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WISCONSIN RAPIDS — The third time proved to be the charm for Elk Mound’s Ian Hazen.
In his third trip to the state meet, the senior finally made the medals podium after placing sixth in the Division 2 race at the WIAA State Cross Country Championships held this past Saturday, October 29 at the Ridges Golf Course in Wisconsin Rapids. The top ten individual finishers each received medals.
Turning in his best ever performance at the state meet, Hazen took advantage of the warm temperatures and sunny skies to run a 16:20.8 on the 5,000 meter course at the Ridges just three-tenths of a second out of fifth place which went to Little Chute senior Riley Huss (16:20.5). This year’s time was 25 seconds faster than Hazen had posted on the same course in last year’s D2 state competition where he finished 12th and nearly a full minute better than his initial state run that took place at Colby High School during the 2021 season of COVID where he placed 23rd in 17:18.92.
For the second straight season, Hazen was joined at the state meet by fellow senior and teammate Aiden Schiferl who finished in 32nd place following a run of 17:09.8 which was a little more than 11 seconds quicker than his run at the Ridges a year ago when he finished 31st.
Hazen was sixth at the one-mile mark but slipped to eighth after two miles. But he picked up his pace and two spots in the final 1.1 miles of the race to secure sixth place.
Schiferl’s improvement during the last Satuday’s race was even more dramatic. Sitting in 48th place after one mile, Schiferl had improved to 44th by mile two. But over the final mile, he cruised past a dozen other competitors to take 32nd.
Mount Horeb senior Joseph Stoddard won the D2 competition which featured 152 runners in a time of 15:54.7 with Mauston senior Eli Boppart taking the state silver with a run of 16:03.7. Notre Dame claimed the team championship with 81 points and Lakeside Lutheran finished in second with a score of 115.
Hazen and Schiferl led the Mounder boys to a Dunn-St. Croix Conference title this season and will leave some very big shoes for Elk Mound to fill next season.