Local trio advances to state cross-country meet

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Runners will compete Saturday in Wisconsin Rapids
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Oconto Falls junior Autumn Canavera (108) and the rest of the girl runners have to deal with snow during their run at Saturday’s sectional. (Times Herald photo by Morgan Rode)

Gillett sophomores Sylvia Hansen and Derek Hanson will join Suring freshman Ryann Wagner at the WIAA State Cross-Country Championships after qualifying at this past Saturday’s Division 3 Westfield Sectional.

Hansen earned her second straight trip to state after earning a third-place finish at the sectional with a time of 20 minutes, 39.57 seconds. She will try to improve upon her third-place finish at state as a freshman.

“After last year’s strong finish, my expectations are definitely higher,” Hansen said. “Last year, I just wanted to make the podium, and now that I’ve done that, I’m really going to work as hard as I can to try and take the top spot.”

“To have my best race possible, I’m going to make sure I prepare properly throughout the week up to the big day,” she added. “I’m going to show up to the race on Saturday, confident in myself knowing that I deserve to be there — also knowing that I need to give it everything I’ve got to achieve my goals.”

Hanson secured his spot at state after finishing third in the boys race with a time of 17:56.27. He will be making his first trip to state.

“Going to state for me means my hard work has paid off so far,” Hanson said. “I’m expecting to race a more championship-style race and run smart. I’m sure the crowd and adrenaline of state will help me push myself to the limit next Saturday. I’m expecting a tough fight, and I’m ready to push myself harder than ever.”

Riley Engebretson (19:17.3) and Connor Hanson (19:52.64) also competed for the Gillett boys. Alaina Herzog (24:01.03), Amber Brehmer (24:35.11) and Angela Mosconi (24:35.18) represented the Gillett girls.

Suring’s Wagner placed sixth with a time of 21:56.76 to lock in her spot at the state meet. Maddy Vandevelde (25:39.23) and Ava Hill (28:11.7) also represented the first-year program at the sectional. No Suring boys ran.

A total of six Lena/St. Thomas Aquinas Academy runners ran Saturday. Cody Dellise (20:08.42) led the boys with a 34th-place finish, while Kennedy Marquardt (24:35.04) took 29th for the girls.

Max Beyer (22:51.72), Kiko Cajigas (29:03.56) and Noah Chang (29:13.08) ran for the boys, while Alexis Misco (26:00.1) took part in the girls race.

Canavera, Adams lead Oconto Falls at sectional

Dealing with wild weather conditions at the Division 2 Freedom Sectional on Saturday, Oconto Falls could not qualify either team or any individuals for state.

Autumn Canavera (21:34.58) placed 20th to help the girls team to a 11th-place finish with 259 points. Breanna Sadowski (23:32.97), Grace Williams (23:50.26), Morgan Van Haren (23:59.76) and Alyson Fabry (25:41.73) capped the girls team score. Aspen Canavera (26:32.33) filled out the six-runner team.

Freshman Joe Adams (18:17.84) paced the boys team with a 40th-place finish, while Brody Schindel (18:20.11) took 42nd. The boys team finished 12th with 252 points.

Brendan Konitzer (18:39.68), Matt Adams (18:44.83) and Evan Roberts (19:02.01) filled out the team score; Dylan Nelson (19:06.83) and Brent Wolf (19:42.79) also competed.

The WIAA State Cross-Country Championships will be run at Ridges Golf Course in Wisconsin Rapids, with the first race starting at noon.