Even short-handed, the second-ranked Blue Duke girls cruised to the WIAA sectional title at Tendick park in Saukville on Saturday, continuing a run of state berths that has continued for more than a decade.
"It's always difficult (when you're supposed to win easily)," coach Mike Miller said. "We just had to hold back today and not run crazy. The goal was to get through today and then really go after it next week."
The Blue Dukes, who were running without North Shore Conference individual champion Camille Davre who was out ill, toe the line 12:40 p.m. at the Ridges Golf Course in Wisconsin Rapids.
If at full-strength, Bay will challenge top-ranked Arrowhead and third-ranked Neenah for its second state title in school history.
"This just showed how deep our team is," senior Sara Coffey said. "That we can do it without anyone. If we run like we're capable of we definitely have a chance (at a state title)."
Bay scored 25 points at the 11-team sectional, a commanding distance ahead of runner-up and fellow state runner-up Tosa East (85).
Coffey was second on the 4,000-meter course in 15:40 while Hannah Lyons was third in the same time. Other scoring runners included Reilly Koch in fifth (16:03), Claire Hentzen sixth (16:08) and Kylee Kennedy in ninth (16:12).
Other runners included Alana Blegen in 16th (16:38) and Haleigh Morton in 19th (16:54).
NICOLET GIRLS CROSS COUNTRY
It was the best sectional meet in ages for the Knights as both sophomore Katie Novak and freshman Nora McGuire earned individual berths to Saturday's WIAA State Meet in Wisconsin Rapids.
The pair's efforts led Nicolet to a strong third-place showing in on Saturday's sectional meet, taking third in the 11-team field with 105 points.
"It's the first time in awhile that we've had anyone to state," Novak said. "We're so happy and I'm so glad we're going together. We really like to push each other. We did that today. We made a big push up the hill (at Tendick Park in Saukville) and that really helped us."
The pair will run in the Division 1 state race at Ridges Golf Course in Rapids at 12:40 p.m. Saturday.
"That's so good for this program," Knights coach Mike McKenna said. "They fought for it and worked hard. We're so young, to have two in the top 11 is just amazing."
The pair were the final two individual qualifiers out of the field at Tendick. Novak was 10th (16:14) on the 4,000-meter course while McGuire was right behind her in 11th (16:15).
Other scoring runners for the young Knights included freshman Rylee Callahan in 17th (16:46), sophomore Elizabeth Mowers in 33rd (17:16), and sophomore Michelle Pigg in 34th (17:17).
Also running were junior Hilary Miller in 47th (18:05) and freshman Madeline Maurer in 55th (18:31).
HOMESTEAD BOYS CROSS COUNTRY
Homestead's Evan Routhier made a huge splash on the distance running scene last spring when he qualified for state track in the 3,200 meters as a freshman.
Now in the fall of his sophomore year and coming off a relatively poor North Shore Conference meet the week before, Routhier cotninued that trend forward by earning an individual berth in Saturday's WIAA State Cross Country Meet in Wisconsin Rapids.
"It was an awesome effort on his part," his coach Dan Claussen said. "He's just a gamer. When the chips are down and there's something out there he thinks he can attain, he just goes for it. ...He's a big strong kid with incredible potential."
The boys' Division 1 race starts at 2:25 p.m. Saturday at the Ridges Golf Course in Rapids.
Routhier earned his spot in the sectional meet the Highlanders hosted at Tendick Park. He led them to a seventh-place team berth with 194 points as North Shore champ Port Washington (49) and Germantown (90) earned the state team berths.
Routhier was clocked in 16:47 on the 5,000-meter Tendick layout on a windy day, good for seventh. He was the fourth of five individual qualifiers from the 11-team sectional field.
Claussen said that Routhier fought back from a small injury earlier this fall that held him out of competition for two weeks.
"We built the (training) mileage back up slowly," Claussen said, "and now he's able to finish his season on a phenomenal note."
Other runners for Homestead included Liam Norman in 41st (17:58), Tom Miller in 45th (18:05), Chris Broghammer in 46th (18:08), Jack Downey in 55th (18:36), Adam Peterson in 57th (18:40) and Henry Desmond in 58th (18:40).
