove juniors Reed Anderson and James Giftos also placed in the top six of the Beloit sectional.
Division 1 girls — At the top of the favorites list is Milwaukee Divine Savior Holy Angels senior Megan Scott, who won last year and was fourth in 2015. Thirteen of last year’s top 15 finishers return, including seven top-10 runners including Muskego junior Kate Jochims (third), Janesville Craig senior Peyton Sippy (fourth), Brookfield Central senior Leah Neustedter (fifth), Pulaski senior Annika Linzmeier (sixth), Waunakee junior Reagan Hoopes (seventh), Waukesha South senior Grace Dargiewicz (eighth) and Sun Prairie sophomore Autumn Dushack (ninth). … Sun Prairie senior Katie Rose Blachowicz won the Beloit sectional, with Sippy second and four other Sun Prairie runners taking third through sixth (Dushack, junior Maddie Thompson, freshman Kate Kopotic and sophomore Hannah Ray). … Hoopes won the DeForest sectional, followed by Madison West senior Vivian Hacker and junior Andi Bowman. Hacker, who has narrowed her college list to Wisconsin and Michigan State, gives a member of the Hacker family a spot running at state for Madison West for the 10th consecutive year. Stoughton sophomore Grace Jenny and junior Anna Wozniak and Madison Memorial senior Sydney Peterson also placed in the top six at DeForest.
Division 2 boys — The individual race should be wide open, with senior Trevor Wenzel of Valders (fourth last year) the top returning runner. Also back are seniors Miguel Mathias of Nekoosa/Port Edwards (fifth last year) and Trey Ulrich of Medford (10th). … Senior Tanner Maier of Lodi and junior Andrew Pahnke of McFarland won sectional titles last week. Monroe senior Drake Ingold, Dodgeville/Mineral Point sophomores Peyton Tranel and Henry Keith and Evansville junior Benedict Gallagher all placed in the top seven of the Platteville sectional, and Portage junior Tyler Jones, Jefferson junior Ryan Nelson, Lakeside Lutheran senior Tyler Punzel and Deerfield/Cambridge senior Spencer Currie each finished in the top six at Deerfield.
Division 2 girls — Defending champion Dana Feyen, a junior from Gale-Ettrick-Trempeleau, is favored to earn a repeat title after beating last year’s runner-up, Wisconsin Dells sophomore Laura Beghin, by 46 seconds in the Westby sectional. Feyen was runner-up in 2015. Appleton Xavier’s Annie Higgins returns after taking fourth last year, junior by Delavan-Darien senior Erin Sorg (sixth in 2016, fifth in 2015), and Freedom senior Jaci Hinz (ninth last year) and junior Lauren Vosters (10th). … Madison Edgewood senior Maddie McClimon ran to a second-place finish in the Platteville sectional, 20 seconds behind Brodhead/Juda freshman Madelynn McIntyre. … Dells senior Taylor Campbell took third at the Westby sectional … Jefferson junior Mariah Linse and freshman Makenzie Hottinger took fourth and fifth in the Deerfield sectional, with Lake Mills freshman Lauren Winslow and senior Kayli Buchli taking seventh and eighth.
Division 3 boys — Defending champion David Vannucchi, a junior from Onalaska Luther, returns for his third state meet (he was 13th in 2015). Darlington junior Payton Heinberg was third last year (16th in 2015). Also back are Rosholt junior Adam Rzentkowski (fourth last year), Eau Claire Immanuel senior Dan Lau (seventh in 2016 and 2015), and Hilbert/Stockbridge senior Garrett Franczek (ninth last year). Area top finishers in the Fennimore sectional were Fennimore sophomore Ian Barry, Darlington senior Tanner Evenstad, Madison Country Day junior Colin Green and New Glarus/Monticello freshman Conor McCoy. … Poynette sophomore Elias Ritzke took seventh in the Hartland Lake Country Lutheran sectional.
Division 3 girls — Lancaster junior Lydia Murphy enters as one of the favorites after finishing second last year and seventh in 2015. However, North Crawford freshman Helen Carstens beat Murphy by 26 seconds in the Fennimore sectional. … Four other top-nine finishers from last year are back, including Edgar sophomore Marissa Ellenbecker (third), Dodgeland junior Meygan Benzing (fourth), Iola-Scandinavia senior Erika Kisting (seventh last year, third in 2015) and Colfax junior Erica Kallstrom (ninth). … Darlington senior Reghan Komprood, Waterloo sophomore Christi Forman, Lancaster freshman Kristin Muench and Marshall sophomore Gianna Dugan earned top-six finishes at Fennimore. … Poynette freshman Katelyn Chadwick took sixth in the Lake Country Lutheran sectional.