Panthers’ Bolich 15th in state meet

Falls’ Otte earns sixth-place medal in D-2 race


OLIVIA JANKOWSKI (396), Allie Gruttner (395) and Amanda Triebensee of Plymouth compete in the Division 2 girls state cross country race Saturday. – Photo by Mary Bolich OLIVIA JANKOWSKI (396), Allie Gruttner (395) and Amanda Triebensee of Plymouth compete in the Division 2 girls state cross country race Saturday. – Photo by Mary Bolich WISCONSIN RAPIDS – Senior Sophie Bolich closed out an outstanding cross country career at Plymouth with a team-best 15th place in Saturday’s Division 2 girls race at the state meet.

Bolich, who earned 12th at state last year, ran the 3.1-mile layout at the Ridges Golf Course in 19 minutes, 44.26 seconds. She competed in her fourth state run. The winner was senior Alicia Monson of Amery in an impressive 18:28.96.

The PHS Panthers, who had five freshmen competing, captured ninth in the 16-team field with 213 points (top-five finishers). Pewaukee won the title with 112.

The Howards Grove Tigers finished 14th in the D-3 girls meet with 298 points. HGHS was led by senior Noelle Eschen who took 61st in 21:30.95.


KATIE GUSE of Howards Grove tries to improve her place in Saturday’s Division 3 girls state cross country race. – Photo by Mary Bolich KATIE GUSE of Howards Grove tries to improve her place in Saturday’s Division 3 girls state cross country race. – Photo by Mary Bolich Oshkosh Lourdes Academy was the D-3 girls champion for the third straight year with 98 points. Senior Alissa Niggemann of Amherst won the race in 19:00.40.

Junior Clark Otte of Sheboygan Falls earned a sixth-place medal in the D-2 boys race with a 16:27.35 clocking over 3.1 miles. Spooner senior Daniel Pederson was the winner in 16:07.23.

“We ran well on the big stage of state. We were hoping for a topfive finish but we knew that would be a big challenge,” said Panther head coach Jay Grosshuesch.

“The girls ran very well. They all especially finished their races real strong as they all moved up in the field in the last half of the race.

“We talked about not just being satisfied with making it to state but to leave it all out on the course and we would be happy with the meet. This is exactly what the girls did,” said Grosshuesch.

“Sophie got out real well and ran with a strong pack for much of the race and finished with a good burst. Lauren [Rabe] and Gabi [Mella] made a nice surge after the first mile for very good races. Olivia [Jankowski] and Allie [Gruttner] also ran well to round out our top five.

“This was a great experience for our team. It was so satisfying to have our two out-going seniors [Bolich and Jankowski] run so well in their final races,” said Grosshuesch.

“All the best runners are here, so for the entire girls team to be a part of this in back-to-back years is simply awesome,” said Tiger head coach Gary Kalk whose team finished 13th in last year’s state meet.

“While our hopes of obtaining a top-10 team finish were not met, in large part to an illness taking the energy of our top runner [Katie Guse], I think we leave Wisconsin Rapids knowing we gave everything we could.

“I’m extremely proud of each of the ladies and so happy that the seniors got to finish their careers here,” said Kalk.


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