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MCDONALD'S SWNEWS4U GAME OF THE WEEK (Prep Cross Country): WIAA Division 3 Albany Sectional
Fennimore boys cross country team qualifies for state meet
Fennimore boys
The Fennimore boys cross country team finished second at Saturday's WIAA Division 3 Albany Sectional to advance to this weekend's WIAA State Championships. Members of the Fennimore team are (front, from left) Orlando Bonilla, Ben Varela, Carter Bunn, Riley Foreyt, (back) Asa Cutting, Griffin Fry, Jordan Vold, Nick Needham, Isaac Henkel, and Walker Wubben.

PREP CROSS COUNTRY: WIAA Division 3 Albany Sectional

By Jason Nihles, Boscobel Dial / Fennimore Times / The Platteville Journal

Fennimore boys cross country team qualifies for state meet for first time since 2007

ALBANY — The Fennimore boys cross country used a bit of disguise to fly under the radar at last Saturday’s WIAA Division 3 Albany Sectional.

The Golden Eagles changed uniforms on the bus from their traditional gold jerseys to maroon in hopes to blend into the crowd. The Eagles then went out and raced their hearts out to finish second behind #2-ranked Iowa–Grant and qualify for this Saturday’s WIAA State Championships.

The #9-ranked Eagles scored 106 team points to finish ahead of #13-ranked Albany (126) and just behind SWAL champion Iowa–Grant (59).

This is the first time since 2007 a Fennimore boys team has qualified and the first time since 2010 a Fennimore cross country advance to state when the FHS girls made it. This will be the 22nd state appearance for the Fennimore boys cross country program, which was a perennial state qualified in the late 1970s, 80s and 90s under legendary coach Vince Lease.

“The boys’ team has been chased by Albany all year, with them having a goal to catch the gold,” said Fennimore head coach Ryanne Carl. “So, we decided, as coaches, to change our uniform color for the sectional meet. The boys did not know about this until Saturday morning after they were given their bib numbers. We all hopped on the bus and they changed into the maroon uniforms and they kept our mouths shut. No one besides Mr. Linden myself and the boys knew that we were in maroon. 

“Even some of the parents thought the boys’ team had been disqualified as they didn’t see them running at the start of the race. While I didn’t doubt our boys’ ability at all, we took advantage of the change that allowed us to be a little bit more invisible throughout the race.”

Junior Carter Bunn led the way Saturday with a 13th-place finish with a time of 18:26.8.

Sophomore Ben Varela finished 15th at 18:43.2, junior Riley Foreyt came in 22nd at 19:04.9, sophomore Isaac Henkel was 27th at 19:25.1 and junior Nick Needham placed 33rd at 19:40 to round out Fennimore’s scoring team.

Junior Jordan Vold (54th, 20:53.9) and freshman Griffin Fry (74th, 21:33.2) also ran Saturday for the FHS boys.

“We knew we had to race the way we had been racing all year if we wanted to qualify for state,” added Carl. “The week before sectionals half of our team was battling a stomach bug, but I wasn’t sure was going to resolve itself before we stopped to the line on Saturday morning. These boys are tough and would never let you know Saturday morning that anything was wrong this past week.”

Saturday morning’s sectionals began with three Golden Eagles running in the girls’ race.

Freshman Kylee Mumm placed eighth out of 97 runners with a time of 21:19.0 and just missed out on a trip to state.

The top two teams, as well as the top five individuals not on a qualifying team, advanced to state. Mumm finished sixth among the individuals. 

“Kylee put her self out in a position to try to qualify for state and unfortunately came up a little bit short,” said coach Carl. “As a freshman and a leader of the team, it can be a big task to carry that weight on your shoulders, but Kylee does this with grace, and although she did not make it to state, she has had a huge freshman season. We can’t wait to see what she does in the future.”

Fellow freshman Mallori Oyen  placed 53rd at 24:55.4 and senior Lily Conley finished 78th at 28:57.1.

“Mallori had another race that was very good,” said Carl. “We had a specific goal set out for her, to key off of certain runners from other teams that she had never beat before. She ended the day by beating these people by quite a few places!” 

