Port’s lady runners finish strong

Late surge moves Pirates into seventh place; Pasten runs second-fastest time; Baker medals for Grafton

PORT WASHINGTON’S GIRL runners took seventh at the Division 2 state cross country meet last Saturday in Wisconsin Rapids. Kneeling from left Clare Woods, Emma Kasza-James, Bethany Stacey, (standing from left) Abbey Lotz, Emma Goodman, Brayea Thomas, Kayla Hartmann, Mira Stimac and Anna Russell. Photo courtesy of the Rubber Down Photography
Ozaukee Press staff

At the second of three miles at the Division 2 state cross country race in Wisconsin Rapids last Saturday, the Port Washington High School girls’ team was in 11th place of 16 teams.

Coach Joe Adamak’s goal was placing in the top eight.

The Pirates kicked it up a notch to move their way up to seventh.

“They all finished very strong,” Adamak said.

Port scored 198 points. North Shore Conference foe Shorewood ran away with the meet with 61. Oscela was second at 102.

Port junior Bethany Stacey took 12th (sixth among schools with full teams), just missing the medal stand for a top-10 finish. She ran the 5,000-meter course in 19 minutes, 26 seconds. It was her third time running the course and she was one minute faster than last year.

“That was a great run race,” Adamak said.

Freshman Braeya Thomas was 34th (21st) in 20:13, which Adamak said was impressive for a freshman.

Junior Mira Stimac was 61st (37th) in 11:41, much better than her freshman year when she didn’t crack the top 100.

Freshman Emma Kasza-James was 86th (57th) in 21:16, a time Adamak said was “pretty good for a course like this,” and freshman Abbey Lotz was 116th (77th) in 21:58.

The weather was cold and snow came through before the Division 2 race, but Adamak said Stacey told the team, “‘You qualified to run in this weather.’”

While warming up was difficult, once the race started conditions were fine, Adamak said.

There isn’t anything much more satisfying than getting the entire team to state, he said.

“To run well when you’re up there always makes for a good end to the season,” he said.

Port returns all of its runners next season.

Baker brings home some hardware

Grafton coach Kevin Kriegel said the goal was for junior Nathan Baker, the Black Hawks’ only boy qualifier, to finish in the top 20 at the Division 2 race and maybe crack the top 10.

Baker came through and ended his season on the podium.

He finished 10th in 16:42, two seconds ahead of the 11th-place runner.

“It is a credit to Nathan putting in all the hard work throughout the offseason and  doing all the right things during the season. He is very focused and coachable, so his finish at state was well deserved,” Kriegel said.

Pasten finishes career on a high note

Port senior Ben Pasten ran the second-fastest time of his career in his final high school race. He finished in 17:02, good for 30th place, running the final mile in the 16th fastest time of 152 finishers.

His time was 28 seconds faster and 37 places higher than last season.

“Ben ran a very smart race. He steadily moved up from 69th at the mile mark to 44th at the two-mile mark and finally to 30th at the finish line. Having run on the course as a member of the team his sophomore year and last year as an individual qualifier definitely made a difference in his performance,” his coach and father Mark Pasten said.

Grafton girls pick up valuable experience

Grafton’s girls battled injuries all season and fielded a full team for the first time at the sectional meet. Sophomores Maddy Wille and Rachel Swenson qualified for state.

Wille finished 102nd in 21:42 and Swenson was 108th in 21:45.

“The hope is that all three runners (including Baker) will use this experience to fuel them for the next season and work in the off season to build on this momentum,” Kriegel said.



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Wisconsin’s largest paid circulation community weekly newspaper. Serving Port Washington, Saukville, Grafton, Fredonia, Belgium, as well as Ozaukee County government. Locally owned and printed in Port Washington, Wisconsin.

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