Experience bolsters PHS girls’ state hopes

by Greg Ceilley of The Review staff


TOM JANKOWSKI (right), Plymouth senior, earns a state cross country berth with an eighth-place finish in Saturday’s Division 2 sectional meet at Mayville. The Plymouth girls cross country squad (below) will compete in the Division 2 state meet Saturday. Members include (left to right) Karly Knaus, Julia Novotny, Sheila Anzures (alternate), Brooke Koehn, Anna Travis, Abby Payne and Olivia Jankowski. — Submitted photos TOM JANKOWSKI (right), Plymouth senior, earns a state cross country berth with an eighth-place finish in Saturday’s Division 2 sectional meet at Mayville. The Plymouth girls cross country squad (below) will compete in the Division 2 state meet Saturday. Members include (left to right) Karly Knaus, Julia Novotny, Sheila Anzures (alternate), Brooke Koehn, Anna Travis, Abby Payne and Olivia Jankowski. — Submitted photos Experience and confidence fuel the Plymouth girls team’s hopes for the Division 2 state cross country meet Saturday.

The Panthers return all of their runners who competed in last year’s D-2 state meet as they try to improve on the 10th-place finish. The state squad includes senior Anna Travis, juniors Sheila Anzures (alternate), Brooke Koehn, Julia Novotny and Abby Payne and sophomores Sophie Bolich, Olivia Jankowski and Karly Knaus.

Koehn will be competing in her third state run, having also competed in 2011. Bolich finished 21st last year at state which led PHS.

PHS senior Tom Jankowski will run in the D-2 boys race. The state meet will be held again at the Ridges Golf Course in Wisconsin Rapids. The D-2 girls race will start at 12:05 p.m. and the D-2 boys event at 1:50 p.m.

Junior Eric Dvorachek of Howards Grove will compete in the D-3 boys race at 1:15 p.m. This will be Dvorachek’s first state run.

“Last year we were 10th at the state meet, and our goal this year is to be in the top six,” said PHS head coach Jay Grosshuesch.

“We had a great state meet last year as four girls ran their season PRs [personal records] at that meet. That positive experience and the experience of all of them running in that meet last year is a huge confidence boost to our team.

“We have also run against some of the top Division 1 schools in the state in large invitationals this year, so I expect that the confi- dence level of our runners will be high. We will score well if we can keep our seven runners in the tight pack they have been in all season,” Grosshuesch said.

“Our runners ran real well on a tough workout yesterday [Tuesday] and the runners reported feeling quite good. These kids have been focused all year, and they have embraced the goal of finishing in the top six, so we are confident they will be ready to go on Saturday.

“Tom also has a goal to finish in the top half of the field. It would be great if he can run a PR in his last meet. Tom is also focused and excited for this opportunity,” Grosshuesch said.

The coach expects a strong girls field, with defending champion Dodgevill/Mineral Point, Shorewood, Two Rivers and Green Bay Notre Dame the top teams.

“Eric has worked his butt off for this opportunity,” said Tiger head coach Gary Kalk. “I’m happy he has the chance to compete at such a high level and challenge himself against the best our state has to offer.

“I look for Eric to run a PR in the low 17s [minutes]. For Eric to run a PR, I believe he’ll need to run within himself in the first mile. The anticipation leading up to this race, the excitement of the state meet can’t cause him to go out too quickly and fade as the race moves along.

“If Eric is able to keep his composure early, I believe he will run an excellent race and will be satisfied with the end results,” Kalk said.


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