“Lily finished out her high school cross country career with a solid race,” added Carl. “Lily began the year off as our manager, but halfway through the season, decided she wanted to start racing and has never looked back. She met some of her biggest goals for the season and never gave up. We are definitely going to miss Lily next year. 

“Unfortunately, senior Alyssa Bray was still held out due to injury and was unable to compete in the sectional meet. We were very glad to have her back on the team this year after not being out last year. These two seniors have been through the program for the past six years and we will greatly missed their leadership and smiles.”

 The Fennimore boys will race in Saturday’s D3 boys state championship race at 2 p.m. at Ridges Golf Course in Wisconsin Rapids.

“I am confident that we can have a big race this coming Saturday at Wisconsin Rapids,” added Carl. “Last year we were had a bunch of freshman and sophomore boys with a dream, and this year we’ve turned that dream into reality. We are bringing back the tradition for Fennimore cross-country.”

WIAA Division 3 Albany Sectional
(from Saturday, Oct. 22 @ Albany)
(Girls, 5,000 meters)
Team standings: 1.Boscobel 54, 2.Lancaster 78, 3.Poynette 124, 4.Albany 128, 5.Darlington 124, 6.Madison Country Day 146, 7.Wisconsin Heights/Barneveld 148, 8.Pecatonica/Argyle 212, 9.Belleville 214, 10.North Crawford 222, 11.Orfordville Parkview 231, Fennimore inc., Shullsburg/Belmont inc., Iowa–Grant inc., Wauzeka/Steuben inc., Riverdale inc., River Ridge inc., Marshall inc., St. Ambrose Academy inc.

Top individuals: 1.Nora Jillson (Bos) 19:40.7, 2.Ella Wiffen (Country Day) 20:04.3, 3.Agnes Carstens (NC) 20:31.4, 4.Hannah Hallick (Country Day) 20:40.9, 5.Hope Connolly (Iowa–Grant) 20:57.4.
Individual state qualifiers: 2.Wiffen (Country Day) 20:04.3, 3.Carstens (NC) 20:31.4, 4.Hallick (Country Day) 20:40.9, 5.Connolly (Iowa–Grant) 20:57.4, 7.Samantha Herrling (WH/B) 21:15.8.
Fennimore (inc.): 8.Kylee Mumm 21:19.0,  53.Mallori Oyen 24:55.4, 78.Lily Conley 28:57.1.
(Boys, 5,000 meters)
Team standings: 1.Iowa–Grant 59, 2.Fennimore 106, 3.Albany 126, 4.Belleville 158, 5.Boscobel 182, 6.Riverdale 186, 7.Darlington 201, 8.Poynette 202, 9.Orfordville Parkview 251, 10.Wisconsin Heights/Barneveld 253, 11.Rio/Fall River 267, 12.Pecatonica/Argyle 295, 13.St. Ambrose Academy 315, 14.Marshall 341, 15.Lancaster 364, 16.River Ridge 370, 17.North Crawford 374, Shullsburg/Belmont inc., Madison Country Day inc., Seneca inc. 
Top individuals: 1.Carter Scholy (Belleville) 17:00.2, 2.Mason Aide (Iowa–Grant) 17:07.7, 3.Nick Stitzer (Riverdale) 17:12.5, 4.Kirk Caminiti (WH/B) 17:44.5, 5.Jaxon Hornby (Marshall) 17:49.6.
Individual state qualifiers: 1.Scholy (Belleville) 17:00.2, 3.Stitzer (Riverdale) 17:12.5, 4.Caminiti (WH/B) 17:44.5, 5.Hornby (Marshall) 17:49.6, 7.Tanis Crawford (Poynette) 17:55.3.
Fennimore (106): 13.Carter Bunn 18:26.8, 15.Ben Varela 18:43.8, 22.(21).Riley Foreyt 19:04.9, 27.(26).Isaac Henkel 19:25.1, 33.(31).Nick Needham 19:40.0, 54.(49).Joran Vold 20:53.9, 74.(67).Griffin Fry 21:33.2.