Senior Sadie McCaulley doesn’t want the season to end for the McFarland High School girls cross-country team. Neither do her senior teammates, Ella Ceelen and Sara Yavas.
After winning the Rock Valley Conference meet in Whitewater, the Spartans pocketed another prize Oct. 26 with a first-place finish in the WIAA Division 2 sectional meet at the Spring Green Municipal Golf Course.
McFarland scored 74 team points, beating out Mount Horeb, which finished second with 92. Both teams will advance to the state meet Saturday, Nov. 2, in Wisconsin Rapids.
As for McCaulley, she ended up eighth in 20:31.1, McFarland’s best finish in the 5,000-meter race.
The key to the Spartans has been their ability to work in a pack and help each other navigate the course. This race was no exception as freshman Paige Ceelen finished 13th in 20:59.3, junior Lillian Grossman was 15th in 21:08.0, Ella Ceelen was 18th in 21:14.7, and junior Emma Johnson took 20th in 21:18.3. Sophomore Felicia Zheng was close behind Johnson in 21st with a time of 21:20.3. Yavas ended up 55th in 22:39.7.
This will be the Spartans fifth trip to the state tournament in six seasons. The team didn’t qualify last season but took second in 2014, eighth in 2015, seventh in 2016 and 16th in 2017. Sophomore Kayci Martensen of Southwestern/Cuba City was the race winner in a time of 18:28.5.
Brodhead/Juda’s Madelynn McIntyre, the first-place finisher in the Rock Valley meet, ended up in second place, more than a minute behind Martensen.
The Spartan boys team did not perform as well and ended in seventh place with 189 team points.
Mount Horeb and New Glarus/Monticello both advanced after taking the top two spots. The Vikings nabbed first with 85 points, and the Glarner Knights were second with 92.
Senior Evan Kania turned in McFarland’s best performance with a 14th place finish in 17:40.9, and senior Carson Aubey was 20th in 17:51.6.
Senior Matthew Klumpyan, who took third place at the Rock Valley Conference meet, fell to 38th in 18:23.5. Junior Derek Sandine was 55th in 18:46.2, and junior Ryan Wickersham finished 62nd in 18:59.0. Other McFarland runners included junior Ryan Olsen, who took 68th place, and senior Skyler Li, who was 76th.
Madison Edgewood junior Leo Richardson won the race with a time of 16:08.3.