Cross-Country: Bonduel teams ready for another state run

Individuals hoping to finish off late season surges with strong finishes
Morgan Rode
Sports Editor

SHAWANO — Two local teams and three individual runners will put on their uniforms and lace up their shoes one last time this season to compete in the 2019 State Cross-Country Championships at Ridges Golf Course on Saturday.

Bonduel will send its boys and girls teams into the Division 3 races, while Shawano’s Demetrius Kaquatosh, Wittenberg-Birnamwood’s Wyatt Dickman and Clintonville’s Jesse Wilson all run as individuals in the Division 2 boys race.

It will mark the third straight year the Bonduel girls have participated in the state meet. The team took seventh in 2017 and 11th last fall.

Junior Kara Troxel led the team at state in both years, placing ninth last year after a fifth-place finish as a freshman.

“Making it to state as a team is very exciting,” said Troxel, who placed fifth at the Westfield Sectional on Saturday. “It means another week to be together and being able to compare ourselves to the rest of the state. It also shows us what we need to improve on for the next year.

“It’s been an exciting year making school history (being on a girls team that won its first-ever Central Wisconsin Conference title and will be making a third straight state appearance) and our team is ready to take on state and show everyone else what we can do.”

Despite being in just her first year of high school cross-country, junior Kalleigh Schroeder has become one of the most consistent runners for the girls team. She took 15th at sectionals.

“As a first-time state competitor, I have learned that I need to give it my all and set a good, strong pace,” said Schroeder. “I just need to leave it all out there and run my best race.”

Kendra Troxel will also get her first taste of the state competition on Saturday. She has enjoyed a strong freshman season, most recently taking 23rd at sectionals.

Alexia Folkman will get the opportunity to finish her high school career competing amongst the best in the state. It will be the senior’s first time running at state.

Like Kara Troxel, juniors Madison Kurey and Breanna Schnell and sophomore Jessica Ewing have ended all of their cross-country seasons at state.

Kurey has been the team’s second best runner at state the past two years. She placed 21st at sectionals.

Ewing and Schnell served as Bonduel’s third and fourth top runners at state in 2018. Schnell finished 24th at sectionals, while Ewing was 28th.

After a second-place finish as a team at sectionals, the girls team is hoping to finish in the upper half of the 16 total teams competing in D3.

The Bonduel boys team will also be making a third straight trip to state. The team took 15th in 2017 and 13th last fall.

Like the girls team, there will be three runners — sophomore Cooper Uelmen and freshmen Karter Schroeder and Ayden Dunst — competing at state for the first time.

Seniors Carter Kurey and William Beaumier have run at state twice, while senior Colen Klosterman and junior Jack Johnson were part of the state team in 2018.

Kurey has served as the boys top runner all season and led the team at sectionals with an eighth-place finish.

“It is really special to make it back down to state for the third time. We ran hard as a team and I am hoping we do the same at state,” he said. “The main goal for the team is to have fun. We are all hoping to run our best while still having fun.”

Uelmen and Johnson have served among among the team’s top runners all season, and finished 14th and 17th, respectively, at sectionals.

It was the two freshmen that capped the boys team score in Westfield, with Schroeder coming in 20th and Dunst 24th.

“To end my senior season by going to state is very rewarding for me, because of how hard us seniors have worked,” said Beaumier, who took 27th at sectionals. “We started our summer training this year with one goal in mind, and that was to make it back to state one more time. It truly is a humbling experience.”

Shawano’s Kaquatosh heads into the state meet fresh off several top finishes.

The senior earned a fourth-place finish in the small division of a loaded Seymour Invitational on Oct 10.

Kaquatosh then went on to take first at the Bay Conference Meet on Oct. 17 before a second-place finish at the Tomahawk Sectional this past Saturday.

Kaquatosh credited his strong runs to goals he set for himself and credited coach Steve Stomberg and senior teammate Karsten Anderson for helping him prepare for state this week.

“I just need to be mentally prepared,” said Kaquatosh, who hopes to top his uncle Jim’s second-place state finish in 1960. “I know what I have to do and where I need to finish, just really allowing myself to run my race rather than running to beat others. Just allow myself to get lost in the course and hope that I come out on top.”

Witt-Birn’s Dickman has also found a groove over the past month or so.

The junior was his team’s top finisher at the CWC meet with a third-place finish on Oct. 17.

Dickman earned his state spot with a fifth-place finish at the Tomahawk Sectional.

“I’m really just going to go there and run. I don’t make plans on how I’m going to do, I just see how I’m feeling and go from there,” said Dickman, who noted senior teammate Cole Schairer has helped him out this week. “

Since overcoming an injury early in the season, Wilson has piled up several top finishes.

Since the start of October, Wilson took third at the Rosholt Invite (Oct. 3), won the Marion Invitational (Oct. 7) and finished second at the Don Chase Relays (Oct. 10).

Wilson then took first at the North Eastern Conference Championships on Oct. 19 before his sixth-place finish at the Tomahawk Sectional.

Wilson said he is hoping to improve upon his state finish as a freshman, when he took 121st place in 18 minutes: 18.3 seconds.

“I believe last year’s experience will help out on Saturday because I will be better prepared for the course and the energy that the race brings to the table,” said Wilson. “In order for me to pull out a successful run at state, I need to keep a calm head and focus on my race.”

The D3 girls race is scheduled for a 1:20 p.m. start. The D2 boys race is set for 2 p.m. while the D3 boys race will end the day of competition, starting at 3:10 p.m.