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For a second straight year, Mauston will have two representatives at the state cross country meet. One is a senior making her third straight trip to cap off her career. The other is a freshman who is just getting started.

Mauston senior Journey Malacina and freshman Eli Boppart both finished in the top 10 of their respective races to grab an individual state qualifying berth at the Division 2 Colby sectional meet Saturday, October 26 in Colby.

A trip to state is old hat for Malacina, who also qualified in both 2017 and 2018. In the 2017 race, she placed 22nd overall with a time of 20 minutes, 12.62 seconds. She dropped off a bit in her second state appearance last year, taking 61st with a time of 20 minutes, 46.9 seconds.

She’ll get a shot a redemption in one last state meet appearance thanks to a stellar performance in Colby.

Malacina posted a time of 21 minutes, 1.5 seconds to place seventh overall at the Colby sectional. Elsewhere for the Golden Eagles in the girls’ race, senior Anna Boppart (21:54.6) finished in 16th overall, sophomore Autumn Drinkwine (22:31.9) took 25th, sophomore Ellie Horn (23:41.9) came in 48th and freshman Emma Sweres (24:47.7) was 60th.

Juniors Haley Heath (25:07.0) and Kennedy Barnier (25:11.0) also ran for the Golden Eagles, who came in fifth overall as a team with 155 points.

Medford took home the team sectional title and a team state berth with 35 points. Wisconsin Dells, led by first-place runner Laura Beghin (20:07.3), tallied 67 team points to take second and secure a state berth.

Joining Malacina as individual state qualifiers were La Crosse Logan senior Greta Trapp (20:48.2) in fifth, Viroqua senior Caitlin Fox (21:00.4) in sixth, West Salem freshman Macey Tauscher (21:05.7) in ninth and La Crosse Logan sophomore Ellie Haverland (21:21.8) in 11th.

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Last year on the boys’ side, Mauston senior Josiah Ziebell punched his first ticket to state to join Malacina in Wisconsin Rapids. This time around, it’s the freshman Boppart.

Boppart posted a time of 17 minutes, 35.9 seconds to place ninth overall in the race and clinch the final of five individual state qualifying berths available at sectionals. He finished 12.3 seconds ahead of Arcadia sophomore Jose Monroy (17:48.2) for that final state spot.

Also for Mauston, senior Ray Gruman (18:43.1) took 30th, junior Gabe Cziapinski (19:05.0) was 37th, sophomore Joe Hammer (20:16.7) came in 67th and junior John Luke (20:39.0) finished in 73rd.

Sophomore Tanner Harrison (21:03.4) and junior Nelson Brandt (21:18.7) also ran for the Golden Eagle boys, who took eighth in in the team standings with 216 points.

Led by first-place finisher Zach Slevin (16:57.2), La Crosse Logan won the team sectional title and ensured its spot at state with 43 points. Elk Mound recorded 68 points to finish in second and grab the other team state bid.

Joining Boppart as individual state qualifiers on the boys’ side were West Salem junior Charlie McKinney (17:19.0) in third, Medford sophomore Joseph Sullivan (17:22.2) in fourth, West Salem junior Brady Niemeier (17:24.8) in sixth and Wisconsin Dells senior Pablito Schulz (17:35.3) in eighth.

The 2019 WIAA Boys & Girls State Cross Country Championships will be held Saturday, November 2 at Ridges Golf Course in Wisconsin Rapids. First up are the girls’ races: Division 2 at noon, Division 1 at 12:40 p.m. and Division 3 at 1:20 p.m. Boys’ races follow with Division 2 at 2 p.m., Division 1 at 2:35 p.m. and Division 3 at 3:10 p.m.

Follow Zach Rastall on Twitter @zrastall17 or contact him at 608-697-7943.

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