Panthers grab D1 State title; Cardinals finish runner-up in D3 in Rapids
By Jacob Heid
WISCONSIN RAPIDS — The 2022 cross-country season wrapped up on Oct 29 in Wisconsin Rapids. The SPASH and Pacelli teams qualified for state at the Ridges Golf Course, with a handful of local athletes qualifying individually. The Panthers dominated the division one portion with a team score of 39. The Cardinals ended eight points out of first place in division three.
Division one race
SPASH has strong runners who have proved themselves all season long. The Panthers had a large group of finishes where all or the majority of the athletes finished in the top ten, one being the race that got them to state. Juniors Aloysius Franzen and Bode Erickson kept pace with each other, finishing two seconds apart. Franzen finished the race in the top three at 15:35.6, which is a 5:02 pace per mile.
Cooper Erickson, Ethan Olds, and Graham Ballard finished in the next batch of SPASH runners. They rounded out the team scoring with a combined 34 points, ending between 16:19.6 (Erickson) and 16:24.1 (Ballard). Seniors Tate Bruckhart and Max Bushmaker rounded out the team with a 17:05 and 17:36 time, respectively. That is their second state championship since 2013 and the 11th cross-country title in school history.
Division three race
The Pacelli boys’ team had similar success to SPASH this season. The Cardinals ranked number one during the season in the division three cross-country coaches association poll. Pacelli showed why at state. Adam Eiden finished his high school cross-country career with a final race time of 16:44.2, which led the team by ten seconds. Fellow senior, Gabe Hoerter, had a top-ten time at 16:54.2, trailing first place by three points after two runners.
Freshman Luke Eiden had a strong run, tallying 20 points for the Cardinals with a 17:31.6 time. Junior Sam Carpenter and Lucas Haemmerle rounded out the team scoring (102) with a combined 63 points for Pacelli. They end a successful running season with hardware for the trophy case.
SPASH and Pacelli were the two local teams to make it to state together. Five other local athletes qualified individually, three coming from Amherst. Max Voss ended his junior season with a 42nd-place finish in the division two boys’ race. The Peterson twins finished in the top half of the girls’ D2 race for Amherst. Lia finished 52nd, while Saige took 73rd. The other two racers came from Rosholt. Junior Sophia Bablitch turned a 19:29.3 time into a seventh-place finish in division three. Rosholt’s Jacob Ross uses this season as a stepping stone, ending his sophomore season in 30th place at the state race.
For the SPASH and Pacelli seniors, they ended their high school cross-country careers on a high note. The younger runners will look ahead to next season to repeat what happened this year.
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