WHITEWATER — Marshall’s Gianna Dugan earned her third trip to the WIAA State Cross Country Championships following a third-place finish at Saturday’s Division 3 UW-Whitewater Sectional.
Dugan covered the 5,000-meter course in 20 minutes, 55.6 seconds to earn one of the top five individual qualifier spots for Saturday’s State Meet. Dugan finished behind only champion and Capitol South Conference foe Christi Forman and Johnson Creek’s Hannah Constable.
“She’s been working really hard the last three years; she really figured out what it would take to be successful as a runner her freshman year by committing to a solid summer running program,” said Marshall head coach Jeff Looze. “It really transformed her performances, she really stepped up from ninth grade to 10th grade and it carried through.”
While it’s Dugan’s third trip to state, it will be the first time she will run without her teammates. Marshall did not qualify as a team for a third consecutive time, finishing sixth with 147 points.
Injuries played a role in the Cardinals’ quest to make a return trip to state.
“We obviously lost a couple of key players from last year and then this year we got hit by the injury bug really the last month of the season; we lost four of our top seven runners,” Looze said. “That really took us out of the game as far as having anything team-wise.
“I’m really proud of her for getting through a third time.”
Only the top two teams, Ozuakee and Burlington Catholic Central, qualified.
“The sectional we were in was pretty wide open — there were a couple of teams that were solid — I thought we could maybe sneak in there, but that all changed with the injuries we had,” Looze said.
Following Dugan were sophomore Erika Dugan (34th, 24:29.1), junior Jazmin Antonio Reyes (43rd, 25:12.9), senior Mady Frank (50th, 25:53.1) and senior Abi Gillis (56th, 26:53.0).
Juniors Kobe Grossman and Ethan Jennings each earned Top 25 finishes to lead the Marshall boys.
Grossman finished 21st in 18:49.6 while Jennings was 24th in 19:00.1.
“He went out way too hard for the type of course and the competition level that you have at a sectional, and he couldn’t hold the pace,” said Looze. “He gathered it up and ended up hanging onto our top spot.”
Following the pair were sophomore Justin Grady (33rd, 19:20.5) and juniors Reece Collins (47th, 19:50.9) and Mason Haberkorn (50th, 19:58.4).
WIAA STATE MEET
Dugan will run in the Division 3 girls race at 1:20 p.m. Saturday at Ridges Golf Course in Wisconsin Rapids.
WIAA DIVISION 3
Girls team scores: Ozaukee 44, Burlington Catholic Central 86, Dodgeland 90, The Prairie School 132, Random Lake 144, Marshall 147, Living Word Lutheran 179, Waterloo 211, Johnson Creek 240, Kenosha Christian Life 284, Wayland Academy 325, Horicon 325, Racine Lutheran 334, Kenosha St. Joseph 348, Salam 428.
Team state qualifiers: Ozaukee, Burlington Catholic Central.
Individual state qualifiers: Forman, Waterloo, 20:34.1; Constable, Johnson Creek, 20:46.7; Dugan, Marshall 20:55.6; Czeshinski, Palmyra-Eagle, 21:31.4; Pickart, Dodgeland, 21:41.5.
Marshall runners: 3. G. Dugan, 20:55.6; 34. E. Dugan, 24:29.1; 43. Antonio Reyes 25:12.9; 50. Frank, 25:53.1; 56. Gillis, 26:53.0.
Boys team scores: Ozaukee 59, Kenosha Christian Life 86, Kenosha St. Joseph 94, Living Word Lutheran 112, Brookfield Academy 137, Marshall 158, Prairie School 220, Wayland 232, Horicon 255, Palmyra-Eagle 256, Catholic Central 290, Heritage Christian 299, Waterloo 313, St. John’s 315, Random Lake 338, Racine Lutheran 448.
Team state qualifiers: Ozaukee, Kenosha Christian Life.
Individual state qualifiers: Osborne, Brookfield Academy 17:04.1; Klumb, Kenosha Christian Life, 17:26.6; Finger, Dodgeland, 17:47.2; Malloy, Brookfield Academy, 17:53.6; Henderson, Burlington Catholic Central, 18:03.9.
Marshall runners: 21. Grossman, 18:49.6; 24. Jennings, 19:00.1; 33. Grady, 19:20.5; 47. Collins, 19:50.9; 50. Haberkorn, 19:58.4.