WHITEFISH BAY BOYS CROSS COUNTRY
With his mentor, former Bay state qualifier and now Marquette University runner Nate Gomoll in attendance, Blue Dukes sophomore George Papajohn achieved some of his nice potential by earning a WIAA state individual cross country berth from out of the sectional meet held at Tendick Park on Saturday.
Not bad for a former football player.
"I tried out for the football team in fifth grade and I was horrible at it," Papajohn said. "So my dad took me out to the track to run laps to improve my conditioning. I eventually found out that running was something I really liked and was good at.
"...So I set myself a goal and I was able to get it, but I wouldn't have been able to do it without the team pushing me along and cheering me on."
The boys Division 1 state race starts at 12:40 p.m. at the Ridges Golf Course in Wisconsin Rapids on Saturday.
Papajohn was eighth on the 5,000-meter sectional layout in 16:47 to earn his spot as he led the Blue Dukes to a fifth-place team finish out of 11 with 123 points.
Other scoring runners for Bay this day included Jack Mueller in 20th (17:31), Patrick Konrath in 28th (17:46), Carson Schier in 32nd (17:49) and Darien Yaeger in 35th (17:52). Also running were Aaron Jankins in 38th (17:54) and Blake Bostwick in 43rd (18:00).
Knights tennis coach Tim Koppa honestly thinks that if his team had been able to somehow pull out that WIAA State team quarterfinal match with five-time state champion Homestead on Friday in Madison, that Nicolet would have eventually gone on to win the state title.
As it was, Koppa can only look back on the epic 4-3 loss and say "What if?"
"By far, this is the proudest I've ever been of a team of ours," said Koppa, whose name is attached to three girls state titles in his tenure at Nicolet. "They really came to play. They (the Highlanders) had killed us about four times this year, but we had just had such good senior leadership.
"...It didn't go down the way we wanted, but it was such a good match. So many times you get kids saying that they're ready to play, but a lot of times that's just talk, but today, all my girls actually believed it."
Koppa may have had a point, as Homestead's five-year run at the top of the state tennis heap came to an end with a 4-3 semifinal loss to eventual champion Middleton.
In the dual with the Highlanders, Nina Gerard won at second singles (7-5, 7-5) while senior Sara Miller and junior Michelle Margolies pulled off a huge upset at first doubles, downing the state individual tournament pair from the Highlanders, 6-3, 2-6, 6-3.
The Knights' steady second doubles team of Erin Wathen and Josie Docalavich played well in a 6-3, 7-6 win over their Homestead counterparts.
The match came down to third singles, where freshman Elise Gerard put in a game effort against Homestead senior Alex Talyansky before falling 6-7, 6-4, 6-4.
"Elise has made a huge transformation this year," Koppa said. "She had a 3-0 lead in the third, but that's just a small deficit to someone as experienced as Alex (Talyansky)."
Seniors for the Knights include top singles player Emily Mone, Miller, and the third doubles team of Audrey Liang and Marli Stelhorn.
The Highlanders opened defense of their WIAA State Division 2 title with a 56-0 win over Milwaukee Madison on Friday.
Homestead (10-0) rested many starters in the game and got a stunning 158 yards on eight carries from freshman running back Michael Fehrenbach.
"We rested about half our guys and tried to keep the others as healthy as possible," coach Dave Keel said. "Michael was a nice story. He was on the freshmen team. He didn't play one snap on junior varsity or varsity until this game."
The Highlanders now host dangerous Sussex Hamilton (7-3) in a 7 p.m. Level 2 playoff game. The Chargers are built around powerful all-state running back Drew Patterson.
"They're a big physical team and Drew is by far the best back that we've seen," Keel said.
Homestead was up 42-0 and coasted from there against Madison. Touchdowns went to Vincent Wilkerson (eight-yard run), Luke Neusen (8 run), Dominic Cole (14 run), Cole Murphy (18 run), Patrick Minkin (5 run) and Wilkerson (5 run) all scored in the first half.
