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Lead runner’s lost shoe not enough to keep Port from 6th in girls’ state race PDF Print E-mail
Written by MITCH MAERSCH   
Wednesday, 01 November 2017 18:12

That sixth cross-country runner matters more than one might think.
Shoes? Apparently, not so much.
Overcoming an equipment mishap, the Port Washington girls’ team won a tiebreaker and took sixth place at the WIAA Division 2 state meet last Saturday.
The Pirates scored 199 points, the same total as St. Croix Central.
Freedom won the team title with 68 points, followed by Wisconsin Dells’ 98.
Leading the way for Port was one-shoe Payton Hurley, who took 37th (19th for full-team finishers) in 20 minutes, 34.22 seconds.
“It was the toughest course we ran by far, and that was her fastest time of the season,” Port coach Joe Adamak said.
“She lost a shoe at the mile mark. She  didn’t notice until she got to gravel. So it hurt a little bit.
“It makes me feel like a stupid coach. I should have took off her shoes a long time ago.”
PORT GIRLS CROSS COUNTRY 3420Also for Port, senior Alexis Reichardt took 48th (28th) in 20:46.17. Senior Emma Meyer took 74th (43rd) in 21:03. Freshman Bethany Stacey was 85th (51st) with a personal-best 21:15.41, and junior Jill Cavanaugh was 94th (58th) in 21:22.11.
“The whole team was 13th place at the mile (mark). They worked their way up,” Adamak said.
Port’s sixth runner, freshman Emma Goodman, took 96th (60th) in 21:26.84. St. Croix Central’s sixth runner finished 77th, giving Port the tiebreaker.
“It just shows you that every runner counts,” Adamak said.
Making it to state was the team’s goal from the start of the season.
“A little cherry on top was taking second in the North Shore Conference,” Adamak said.
The Pirates did it without a standout runner who regularly made the top five.

“If someone has a bad race, the next person picks them up. That’s been our approach all year,” Adamak said. “It’s been a real fun year. I’ve enjoyed working with this group as much as any group I’ve had before.”
Black Hawks nearly crack the top 10
In the same race, Grafton finished 11th with 236 points, four back of 10th-place Xavier.
Junior Julia Wille led the Black Hawks by finishing 21st (10th) in 20:10:56, reaching her goal of placing in the top 25.
“She had a great race, nice way to finish out her season,” Grafton coach Kevin Kriegel said.
Also for Grafton, sophomore Ava Pederson was 52nd (32nd) in 20:51.3, by far her best race of the year. Freshman Morgan Ruona was 86th (52nd) in 21:15.85. Junior Zoe Leannah was 102nd (66th) in 21:34.65, and junior Elise Luck was 14th (76th) in 21:45.52.
“The top three girls had really good races. Zoe and Elise ran what they had been — not an awesome race but more of a consistent race,” Kriegel said.
Next season, Grafton’s team will return all of the same runners and be hungry to get back to state, according to its coach.
“It’s exciting to have your whole team back and think about the future about the program,” Kriegel said.
Large’s career ends in heartbreak
Random Lake/Ozaukee senior Elise Large, who won every race this season before Saturday, was among the Division 2 leaders when she developed a calf muscle cramp and couldn’t continue.
“She held 10th place for most of the race. the injury occurred with approximately 800-1,000 meters to the finish,” coach Stephanie Ohme said.
The Rams scored 347 points, good for 15th place.
Freshman Kelley Large, Elise’s sister, took 23rd (11th) in 20:18.69. Senior Alicia Hartmann was 89th (54th) in 21:19.17.
“Kelley Large and Alicia Hartmann had remarkable races; they both looked strong throughout the race,” Ohme said.
Freshman Molly Schimberg was 132nd (93rd) in 22:19.56. Freshman Amy Hoffman was 133rd (94th) in 22:19.62, and freshman Grace Tinder was 134th (95th) in 22:24.66.
Cedar Grove-Belgium freshman Payton Navis, the Rockets’ individual qualifier, took 51st in 20:50.45.
“The moment was not too big for her,” Rockets coach Brandon Langer said.
“Overall, it was a very successful freshman season, and I look forward to the progress she can make next fall.”

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