SPASH surprises with second-place finish at State Meet
By John Kemmeter
Ranked 13th in the state a month-and-a-half earlier, the Stevens Point Area Senior High School (SPASH) boys cross country team capped a late-season push by finishing second at the WIAA Division 1 State Meet at The Ridges Golf Course in Wisconsin Rapids Saturday, Oct. 28.
Top-ranked favorite Middleton rolled to the State Title with 76 points, in what turned out to be a race for second place.
When the final team scores were displayed, the fourth-ranked Panthers were in second place with 177 points to beat out sixth-ranked South Milwaukee (191) and ninth-ranked Monona Grove (197) for the State Runner-up Trophy, and set off a celebration among the SPASH runners and their fans.
“I’m feeling great,” said sophomore Tristan Sernau. “Coming from being on JV last year to becoming runners at state is just amazing.
“I worked so hard this year, and we all have,” he said. “We came from nothing to something.”
“We just kept getting better, and we kept beating teams that we didn’t think we could beat,” said SPASH boys cross country coach Donn Behnke. “But we came into the State Meet, I think we all felt that Middleton was the only team we couldn’t run with, and everybody felt that way.
“There were some good teams, but we felt that our advantage was our balance and our depth,” he said. “And that’s what it turned out to be.”
To read the rest of the story, pick up a copy of the Portage County Gazette at one of the many newsstands in the area, including gas stations and grocery stores. Or subscribe at shopmmclocal.com/product/portage-county-gazette/ to have weekly copies delivered by mail.
For more information or to subscribe over the phone, call 715-343-8045.