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.