State bound

Barron freshman Fran Peterson (left) and her junior brother Marcus both qualified for this week’s state cross country week. Fran finished fourth at the Div. 2 sectional run held Saturday, Oct. 26, at Hammond to advance, while Marcus crossed line eighth for the Barron boys. Both set personal best times.

Barron junior Marcus Peterson and his freshman sister, Fran, will both run at the State Cross Country Championships this Saturday, Nov. 2, at Ridges Golf Course, Wisconsin Rapids, after advancing through the local Div. 2 WIAA sectional meet at Hammond.

“Fran and Marcus Peterson each ran a personal best time to earn one of the five individual qualifying spots from Section 1,” coach Jessica Gravesen-Seis said after the Saturday, Oct. 26, sectional run.  

“Fran ran a 20:04, more than a minute faster than the last time she raced on the St. Croix Central course in early September,” the coach said. “She was the second individual qualifier, with a strong fourth place finish overall.

“Rylee Stauner (21:49) was next to cross the line for our girls in 23rd place, followed by Paige Knutson (22:30) in 32nd, Sydney Stauner (23:38) in 50th, Cecelia Prentiss (23:54) in 56th, Audrey Bigler (25:21) in 81st and Angela Zimmermann (26:37) in 89th. 

“The girls earned a sixth place team finish against some very tough teams.”

Osceola earned the sectional championship with 42 points, and Hayward also advanced as the sectional runner-up with a score of 81. They were followed by Rice Lake (114), St. Croix Central (127) and Amery (152) in the top five. Barron posted a score of 165.

Osceola freshman Rachel Ulrich had the top time of 19:23 for the girls, clearing the field by a half-minute. The boys race was much closer. St. Croix Central junior Jakob Eggen posted a time of 17:04 to win by just 3 seconds.

Seven runners crossed the line within 22 seconds of Eggen. Marcus Peterson ran a great race to earn the final individual state-qualifying position.

“Marcus ran an extremely tough race, improving on his previous best time by 15 seconds to finish in 17:26,” Gravesen-Seis said. “He finished in eighth place overall and was the fifth individual qualifier.

“Next in for our boys team was Hunter Schultz (19:51) in 65th place, with his first 5K under 20 minutes – a major milestone.  Next were Isaiah Tallman (20:57) in 78th, Michael Nichols (21:46) in 84th, Johnny Scheps (23:27) in 97th and Broderick Schneider (25:03) in 95th. 

“The boys placed 12th as a team. All of the Bears, both boys and girls, improved upon their SCC race times from earlier this season, and many earned season and/or career best times.”

The Osceola boys won the sectional team title with 59, points while St. Croix Central moved on with 70 points. Rice Lake (111), Northwestern (119) and Ellsworth (119) rounded out the top five. The Barron boys posted a score of 320.

“It was the last race of the season for many of the Barron runners, and for the seniors, the last of their high school career,” the coach said. “Michael Nichols was a 4-year varsity runner and our 2019 team captain. Johnny Scheps and Cecelia Prentiss both joined the team during their junior year and were 2-year varsity letter winners. 

“Each of these athletes has had a positive impact on the Barron cross country program and their leadership will be greatly missed.  We are proud to call them Golden Bears and members of the cross country family.

“For Marcus and Fran Peterson, there is one more week and one more race to run,” the coach continued. “Fran will be running in the Div. 2 girls race at 12:00 noon on Saturday, and Marcus in the Div. 2 boys race at 2 p.m.”