In the second half, Fehrenbach found the end zone on both a 47-yard run and and a six-yard run.
Murphy had 97 yards on seven carries and Cole had 78 yards on 16 totes.
NICOLET GIRLS VOLLEYBALL
The North Shore Conference champion and ninth-ranked Knights moved another step closer toward their first WIAA state tournament berth since 2009 when they cruised to a 25-12, 25-8, 25-12 regional final decision over Wauwatosa East on Saturday.
Nicolet, the second seed in the Whitefish Bay sectional and now plays 10th-ranked Pius XI in a sectional semifinal at 8 p.m. Thursday at Brookfield Central. Third-ranked DSHA plays host Central in the 6 p.m. semifinal.
The sectional final, with a trip to the WIAA State Tournament in Green Bay, Nov. 7-9, on the line, is at 7 p.m. Saturday at Bay.
In the win over Tosa East, the Knights got 17 kills from Angie Morello, 30 assists from Alanna Conley and five blocks from Arianna Cohen.
HOMESTEAD GIRLS CROSS COUNTRY
The Highlanders, despite having their second runner collapse 700 yards from the finish, still turned in a solid finish to their season, taking a sound fifth in their own 11-team WIAA sectional at Tendick Park on Saturday.
"That hurt us," coach Victor Vilar said. "It could have been a really good day, but it was still a good day. I really can't complain, the girls ran their hearts out."
Homestead finished with 122 points for their spot as Anna Keller led them on the 4,000-meter course in 16:26, while other scoring runners included Allie Levin in 20th (16:54), Elisabeth Balistreri in 25th (17:06), Larissa Clopton in 28th (17:08) and Katie Gebhardt in 35th (17:18). Also running was Abby Claussen in 44th (17:47).
Balistreri and Clopton were the two seniors in this group.
At the Meet of Future Champions held at Menomonee Falls on Oct. 24, the Highlanders won the Fast Girls team race with 54 points as Erin Connolly (third), Sophie Smith (sixth), Lauren Steinert (seventh) and Lexi Kenwood (ninth) all finished in the top 10.
Freshman Katie Wegmann was seventh in the girls Faster Race, with an impressive time of 16:17.
WHITEFISH BAY GIRLS GOLF
The Blue Dukes finished their North Shore Conference championship season with a sound eighth-place finish out of 12 teams in the WIAA State Tournament at University Ridge in Verona on Oct. 14 and 15.
"That is probably the best we could have expected," coach Frank Donadio said, "although we were closer to sixth or seventh than we were to ninth. As expected, the team was unaccustomed to the bigger stage and nervous energy was obvious early in Monday's round. Once they settled in, the play improved."
Bay turned in a 36-hole team score of 718 (366-252) as Arrowhead won the state title with a 638 mark. The Blue Dukes beat Brookfield Central (ninth place at 749) after losing to the Lancers in the WIAA sectional tournament.
As usual, balance was the key for Bay was Clare Matkom led the way in 33rd individually with a 174 (90-84), as Robinson Creighton was 38th with a 177 (92-85), Caroline Matkom 45th at 181 (92-89), Annie Letizia 51st with a 186 (92-94) and Grace Wirth at 211 (101-110).
Donadio was pleased with Bay's progress on the second day of the event as the 14-shot improvement from day one was the best of any team in the field. Letizia was the only senior for Bay competing in the event. Bay was making its first state appearance since its co-op effort with Shorewood in 2007. That team also finished eighth.
"With seven of eight varsity players returning and a competitive group emerging from the JV, we feel this year's experience in a strong field of invitationals and conference as well as the state appearance will keep our players and program motivated," Donadio said.
NICOLET GIRLS GOLF
Emily Murphy tied for 38th in a 78-competitor field as the Knights finished up their season in the WIAA State Tournament at University Ridge in Verona on Oct. 14 and 15.
Murphy finished with a 36-hole total of 177 (89-88) as Jessica Reinecke of Verona repeated as champion with a 143 mark (69-74).
