Junior Peighton Nelson will be taking her third straight trip to the WIAA Division 1 girls cross-country tournament after finishing eighth in the Oct. 26 Madison West sectional meet at Lake Farm County Park.
Nelson finished the 5,000-meter course in 19:40 to edge out ninth-place Maddie Ruszkiewicz of Middleton by .2 seconds. Nelson will run in Saturday’s Division 1 girls race starting at 12:40 p.m.
While Nelson will be going to state, her teammates will not as Monona Grove finished fourth in team points with 125. The top two teams in each sectional advance to state.
Monona Grove freshman Maddie Hogan raced to a 15th-place finish with a time of 20:04.2. Junior Teal Coil-Otto took 26th in 20:40.1, senior Vanessa Thomas ended in 28th place with a time of 20:42.5, and sophomore Elena Kozich was 48th in 21:51.6. Other Monona Grove runners included junior Anya Schmidt, who was 49th, and Lindsey Poels, who took 56th.
Middleton and Madison West both earned the right to compete at state after locking down the top two spots.
The Cardinals placed five runners in the top 13 to finish first overall with 32 team points, and the Regents took second with 60.
Middleton sophomore Lauren Pansegrau took first place in 17:54.7, and Madison West sophomore Genevieve Nashold finished runner-up in 18:18.
The Silver Eagles boys team also fell short of going to state after finishing fifth with 124 team points.
But junior Eli Traeder will be running in Wisconsin Rapids as an individual competitor after completing the race in 12th position with a time of 16.48.6. He will be in the Division 1 boys race Saturday scheduled for 2:35 p.m.
Senior Ayden Gnewuch ended 21st in 17:13.8, and sophomore Jacob Anderson took the 25th spot in 17:18.6.
Taking 26th was senior Ethan Frydenlund, who ran the course in 17:21.7, and junior Kevin Keaveny crossed the line 40th in 17:37.7. Other finishers included 44th-place junior Nick Haberli and senior Joey Byrne, who ran 66th.
Middleton and Madison West were the top two qualifying boys teams with the Cardinals putting five runners in the top 10 to end with 35 points. The Regents had four runners in the top 15 to finish with 73 points.
Senior John Roth of DeForest was the race winner in 16:05.1, and Madison West senior Julian Gary took second in 16:06.4. Middleton senior Egan Johnson was third in 16:16.4.