Six Teams and Individuals Crowned WIAA Cross Country Champions

WISCONSIN RAPIDS, Wis. – Boys and girls teams and individuals earned titles in three divisions at the 2021 State Cross Country Championships at The Ridges Golf Course Saturday.

Onalaska raced to the boys Division 1 team championship for the first time in program history after placing 10th last season. The Hilltoppers finished with a five-runner score of 89 points, and Homestead finished second, five points behind at 94.

Senior Austin Henderson of Neenah earned individual medalist honors after placing third last season, covering the 5-kilometer course in 15:40.5. Senior Patrick Wills of Waukesha North came in second, improving on last season’s 12th-place finish, with a time of 15:44.6.

Middleton was the Division 1 girls team champion with a score of 61 after winning the 2020-21 alternate season title last spring. It’s the fifth team championship won by the Cardinals. Madison West was a distance second with 150 points.

Senior Lauren Pansegrau of Middleton was the girls individual champion in Division 1 after winning the alternate season crown last spring and placing runner-up in 2019. She paced the field in 17:44.7, which ranks as the second-fastest time in State Meet history.  Senior Isabela Ross of Oak Creek was second with a time of 18:16.8 to improve on last season’s fifth-place finish.

Shorewood won its ninth State boys team championship, capturing the Division 2 title with 54 points. Notre Dame finished runner-up with 73 points.

Junior Nathan Cumberbatch of Shorewood ran to the Division 2 boys individual championship after placing fourth in Division 1 last season. He completed the course in a time of 16:06.4, which was more than 10 seconds swifter than the time of Eli Boppart of Mauston, who finished second with a time of 6:16.7 after placing seventh last year.

Dodgeville/Mineral Point reigns as the girls team champion in Division 2 for the sixth time with 88 points, edging Shorewood for the title by a single point, which represents the second-smallest margin of victory in the Division 2 meet history. Interestingly, the closest margin of victory in Division 2 was the championship won by Dodgeville/Mineral Point in 2010, which was determined by the highest sixth-place finisher after a tie with Onalaska through the first five finishers on each team.

Senior Kayci Martensen of Southwestern/Benton/Cuba City ran to her third straight championship, becoming just the fifth runner in State Meet history to win at least three titles. She covered the course in 18:10.0, which ranks fourth in State Division 2 history. Martensen also has a third-place finish in 2018 to go with her three titles. Freshman Faith Wehrman of New Berlin Eisenhower made an impressive debut in her first State Meet, finishing second with a time of 18:24.7.

In Division 3, Valders wins its sixth boys State championship and its fourth in the last five years with a team score of 78. Grantsburg finished in second place with 85 points after placing fourth in 2020.

A pair of Vikings were the first two boys to finish the race. Senior Shane Griepentrog cruised to the championship in a time of 15:38.6 after finishing sixth in Division 2 last season and eighth in 2019. It was the second-fastest time in Division 3 history. His senior teammate Clay Taylor was runner-up with a time of 16:14.1.

Boscobel won the Division 3 girls team championship with a score of 71 to win the program’s fourth title. Valders ran to a runner-up finish in the team standings with 108 points.

The kick of junior Elsie Kmecak of Catholic Central in the final 25 yards of the Division 3 girls race earned her the gold medal with a time of 19:47.7.  Senior Abby Bartel of Weyauwega-Fremont, who won the title in 2019 and was eighth a year ago, was runner-up with a time of 19:50.2.

Boys Results
Division 1
Division 2
Division 3

Girls Results
Division 1
Division 2
Division 3

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David Keech
Author: David Keech

David Keech is a math teacher in Wisconsin Rapids and public address announcer for Abbotsord High School. He officiates basketball, baseball, and softball in central Wisconsin. He has reported on amateur sports since 2011, known as 'KeechDaVoice.' David can be reached at [email protected]