Hudson Haas

Sauk Prairie sophomore Hudson Haas, center, nears the finish line during the Division 1 boys race at the WIAA State Cross Country Championships in Wisconsin Rapids on Saturday, Oct. 28.

WISCONSIN RAPIDS — Hudson Haas’ spectacular season came to end when the Sauk Prairie sophomore finished in 102nd place in the Division 1 boys race at the WIAA State Cross Country Championships on a chilly Saturday afternoon at the Ridges Golf Course.

Haas, who qualified for the state meet after finishing with a personal-best time of 16 minutes, 38 seconds at the DeForest Sectional on Oct. 21, finished Saturday’s state meet in 17:11.

“I wish I would have been able to run a bit faster and placed a bit higher of course, but for my first time running here, that was pretty good,” Haas said after the race.

Haas started the race with a really fast pace, as he covered the first mile in 5:10 and was sitting in 28th place. He wasn’t able to keep that pace, as he ran the second mile in 5:46 and was in 86th place before falling back to 102nd over the final 1,800 meters.

“At the very start, in the first 800 meters, I got out faster than I think I wanted to, and it kind of messed me up a bit,” Haas said.

Haas gave Sauk Prairie its first state qualifier since Lianna Mack finished eighth in the girls race in 2013. Haas was also the first Sauk Prairie boy to run at the state meet since Garrett Kerska finished fourth in 2009.

“The best part about the whole experience has probably been the excitement it brought to me and my coaches,” Haas said.

The Sauk Prairie sophomore, who dropped two full minutes off his personal-best time from 2016 to 2017, said Saturday was a learning experience.

“It’s really intense,” Haas said. “There are a lot of people, and on top of that, there’s a lot of pressure, because you want to do really well for your school, especially when you’re the only person who qualified.”