State tickets at the finish line

palatino color=#5469ab>Strong sectional runs send Port’s Bartow, Hilton and Benkley, Grafton’s Lorge to Division 2 final

Hopes of advancing full lineups to the WIAA Division 2 state run faded for local cross-country teams in a tough sectional meet last Friday, but that doesn’t mean they won’t be well-represented at the season finale.

Four area runners — including Port Washington’s Jeff Bartow among the boys and Port’s Ashley Hilton and Bianca Benkley and Grafton’s Ali Lorge among the girls — all qualified for this week’s state meet in Wisconsin Rapids with strong finishes at the Wisconsin Lutheran Sectional.

Bartow, a senior, was the lone state qualifier for a Port boys’ team that had advanced to the state final each of the last three years. He finished sixth in a rain-soaked 5,000-meter race at McCarty Park in West Allis with a time of 17 minutes, 10.29 seconds.

As a team, the Pirates placed third with 81 points, failing to grab one of the top two qualifying spots taken by state-ranked opponents. Shorewood won the title with 27 points, well ahead of runner-up Wisconsin Lutheran, which had 53.

Among other squads in the 13-team field, Grafton was ninth with 233 points.

“It’s disappointing because we were hoping to get the whole team through again,” Port boys’ coach Mark Pasten said. “We knew Shorewood had the best team, but we thought we had a chance to catch Wisconsin Lutheran.

“We just didn’t have our best race, and the other two teams ahead of us both ran very well.”

Bartow, who has been the Pirates’ No. 1 runner most of the season, earned his third trip to state by running a solid race despite sloppy conditions. He was second among the five runners from non-qualifying teams who advanced.

“Jeff’s time was very similar to what he ran at the North Shore Conference meet, even though the conditions were tougher,” Pasten said. “He had a good race.”

Port’s other scoring runners finished in a closely packed group — Michael Kohlbach in 17th (17:44.38), Jared Sandlin in 18th (17:54.33), Brandon Hinneberg in 19th (17:58.29) and Eric Bretl in 21st (18:04.48).

Rounding out the Pirates’ finishes were Justin Fote in 28th (18:23.03) and Casey Karpin in 30th (18:30.8).

Shorewood had the meet’s top two runners, with Peter Drews winning in 16:06.29, and Ben Tyler taking second in 16:09.01.

Grafton, which fielded a full team for only the second time this season, was paced by junior Stefan Lundgren, who took 27th (18:13.44). The Black Hawks’ other scoring efforts came from Tony Brunnquell in 44th (19:00.86), Josh Wimmer in 51st (19:17.25), Justin Tomashek in
54th (19:33.22) and Brett Smith in 57th (19:39.52).

Teammates Jason Karrels (20:17.83) and Michael Knapik (20:19.02) finished 63rd and 64th, respectively.

“Our goal was to have a full team run at the sectional, and they were pretty excited to do as well as they did,” Grafton boys’ coach Kevin Kriegel said. “It was nice to see them beat some teams.”

Hilton leads local girls

Led by Hilton’s fourth-place performance, Port finished third in the girls’ portion of the meet with 71 points. The Pirates trailed only champion Wisconsin Lutheran (50 points) and Shorewood (60) in the race for the top two team spots.

Grafton placed fourth with 91 points.

Hilton, a junior, continued her season-long leadership role by pacing Port with a 4,000-meter time of 15:37.66 and earned her second straight trip to state.

Benkley, a freshman, finished eighth for the Pirates in 16:05.06, just behind Lorge, who was seventh in 15:57.2 and became the first Grafton girl to qualify for state in four consecutive years.

“Ashley ran amazingly well,” Port girls’ coach Joe Adamak said. “Under the conditions, she couldn’t have done much better.”

Benkley was also impressive, becoming the first Port freshman girl to advance to state since the WIAA adopted the 4,000-meter race format.

“She ran very well,” said Adamak, noting that Benkley continued to improve in her first season of cross country after choosing the sport over volleyball this fall.

“I told her this season that if she came out for cross country, she would make it to state, and she did.”

Port’s other scoring runners were Payton Greisch in 16th (16:27.04), Diana Seer in 17th (16:29.43) and Allison Hilton in 26th (16:57.42). In addition, Bonnie Allen placed 34th (17:20.99) and Jenny Roden was 38th (17:29.59).

Adamak knew his team would have a difficult time beating the top two squads.

“I looked around at the other sectionals, and I didn’t think anyone was in a tougher one than we had,” he said.

Lorge earned another state trip by fighting off the lingering effects of illness that sidelined her for the North Shore Conference meet the previous week.

“Ali ran spectacularly considering her condition,” Grafton girls’ coach Ryan Brogelman said. “She really wanted to make it back there again.”

The Black Hawks’ next-best finish came from freshman Amber Ducheny, who placed 12th in 16:18.96. Rounding out their scoring runs were Emily Volkmann in 19th (16:35.58), Haley Orlowski in 22nd (16:48.48) and Kylie Longoria in 31st (17:12.54).

In addition, Jamie Karrels placed 32nd (17:12.89) and Heidi Bauer was 33rd (17:15.68).

The state meet will be held Saturday, Oct. 31, at The Ridges Golf Course in Wisconsin Rapids.

The girls’ races will begin with the Division 3 final at 11 a.m., followed by Division 2 at 11:40 a.m. and Division 1 at 12:20 p.m. The boys’ races start with Division 3 at 1 p.m., followed by Division 2 at 1:40 p.m. and Division 1 at 2:20 p.m.




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Ozaukee Press

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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Port Washington, WI 53074
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