NORTH CRAWFORD - North Crawford junior Helen Carstens ran strong last Saturday in her third straight appearance at the Wisconsin State Cross Country Championship in Wisconsin Rapids. Carstens ran among 150 top Division 3 qualifiers in a difficult race that featured blowing snow and a slippery, hilly course. Despite the nasty weather, at least 3000 bundled spectators lined the 5 kilometer (3.1 mile) course to cheer on the athletes.
Carstens, who ran to sixth place at the Boscobel Sectional race the previous week, finished in the top third of the field at state. She came in 47th with a time of 21:03, an average mile pace of 6:47. Although her time last year at state was faster, Helen has been very successful overall this season, with impressive first-place finishes at five meets: Darlington, Boscobel, the Goat Hill Classic, Reedsburg, and Kickapoo. She also finished third at River Valley and second at Westby.“Helen has been very strong this year,” noted Trojan head coach Liz Bransky, “and she has really inspired the other girls on our team with her dedication, hard work, and fantastic attitude.”