Rosholt boys cross country, Amherst’s Wise move on to state
Portage County Gazette
By John Kemmeter
For the ninth time in 10 years, the Rosholt High School boys cross country team is heading to the WIAA Division 3 State Meet.
Amherst High School senior Adam Wise finished fifth overall at the WIAA Division 3 Amherst Sectional at Standing Rocks County Park Saturday, Oct. 20, to advance to state as an individual, while Rosholt senior Adam Rzentkowski won the Individual Title to lead third-ranked Rosholt to the Team Title and its fifth trip to state in a row.
“Just to survive and advance to state was the main point of the race,” said Rzentkowski. “But I’m looking forward to next weekend, and just take it as it goes.”
“We’re very pleased to punch our ticket,” said Rosholt cross country head coach Mike Trzebiatowski. “And then hopefully have it all by next week.”
At the WIAA Division 3 Amherst and Division 1 SPASH Sectionals at Standing Rocks Saturday, snow flurries began to fall during the first race of the day for the Division 3 boys.
After placing fourth at state as a sophomore and finishing as the State Runner-up last year, Rzentkowski won Saturday for the eighth time in eight races this season, as he finished in 16:17.3 to beat second-place senior Sean Dolan of Wisconsin Rapids Assumption (16:49.8) for this third consecutive Individual Sectional Title.
“It was just really cold, really windy, and I was just trying to fight through it with the teammates, and just trying to make the best outcome,” said Rzentkowski. “Everybody had to run in this weather, so we just made the best of it.”
“If Adam stays healthy, it’s going to be a chore to beat the kid, just because he’s really doing a lot of OK things that we ask of him, understanding that, ‘if you want to go to this level, you’re going to need to do a little bit more,’” said Trzebiatowski. “And this team rallies behind him, because they figured out that, ‘you’re not just good in D3, you’re good all over.’
“And that broadens their spectrum, as far as what’s out there in cross,” he said.
Junior Mathew Ross placed seventh for Rosholt, followed by senior Zach Lepak (ninth), senior Bryan Cook (14th), sophomore Anthony Bianco (16th), senior Isaiah Cherek (19th) and sophomore Sam Trzebiatowski (20th), to put each of the Hornets’ seven runners in the Top 20.
Wise finished fifth overall to lead the Amherst boys and earn an individual berth to state, where he will run for the third year in a row.
The Falcons ended up 10th in the team standings with 298 points, as freshman Noah Barz (55th), senior Dylan Kostuch (64th), freshman Ben Lee (85th) and sophomore Johnny Ballinger (103rd) rounded out the team’s lineup.
The Pacelli Catholic High School boys cross country team had its season come to an end after it finished seventh in the team standings with 215 points.
Senior Trevor Frane was 17th to lead the Cardinals, followed by sophomore Sam Grywacz (34th), freshman Ben Haemmerle (43rd), junior Sam Franz (66th), junior Mitchell Jensen (76th) and sophomore Jacob Zimmerman (82nd).
In the end, Rosholt finished with 47 points to win the Sectional Title over eighth-ranked Wisconsin Rapids Assumption (80), ninth-ranked Athens (94) and 10th-ranked Marathon (103), to advance to the WIAA Division 3 State Meet at The Ridges Golf Course in Wisconsin Rapids at 12:35 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 27.
There, Rzentkowski will look to contend with the back-to-back defending State Champion in senior David Vannucchi of Onalaska Luther, after Rzentkowski (15:42) beat Vannucchi (15:56) at the Wisconsin Rapids Lincoln Invitational at The Ridges Oct. 6.
Meanwhile, Rosholt placed third at state last year, and was ranked third in Division 3 in the final Wisconsin Cross Country Coaches Association Poll of the regular season last week behind top-ranked Onalaska Luther and second-ranked La Crosse Aquinas, and ahead of fourth-ranked Darlington.
Aquinas won the Durand Sectional over Onalaska Luther Saturday, as both teams advanced to state over 11th-ranked and defending State Champion Durand.
“All four years of my high school career we’ve qualified as a team to state, so it definitely means a lot,” said Rzentkowski. “We have the chance to really make something happen, as far as winning state goes, it’s probably (the best chance) this year out of any other year.
“So we’re pretty confident going into state, and we’re hoping for the best possible outcome,” he said.
“Obviously we’re going to try to improve upon what we did last year when we were close to winning, and then all of a sudden we faded a little bit,” said coach Trzebiatowski. “And it’s a different team, but we’ve got some kids back that ran.
“Onalaska Luther’s got three kids up front, and Aquinas is hungry too, two years ago they got second behind Darlington,” he said. “Darlington’s probably not as talented as it was before, but they’ve got a lot of tradition on their side, so it’ll be interesting.”