Senior Bridger Flory an Rhinelander High School cross country team's top runner finished in 36th place out of a field of 152 runners on Saturday at the WIAA Division 2 State Cross Country meet. On the tough and hilly course, Flory had an impressive final high school cross country run clocking in at 17 minutes, 11.8 seconds at the Ridges in Wisconsin Rapids.
It also was only 7.62 seconds of Flory’s personal best time that he set the previous Saturday at sectionals at Freedom. The sectional course also proved to be a faster and flatter course. Flory was looking to crack a top-50 finish and Coach MJ Laggis and Melissa Krueger also had high expectations for the senior. Flory did not disappoint and used a strong start and late push at the end to earn 36th.
Throughout his high school cross country career, Flory battled illness and injury early but final got his shot at competing at state. In his freshman season, Flory finished 12th a the Great Northern Conference meet and charted 15th at sectionals and was about 20 seconds away from qualifying. And his junior season he missed a majority of the year due to an injury, but would make the most out of his senior season.
In the 5k course, Flory had a quick start and ran his first mile in 5:08 and would stick with a large group in the front the pack. It was also his highest placement where he ran in 27th. In the second mile Flory fell back to 40th at the second mile mark at 5:51.
Flory would stay right around 40th from there and had final push in the final half-mile of the race and picked up several positions and would run his final mile at 6:15 and averaged a 5.33 mile pace in the race.
Following the race Flory was greeted by his parents Joel and Susanne Flory as well coaches Laggis and Krueger. The congratulation was much deserved as they embraced the moment and reflected on his accomplishments.
The Rhinelander High School cross country team competed at the WIAA Division 2 Sectional meet in Freedom on Saturday with senior Bridger Flory once again leading the way. Flory finished fourth overall and advanced to the WIAA State Cross Country Meet next Saturday.
The RHS girls' finished 10th in the team standings while the boys' placed 13th. The race conditionals also were not ideal with high cold winds as well as snow which made the tough sectional competition even more difficult.
Flory stuck with the lead pack the entire race and would finish the 5k course with a time of 17 minutes, 4.18 seconds. That lead pack would separate down the stretch but Flory with a strong race stayed right up front and would finish almost 12 seconds ahead of the final state qualifier.
Clintonville freshman Jesse Wilson won the boys' race with a time of 16:51.01. While New London Senior Noah Schiedermayer was the only other harrier to crack the 17-minute mark at 16:59.95.
Sophomore Jacob Weddle was Rhinelander's second finisher of the day and placed 66th in a field of 100 runners, clocking in at 19:06.97. Freshman Cal Laggis (75th; 19:42.74), sophomore Daniel Goldsworthy (81st; 20:06.68), sophomore JC Adams (85th; 20:12.48), freshman Jaden Beske (87th; 20:16.91), and junior Levi Smith (92nd; 21:07.29) rounded out the boys varsity.
On the girls’ side Lakeland had the top two finishes of the day led by junior Ashley Peterson who finished well ahead of the pack and the only harrier to crack the 20-minute mark at 19:29.04. Fellow junior and teammate Aubrey Anderson was runner-up at 20:17.27.
Sophomore Abbie Henrichs led the RHS girls finishing 39th (22:43.01) out of a field of 95 runners. Freshman Sage Flory (45th; 22:59.69), sophomore Ella Schiek (48th; 23:12.73), sophomore Ali DeNamur (60th; 23:56.25), freshman Emma Germain (62nd; 24:01.81), freshman Audrey Schiek (66th; 24:14.08), and senior Claire Bowman (72nd; 24:38.41) rounded out the varsity top-seven.
Flory will now prepare to compete at the WIAA Division 2 State Cross Country meet on Saturday in Wisconsin Rapids. It also marks head Coach MJ Laggis second state qualifier in the past two seasons. The Division 2 boys' race will begin at 1:10PM.
Disclaimer: All information deemed reliable but not guaranteed and should be independently verified. By Request LLC shall not be responsible for any typographical errors, misinformation, misprints and shall be held totally harmless.