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Strategy pays dividends for Port boys on the way to 3rd in Div. 2 state final PDF Print E-mail
Written by MITCH MAERSCH   
Wednesday, 01 November 2017 18:09

The Port Washington boys’ cross-country team accomplished two of its three goals this season, and that third one was the biggie.
The Pirates finished third in the WIAA Division 2 state race on a cold and blustery last Saturday in Wisconsin Rapids, achieving its season-long mission.
“It was very satisfying leaving the state meet this year realizing that we performed to our ability. The boys all ran as well as they could have,” Port coach Mark Pasten said.
Port scored 116 points to edge fourth-place Green Bay Notre Dame, which had 122. Valders won the meet with 60 points, followed by Dodgeville/Mineral Point’s 99.
The Pirates were led by Miles Stimac, who finished 18th (seventh for full-team runners) with a personal-best time of 16 minutes, 49.58 seconds, on the 5,000-meter course at Ridges Golf Course.
“Stimac used a great second mile to move up 29 places from his position at the first-mile mark,” Pasten said.
DSC 0276Also for Port, junior Brett Grisar was 25th (12th) in 17:01.7, and junior Isaiah Holland was 36th (19th) in 17:13.42.
Senior Fraser Toal was 64th (34th) in 17:38.76, and senior Zach Miller was 76th (44th) in 17:50.64.
“Miller had an outstanding final mile and was able to pass 19 runners in that span,” Pasten said.
Port’s next two runners, sophomore Ben Pasten and junior Zach Gephart, didn’t count toward the team total but they pushed up competitors’ scores.
Pasten finished 118th (75th) in 18:25.48. and Gephart was 123rd (83rd) in 18:32.52.

“Pasten was able to get ahead of eight of the others teams’ fifth men and Gephart was able to get ahead of six of the them,” coach Pasten said.
He said the team executed its race strategy brilliantly.
“At the one-mile point in the race, they were in 10th place out of the 16 teams. This was by design as they were running a controlled first mile that was within their ability,” Pasten said.
“By the second mile, they had moved up to third place in the standings with a four-point lead over fourth-place Green Bay Notre Dame. They were able to hold on to third place in the final mile of the race and even managed to gain a couple of places.”
Port’s other two goals were to finish in the top half of the North Shore Conference and in the top two in a sectional meet. When Toal hurt his ankle, the Pirates knew they couldn’t reach their conference target, but it bounced back to win the sectional.
Toal and the other two seniors will be hard to replace, Pasten said.
“Zach Miller was the team captain and was an excellent vocal leader. Miles Stimac was a leader in workouts. He set the pace and encouraged his teammates to stick with him. Miles also took the lead in most of the races during the season and set the tone for the team.”
Asthma slows CG-Belgium’s Lavey
Also in the boys’ meet, Cedar Grove-Belgium took 13th with 286 points, edging 14th-place Grafton’s 288, but Cedar Grove-Belgium standout Stephen Lavey was slowed by running-induced asthma.
Junior Quinn Hoopman led the Rockets by taking 80th (46th) in 17:51.94.
“Quinn had a nice race, taking 22 seconds off last year’s time,” said Rockets coach Brandon Langer, whose team was 10th last year.
Lavey struggled with breathing issues and took 91st (54th) in 18:03.97, after placing 32nd last year. “It’s something that you can’t predict, and it’s unfortunate that it had to occur at this meet,” Langer said.
“We talked about how this meet doesn’t take away from the fact that he had a very successful four years of running; it just didn’t end the way we had hoped.”
Junior Bryce Ketterhagen finished in 93rd (56th) in 18:05.31, 53 seconds faster than last year. Sophomore Dylan Quint took 100th (62nd) in 18:10.12, his personal best by 20 seconds. Senior Brandon Wieberdink was 107th (68th) in 18:16.29.
Thompson leads Black Hawks
In his third trip to state, Grafton senior Gordy Thompson had his best finish, 16th (sixth), and time, 16:45.64.
“I’m really pleased with Gordy. That was his best race of the year,” Grafton coach Kevin Kriegel said.
Junior Zander Lichosik took 74th (41st) in 17:48.42. Freshman Nathan Baker was 99th (61st) in 18:09.75. Junior Derek Ruona was 128th (88th) in 18:37.87, and junior Sam Peters was 132nd (92nd) in 18:44.42.
“Derek and Nathan had a good race, Sam and Zander would have liked to have a little bit better race,” Kriegel said. “The nice thing is (runners) two to five are back next year.”
Those runners will bring back state meet experience.
“Looking to the future, I think things will hopefully build on that,” Kriegel said.

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