CG-Belgium girls edge Random to win 2nd straight team berth in Division 2
The Cedar Grove-Belgium girlsâ€™ cross-country team has booked another trip to the biggest meet of the season.
Led by Tammi Del Ponte, the Rockets earned a spot in the WIAA Division 3 state final for the second straight year by winning a sectional meet at Sheboygan Lutheran High School last Saturday.
Del Ponte, a senior, finished third in a field of 103 runners with a 4,000-meter time of 15 minutes, 57 seconds.
Cedar Grove-Belgium scored 67 points, eight fewer than runner-up Random Lake, the other state-qualifying team.
The previous week, the Rockets also edged Random Lake to win the Central Lakeshore Conference, 42-49.
â€śThe girls had a goal in mind, to run a solid race, and they did a great job of taking our race plan and executing it,â€ť Cedar Grove-Belgium coach Les Paul said.
â€śThey had a tough week of workouts, and on Saturday they were able to put that to use.â€ť
Rounding out the top five teams were St. Maryâ€™s Springs (102), Sheboygan Lutheran (104) and Manitowoc Lutheran (137). Ozaukee ran with an incomplete lineup.
Del Ponte trailed only champion Delaney Sinnen of Random Lake (15:05) and Liz Bohn of St. Maryâ€™s Springs (15:32).
â€śTammi ran a very tactical race and ran down almost everybody for a great third-place finish,â€ť Paul said.
The Rocketsâ€™ other scoring finishes were Lily Paul in 12th (16:35), Molly Ison in 13th (16:37), Chloe Paul in 19th (17:13) and Jericho Duenk in 20th (17:21).
It was a rewarding day in a challenging season for Cedar Grove-Belgium runners.
â€śThey have worked so hard all season. We know that if we run good, we will have great results,â€ť coach Paul said.
â€śThe competition was really good, and that made this a very fun meet. Everybody did their job just the way we wanted it to go.â€ť
The Ozaukee girlsâ€™ top finisher was sophomore Jessika Dieringer, who placed 11th in 16:32. Her time was 11 seconds behind the last of five individual state qualifiers not on the top two teams.
â€śJessika had an extremely successful season, improving considerably over an already impressive freshman outing,â€ť Ozaukee coach Greg Mielke said.
Ozaukeeâ€™s other girl runner was junior Jordan Jacobs, who was 100th in 24:37.
The Cedar Grove-Belgium girls will try to improve on a fourth-place state finish last year. The Rockets have finished in the top six in three of the last four state meets.
In the boysâ€™ portion of the sectional meet, Cedar Grove-Belgium finished eighth out of 14 teams with 192 points. Ozaukee ran with an incomplete squad.
Freshman Peter Merritt led the Rockets with a 5,000-meter time of 18:17, good for 19th place.
Cedar Grove-Belgiumâ€™s other scoring finishes were Derek Arndt in 31st (19:06), Jon Meerdink in 34th (19:13), Ben Schroeder in 50th (20:02) and Nick Spredeman in 58th (20:17).
Also for the Rockets, Erik Weiland was 62nd (20:20) and Zach Riesselmann was 83rd (21:25).
Sheboygan Lutheran won the boysâ€™ team title with 50 points. Rounding out the top five were Manitowoc Lutheran (71), Oostburg (91), Markesan (153) and Gibraltar/Washington Island (173).
The Ozaukee boys were led by senior Ian Hughes, who placed 23rd in 18:28.
The Warriorsâ€™ other finishes were Nathan LeSage in 80th in 21:08, Alex Dieringer in 83rd (21:11) and Tyler Bares in 84th (21:13).
The boysâ€™ race was won by Oostburgâ€™s Sam Wensink in 16:59.
The state meet will be held Saturday, Oct. 27, at Ridges Golf Course in Wisconsin Rapids. The Division 3 boysâ€™ race starts at 11 a.m., followed by the girlsâ€™ run at 1 p.m.
Image Information: A THIRD-PLACE FINISH by Tammi Del Ponte (right) helped the Cedar Grove-Belgium girlsâ€™ cross-country team take top honors in a WIAA Division 3 sectional meet last Saturday. Teammate Molly Ison (left) finished third, as the Rockets earned a spot in the state meet for the second straight year. Photo by Sam Arendt