In his second appearance at the state meet, junior Owen Jones shined on an already banner day for the New Lisbon Rockets.
Jones finished his race in 17 minutes, 5 seconds to place 18th overall in the boys’ Division 3 race at the 2019 WIAA Boys & Girls State Cross Country Championships Saturday, November 2 at Ridges Golf Course in Wisconsin Rapids.
Two years ago, Jones made his maiden state appearance as a freshman. He put forth a nice showing to finish 69th overall with a time of 18 minutes, 0.5 seconds. The second time around, he had shaved nearly a full minute off his time and rocketed up the leaderboard.
His performance was just the cherry on top of a historic day for the New Lisbon cross country program. The Rockets were making their first-ever appearance at state as a team on the boys’ side.
In addition to Jones, senior Eugene Taylor (18:32.6) took 91st, senior Colten Stickney (18:42.0) came in 105th, freshman Keagan Shankle (18:55.7) was 112th and senior Ethan Baldwin (19:06.1) finished in 117th. Sophomores Ethan Dvorak (21:33.5) and Devan Minard (21:46.6) also competed at the state meet for New Lisbon.
Overall, the Rockets accrued 272 points to place 13th overall as a team. But just being in Wisconsin Rapids at state as a team was a massive win in and of itself for the program.
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New Lisbon was not the only Juneau Country representatives at Saturday’s state meet; a pair of Mauston runners at divergent spots in their high school careers also made the trip.
Mauston senior Journey Malacina finished the Division 2 girls’ race with a nice time of 20 minutes, 53 seconds to place 69th overall in her third and final appearance at state.
This was Malacina’s third consecutive trip to the state meet. Previously, in the 2017 race, she placed 22nd overall with a time of 20 minutes, 12.62 seconds.
A year later, she came in 61st with a time of 20 minutes, 46.9 seconds.
While Saturday was Malacina’s curtain call for her successful high school cross country career, it was the latest stop in the young career of Mauston freshman Eli Boppart.
In the Division 2 boys’ race, Boppart finished with a time of 17 minutes, 17.3 seconds to place 52nd overall.
Individual state champions were Hortonville senior Jake Krause (15:34.2) for Division 1 boys, Onalaska junior Kora Malecek (17:44.6) for Division 1 girls, Shorewood senior Lucas Florsheim (15:58.8) for Division 2 boys, Southwestern/Benton/Cuba City sophomore Kayci Martensen (18:19.9) for Division 2 girls, Wisconsin Heights/Barneveld senior Christian Patzka (16:08.7) for Division 3 boys and Weyauwega-Fremont sophomore Abby Bartel (18:52.9) for Division 3 girls.
Team state champions were Middleton (104 points) for Division 1 boys, Muskego (72) for Division 1 girls, Valders (78) for Division 2 boys, Shorewood (61) for Division 2 girls, La Crosse Aquinas (68) for Division 3 boys and Lourdes Academy (112) for Division 3 girls.
Follow Zach Rastall on Twitter @zrastall17 or contact him at 608-697-7943.