NEW RICHMOND, Wis. — The second-ranked Onalaska High School girls cross country team has been running all season with the goal of winning a WIAA Division 1 state championship on its mind.
The Hilltoppers gave themselves the opportunity to achieve that goal by winning the New Richmond Sectional on Saturday with three top-10 finishers and team score of 45.
Junior Kora Malecek was the overall champion with a time of 18 minutes, 7.1 seconds, and she easily held off second-place Rachel Ball (19:01.2) of Hudson for the championship.
Onalaska’s Lydia Malecek was third (19:18.9) and Ellie Smith sixth (19:45.6) as the Hilltoppers finished well ahead of runner-up Eau Claire Memorial (71).
Amalia Malecek was 14th (20:10.6) and Rachel Hosch 21st (20:31.9) to finish off the winning team effort.
Freshman Katie Christensen placed 12th (20:07.6) for central, but wasn’t one of the top five runners on non-qualifying teams.
Onalaska’s boys also ran well, but lost a tiebreaker to determine the second state qualifier. The Hilltoppers had a team score of 92 and tied New Richmond behind champion River Falls (50), but the Tigers won the tiebreak to advance.
Onalaska was led by sophomore Tyler Lee, who was ninth individually (16:51.8), but he missed out on a qualifying spot by 3 seconds.
Central freshman Wesley Barnhart grabbed the last qualifying spot with an eighth-place finish and time of 16:48.9.
COLBY, Wis. — Logan’s fifth-ranked boys won a sectional championship with the top two finishers and a team score of 43.
Senior Zach Slevin was the first to cross the finish line in 16:57.2, and he was followed by junior teammate Tracy Bye (17:15.2).
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West Salem placed third (125), while Elk Mound grabbed the second team spot in the state field with a 68.
West Salem’s Charlie McKinney (third, 17:19) and Brady Niemeier (sixth, 17:24.8) are individual state qualifiers with their finishes.
The Rangers also received scoring performances from Dylan Mitchell (seventh, 17:34.6), Daniel Wilson (14th, 18:08.4) and Jameson Jones (19th, 18:23.2).
Logan’s girls placed third and just missed out on a state berth with a score of 82. Medord (33) won and was followed by Wisconsin Dells (67).
Greta Trapp (fifth, 20:48.2) and Ellie Haverland (11th, 21:21.8) both qualified individually for Logan. Viroqua’s Cailtin Fox (sixth, 21:00.4) and West Salem’s Macey Tauscher (ninth, 21:05.7) also qualified.
WESTBY — The third-ranked Aquinas boys dominated the field with a 38 that was 100 points better than second-place New Lisbon (138).
Junior Andrew Skemp was the individual champion (16:30.5), and Mitch Ellis (fifth, 17:06.9), Zachary DeGroot (ninth, 17:30.1) and Alec taylor 910th, 17:33.9) added top-10 finishes. Ethan Nott (13th, 17:47.5) also scored for the Blugolds.
Cashton’s Jarret Carpenter (third, 16:42.9) and Carson Hayes (sixth, 17:10.3) are also individual qualifiers.
Brookwood girls qualified with a second-place finish (107) and was led by second-place Shelly Powell (20:12.2). Katie Gruen (11th, 21:12.6) and Kimberlee Downing (12th, 21:13.1) backed her up.
Onalaska Luther’s Lizzie Stuebs is an individual qualifier after placing sixth (20:45.9).
WIAA team state tournament
MADISON — Onalaska Luther was eliminated with a 7-0 loss to Kohler in the semifinal round.
The Knights finished their season with a 23-3 record.