Athlete of the Week: Ryann Wagner

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Freshman will cap strong first year at state

Suring freshman Ryann Wagner will compete Saturday in the WIAA Division 3 State Cross-Country Championships in Wisconsin Rapids. (Contributed photo)

Athlete: Ryann Wagner

Sport: Cross-Country

School: Suring High School

Year: Freshman

Making the WIAA State Cross-Country Championships is no easy feat for any runner. Making it to state as a freshman is also a pretty rare occurrence.

Suring freshman Ryann Wagner secured herself a spot at state by finishing sixth at the Division 3 Westfield Sectional on Saturday, completing the course in 21 minutes, 56.76 seconds. On Oct. 11, Wagner placed second at the first-ever Marinette & Oconto Conference Meet. Her time of 21:02.5 was only behind good friend Sylvia Hansen of Gillett.

Q: When did your interest in cross-country begin?

A: I started becoming interested in cross-country in the beginning of eighth grade after volleyball season.

Q: What’s your favorite part about a cross-country meet?

A: My favorite part is getting to see all my friends from other schools who I have ran against in the past and getting to meet new runners from all over the state.

Q: As a freshman in a first-year cross-country program, who do you lean upon for advice?

A: I get most of my advice from my mom (Monica Wagner), who is my coach, or my principal, Mrs. (Pamela) Berg. I also get some advice from my friends Sylvia Hansen (Gillett), Faith King (Coleman) and Alexis Misco (Lena/STAA), who are experienced cross-country runners.

Q: How did you prepare for the cross-country season?

A: I prepared for this season by running in the summer and doing different runner camps and workouts this summer.

Q: How special will it be for you to end your freshman season at the state meet?

A: It was my goal to make it to state. I’m so excited to have made it. I am extremely thankful for everyone’s support and help along the way!

Q: Do you have any rituals you go through before a cross-country meet?

A: I always do a 10-minute warm-up run and then just do my warm-up exercises and stretches, so nothing too special.

Q: Do you look up to any particular athletes? If so, why them?

A: I look up to my friend Sylvia Hansen because she is a very successful runner and is a very close friend of mine. My goal is to someday get up to her level of running.

Q: What is your favorite thing to do when you are not in school or competing in a high school sport?

A: My favorite thing to do when I’m not in school or competing in a sport is spending time with my show cattle. I show beef cattle at shows around the state and at the county fair, so I spend a lot of time with them.

Q: Favorite TV show, movie, musical artist?

A: I don’t watch much TV unless it's sports, but my favorite movies are probably all the High School Musical movies. My favorite musical artist is probably Post Malone.

Q: Name one thing about yourself that not many people know.

A: Most people don’t know that I play on an AAU basketball team named One Mission or I am a big LeBron James fan.

Q: Do you have a favorite quote, verse or lyrics from a song?

A: “You have to be able to accept failure to get better.” — LeBron James