SHOREWOOD GIRLS VOLLEYBALL
The Greyhounds wrapped up their season with a 25-11, 25-6, 25-20 WIAA Division 2 regional semifinal loss to top-ranked and unbeaten East Troy on Oct. 24.
In that match, Megan Eimers had 12 assists, Grace Hayes, three blocks and Annie Leo 14 digs.
Shorewood had advance to that match with a 25-23, 22-25, 25-21, 25-22 regional quarterfinal win over Pewaukee on Oct. 22. In that effort, Paige Clingaman had 13 kills, Eimers 39 assists, Hayes six blocks and Leo 19 digs.
The team finished with a 19-13 match record as seniors included Clingaman, Auriel Davis and Zoe Deprez.
The Falcons finished their season with a 25-17, 23-25, 25-17, 25-20 loss at the hands of Port Washington in a WIAA Division 2 regional quarterfinal on Oct. 22.
Seniors on the team include Sabrina Wimer, Imani Stingley, Megan Rogers, Valerie Whiyee, Brianna White and Paige Paetow.
The Highlanders gave it a good effort before ending their season with a 25-17, 25-15, 15-19 loss to top-ranked Menomonee Falls in a WIAA regional final on Saturday.
Monica Caputa had four kills for the Highlanders while Margaux Wilson had 11 assists and Allison Beckers five blocks.
The Highlanders had advanced to the regional final with 25-14, 23-25, 25-20, 25-23 regional semifinal win over Waukesha South on Oct. 24.
Among the seniors for the Highlanders this season were Sydney Hubbell, Sydney Beckers and Caputa.
WHITEFISH BAY GIRLS VOLLEYBALL
The Blue Dukes season came to a quiet end with a 25-13, 25-12, 25-15 WIAA regional final loss to third-ranked DSHA on Saturday.
In that match, the Blue Dukes got six kills out of Maya Jonas, nine assists from Jillian Ludwig and 13 digs from Cassie Elliott.
They had advanced to the regional final with a 25-21, 25-18, 25-14 regional semifinal win over Milwaukee King on Oct. 24 as Elliott had nine kills and Mackenzie Nelson 17 assists.
Seniors for Bay include Jonas, Carrie McNally, Catie McBride and Allison Kennedy.
The WIAA tournament series begins Friday with regional final action.
Whitefish Bay/Dominican is the second seed in the Greenfield sectional and faces the winner of Greenfield and Pius XI in a sectional semifinal at 7 p.m. Tuesday.
Shorewood is the fourth seed in that sectional and hosts Greendale at 7 p.m. Friday. If the Greyhounds win, they advance to a sectional semifinal at top-seeded Marquette on Tuesday.
The sectional final is at 7 p.m. Nov. 7 in Greenfield.
In the Nicolet sectional, fifth-seeded Nicolet will be at fourth-seeded Homestead at 7 p.m. The winner of that match visits top-seeded three-time North Shore champion Germantown in a sectional semifinal on Tuesday.
The sectional final is at 7 p.m. Nov. 7 at Nicolet.
The Greyhounds defeated Wauwatosa West in the Woodland Conference crossover meet on Oct. 23, 95-81, and now try to defend their Woodland championship when the league meet is held at 1:30 p.m. Saturday at Greenfield.
Taking firsts in the Tosa West dual were Rachel Munson in the 200 free (1:59.06) and 100 breaststroke (1:09.11), Eva Jorn in the 100 butterfly (1:03.69) and 500 free (5;33.22), Chloe Borut in the 200 individual medley (2:19.29), Melissa Clausen in the 50 free (26.9); the 200 medley relay team of Shelby Hammond, Munson, Jorn and Petrick (2:02.46) and the 400 free relay team of Eva Jorn, Leah Jorn, Borut and Munson (3:50.64).
NICOLET BOYS CROSS COUNTRY
Junior Aaron Zetley was 29th to lead the Knights to an 11th-place finish in the season-ending WIAA sectional meet at Tendick Park on Staurday.
He was clocked in 17:47 on the 5,000-meter course. Other good efforts included Robert Dietz in 53rd (18:34) and senior Chris Welker in 60th (18:44).
— Steven L. Tietz
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