The WIAA State Cross Country Meet is set to take place on Saturday at Ridges Golf Course in Wisconsin Rapids. Area runners qualified for this year’s meet includes Poynette’s Katelyn Chadwick and Elias Ritzke, along with Pardeeville’s Nathan Brant.
Here is a closer look at the area’s three state qualifiers:
Katelyn Chadwick, Poynette
Year in school: Junior.
Race: Division 3 girls, 1:20 p.m.
How she got here: Chadwick earned her spot at the state meet by finishing in second place at the Division 3 Boscobel Sectional on Saturday with a time of 19 minutes, 20.7 seconds.
State meet history: Chadwick is making her third straight appearance at the state meet. Last year she finished 18th in the Division 3 girls race with a time of 20:07. In 2017 as a freshman, Chadwick finished 35th in Division 3 with a time of 20:56.
Season in review: Chadwick’s five race victories this season came at the Cam-Rock Invite in Cambridge, the hometown Poynette Invite, the Rebel Invite in Rio, the Duck Pond Invitational in Fontana and the Baertschi Invite in Albany. Her top time on the season was her 19:20.7 at sectionals. Her second-fastest time was the 19:27.68 at the Nightfall Classic in Wisconsin Dells.
History lesson: Former Poynette girls runners Jaclyn Felician, Jordyn Mackey and Elizabeth Reddemann have all qualified for the state meet four times with teams and/or individually, but Chadwick is the first Poynette girl to qualify for the state meet three times as an individual.
Elias Ritzke, Poynette
Year in school: Senior.
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Race: Division 3 boys, 3:10 p.m.
How he got here: Ritzke qualified for the state meet by finishing third at the Division 3 Boscobel Sectional on Saturday with a time of 16:52.7.
State meet history: Ritzke will be running at the state meet for the third time. He made his state meet debut in 2017 as a sophomore, when he finished 43rd in Division 3 with a time of 17:36. Then last season, Ritzke improved to 28th overall in Division 3 with a time of 17:11.
Season in review: Ritzke’s final season with the Pumas has seen him win four races. Those wins came at the home Poynette Invite, the Rebel Invite in Rio, the Nightfall Classic in Wisconsin Dells and the Capitol North Conference Meet, which was also run in Poynette. Ritzke’s top time on the season was the 16:47.74 run at the Nightfall Classic. The only other time Ritzke finished under 17:00 was at last Saturday’s sectional, where he finished in 16:57.7.
History lesson: Ritzke is the second Poynette boy to qualify for the state meet as an individual three times. The other is Dusty Dorshorst. Also, Ritzke and Chadwick qualifying for the state meet this season means Poynette has been represented at the state meet by either a team or individual in 19 of the last 20 years.
Nathan Brant, Pardeeville
Year in school: Sophomore.
Race: Division 3 boys, 3:10 p.m.
How he got here: Brandt qualified for the state meet by finishing sixth at the Division 3 Westfield sectional with a time of 18:16.02.
State meet history: Brant is making his first appearance at the state meet.
Season in review: Brant didn’t win any races this season, but he did finish third at the Poynette Invite with a time of 18:45.86. Brandt’s best time on the season is 17:53, run on Sept. 17 at the Dana Waddell Invitational in Marshall. He also nearly broke the 18-minute barrier at the season-opening Cam-Rock Invitational in Cambridge, where he finished in 18:02.
History lesson: It has been 16 years since a Pardeeville boy has run at the state meet. The last time that happened was 2003, when the Pardeeville boys qualified as a team and finished in 12th place. The year before that, the Pardeeville boys won the Division 3 state championship, beating runner-up Boscobel by 10 points.