WHITEWATER — Waterloo senior Christi Forman ran like a boss.
Forman earned her fourth consecutive individual berth to the WIAA State Cross Country Championships on Saturday, winning the Division 3 sectional at UW-Whitewater in a time of 20 minutes, 34.1 seconds.
Forman cruised through two easy Fennimore sectionals to earn her first two trips to state. A year ago, she moved into a tougher field and narrowly grabbed the fifth and final berth available when Lake Country Lutheran hosted.
With Dodgeland graduates Meygan Benzing and Jamie Huber out of the picture, the path was clear for Forman and she owned it to earn her first sectional crown on an unfamiliar course.
“It felt amazing,” Forman said. “I felt so good the whole time. Walking the course, I’m like, ‘That’s a big hill’ and we had to do it twice. It did not feel as bad as when we were walking it. It’s so great to see everyone, including some veterans (such as Benzing) that ran last year cheering me on at the course today. It’s so great to see all of them.”
Forman’s first memories of the state meet are admittedly nonexistent.
“My sister (Cassie) ran at state her sophomore and senior years,” Forman said. “No (I don’t remember it). I was four. But I remember pictures.”
Once the younger Forman reached high school, she began making memories of her own.
The four-time state qualifier runs for the final time at The Ridges Golf Course in Wisconsin Rapids. The Division 3 girls 5,000-meter final starts at 1:20 p.m.
“That’s crazy (being a four-time state qualifier),” Forman said. “I never imagined it really. It’s honestly a dream come true, to have the opportunity to run at state four years in a row. This sport has taught me so much and I am so glad I get to run another race.”
Forman began the season with a second place finish at the Glenn Herold Invitational in Watertown, her highest finish in that event in four seasons. She went on to meet a pre-season goal of finishing a race under 20 minutes at the Dana Waddell Invitational.
“I did it at Marshall,” Forman said. “I am hoping to get a PR up at Rapids.”
A top ten medal would be a possibility if she manages a personal best time. She’s had a personal best season thus far.
“She’s an absolute beast,” Waterloo cross country coach Gabe Haberkorn said after the sectional. “To have her best race today of all days is just phenomenal. This is a tough course. We were hoping for that top six finish. For her to be on the top is quite an accomplishment. I can’t put it into words. She’s put in the work. For her to do this is a huge accomplishment. Four years, and it comes down to her last two races.”
The senior is looking forward to running her last race on this particular course.
“You go into the course every time and you notice something new about it,” Forman said. “I ran 20:18 last year, so I am hoping to do better.”
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.
Waterloo runners: 1. Forman, 20:34.1; 44. Stonestreet, 25:13.6; 54. Asik, 26:32.5; 57. Webster, 26:56.3; 82. Valle, 28:39.1.
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.
Waterloo runners: 44. Aguero, 19:44.9; 57; Tschanz, 20:11.6; 71. Wilson, 20:45.8; 78. Battenberg, 21:31.9; 104. Sampo, 22:53.0.