NESHKORO — The Wisconsin Dells girls cross country team added another South Central Conference championship to its trophy case with a dominating performance at the SCC Meet held at Camp Lake Lucerne in Neshkoro on Saturday morning.
The Chiefs put five runners in the top seven, including sophomore Laura Beghin, who won the meet for a second straight year with a time of 18 minutes, 52 seconds, helping her team finish with 19 points. That total was 21 points ahead of runner-up Mauston (40 points) and 64 points ahead of third-place Wautoma (83).
The conference championship for the Wisconsin Dells girls was their second in-a-row, and third overall in the history of the program.
The winning time for Beghin marked the 16th time she broke 19 minutes this season. The time was also 25 seconds faster than what she ran on the same course at the Wautoma Invite back on Sept. 19. Beghin fell 14 seconds short of the girls course record of 18:38, which she set last year as a freshman.
Finishing second to Beghin in 19:36 was Wisconsin Dells senior Taylor Campbell. The senior appears to be peaking at the right time. Her time on Saturday was her best this season and a full 52 seconds faster than her time at the Wautoma Invite earlier this year.
The next Wisconsin Dells runner to finish was freshman Emily Cunningham, who was fourth in 20:25. It was her third-best time of the season and a 57 second drop from what she ran at the Wautoma Invite last month.
Also earning first team all-conference honors for the Wisconsin Dells girls were sophomore Lindsay Cunningham and freshman Megan Jones. Lindsay Cunningham finished fifth in 20:37, while Jones was seventh in 20:47. Both Lindsay Cunningham and Jones ran faster than they did at the last month’s Wautoma Invite, including Jones, who took a full 1:25 of her time.
Sophomore Addy Johnson just missed out on earning second team all-conference honors, as she finished in 15th place in 22:37. Freshman Gracie Walker was 18th in 22:55. The time for Johnson was just 3 seconds off her season best, while Walker dropped 1:13 off her time from the Wautoma Invite earlier this season.
The Wisconsin Dells boys had three runners earn all-conference honors, including a pair on the SCC’s first team, on their way to finishing in fourth place with 72 points.
Wautoma won the meet with 53 points, edging out both Mauston and Nekoosa, who tied for second with 54 points.
Leading the Wisconsin Dells boys was sophomore Pablito Schulz, who finished third overall in 17:19. It was a season-best time for Schulz, who broke the 18-minute mark for the fourth straight race, and seventh time this season.
Joining Schulz on the SCC’s first team for Wisconsin Dells was junior Nick Kruschke, who finished fourth in 17:20. Like Schulz, Kruschke posted his fastest time of the season on Sautrday, breaking the 18-minute mark for the fifth time.
Landing on the SCC’s second team was sophomore Dylan Nevar, who finished 14th in 18:16. It was Nevar’s second-fastest time of the season.
Next to finish for the Chiefs was sophomore Bryson Funmaker, who ended up 26th in 19:30, followed by senior Gabe Kingsley, who was 27th in 19:31. It was Funmaker’s second-fastest time of the season, and the fastest time this year for Kingsley.
Rounding out the varsity results for the Wisconsin Dells boys were junior Dylan Anchor in 31st (19:49) and junior Andrew Engelbrecht in 34th (20:58).
Next up for the Wisconsin Dells teams is the Division 2 Westby Sectional, which will take place on Saturday. Advancing to the WIAA State Cross Country Championships from the sectional will be the top two boys and girls teams, as well as the top five runners not on one of those state-qualifying teams.
The Wisconsin Dells girls enter the sectional ranked second in the state in the latest Wisconsin Cross Country Coaches Association Division 2 Girls Poll. The only other ranked girls team at the Westby sectional is host Westby, who is currently ranked sixth.
The Wisconsin Dells girls will be trying to qualify for the state meet for a third time in four years. In 2014 they finished 16th at the state meet. Last year Wisconsin Dells qualified by winning the program’s first every sectional title before going on to finish fifth at the state meet.
SOUTH CENTRAL CONFERENCE MEET
Team scores: Wisconsin Dells 19, Mauston 40, Wautoma 83, Westfield 101, Adams-Friendship 128, Nekoosa 186.
First team all-conference (places 1-7): 1, Laura Beghin, WD, 18:52; 2, Taylor Campbell, WD, 19:36; 3, Journey Malacina, Mau, 19:54; 4, Emily Cunningham, WD, 20:25; 5, Lindsay Cunningham, WD, 20:37; 6, Anna Boppart, Mau, 20:44; 7, Megan Jones, WD, 20:47. Second team all-conference (8-14): 8, Mikayla Flyte, Wes, 21:14; 9, Grace Hammer, Mau, 21:16; 10, Mya Scully, Mau, 21:19; 11, Mackenzie Caves, Wau, 21:21; 12, Isabella Kemp, Mau, 21:52; 13, Kiana Julian, Wau, 22:10; 14, Melissa Good, West, 22:17.
Wisconsin Dells: 1, Laura Beghin 18:52; 2, Taylor Campbell 19:36; 4, Emily Cunningham 20:25; 5, Lindsay Cunningham 20:37; 7, Megan Jones 20:47; 15, Addy Johnson 22:37; 18, Gracie Walker 22:55. Wisconsin Dells JV: Tess Jisa 27:43.
Team scores: Wautoma 53, Mauston 54, Nekoosa 54, Wisconsin Dells 72, Westfield 147, Adams-Friendship 163.
First team all-conference (places 1-7): 1, Miguel Mathias, Nek, 16:20; 2, Josiah Ziebell, Mau, 17:12; 3, Pablito Schulz, WD, 17:19; 4, Nick Kruschke, WD, 17:20; 5, Ian Gibbs, Nek, 17:23; 6, Luke Boppart, Mau, 17:24; 7, Kordell Woyak, Wau, 17:24. Second team all-conference (8-14): 8, Hayden Schwartzman, Wau, 17:35; 9, David Gibbs, Nek, 17:35; 10, Calebl Williams, Wau, 17:42; 11, Tim Hicks, AF, 17:50; 12, Jacob Cafferty, Mau, 18:03; 13, Creedon Abraham, Wau, 18:11; 14, Dylan Nevar, WD, 18:16.
Wisconsin Dells: 3, Pablito Schulz 17:19; 4, Nick Kurschke 17:20; 14, Dylan Nevar 18:16; 26, Bryson Funmaker 19:30; 27, Gabe Kingsley 19:31; 31, Dylan Anchor 19:49; 34, Andrew Engelbrecht 20:58. Wisconsin Dells JV: Silas Greendeer 20:46; Bailey Welch 20:52; Patrick Cooley 21:05; Jace Knetter 21:35; Brett Weiss 22:14; Ben Mayor 22:48.
At Lake Lucerne, Neshkoro, 5,000 meters.