WISCONSIN RAPIDS – The cross country state tournament was held in Wisconsin Rapids at the Ridges Golf Course this past Saturday.
Glenwood City senior Ethan Brandt and Boyceville junior Tanner Johnson-Hetchler each finished in the top 100 with Brandt placing 56th and Johnson-Hetchler in 87th out of 152 participants.
This was Brandt’s third consecutive time qualifying for the state tournament. He finished with a time of 17.43.31.
Brandt first qualified for state as a sophomore where he ran his best tournament time of 17.22.69 to 31st place. Last year as a junior Brandt finished in 29th with a time of 17.33.23.
“We felt he ran pretty well given the injuries and tailored workouts around those injuries. I’m proud of his perseverance to get back (to state) for a third time,” said coach Matt Schutz.
Brandt currently holds the Glenwood City school record for his sophomore performance at the state tournament.
Johnson-Hetchler has been the lead runner for the Bulldogs this season. He was the first Bulldog to compete at state since 2006 and he ran a fairly even race as he finished with a time of 18:04.51.
“It is a challenging course and there is a lot of pressure to do well. With that being said, I think he ran as well as he could. He has been working through a calf injury, but with all of the excitement and adrenaline he didn’t feel any pain. He stayed within himself and ran his first mile in a time that he has run before. It was a great experience for him to see where he sits among the best runners in the state,” said coach Corey Day.
This was also Day’s first time experiencing the state tournament as a coach as the previous qualifier was Allison Logston in 2006, which was a few years before Day began coaching.
Also competing incredibly well was the Spring Valley girls’ team who took first place at the state tournament against 15 other schools.
The team was led by senior Breanna Colbenson who finished in second place out of 150 runners with a time of 14:44.93.