Winterton solid in first trip to state cross country meet

Freshman Taylor Winterton made the best of her moment on the big stage Saturday, finishing in the top half of a large field at the Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association Division 2 State Cross Country Championships.
Winterton, who advanced to state with a fourth-place finish at the Oct. 24 Division 2 sectional in Black River Falls, finished 57th out of 152 runners on the 5,000-meter course at The Ridges Golf Course in Wisconsin Rapids.
She battled the rainy weather to finish the girls Division 2 race in 20:44.95.
“Taylor ran well Saturday,” offered Sparta head cross country coach Jean Roddick.
“She finished in the top half of the field, which is wonderful for a freshman,” she continued. “The overall field of runners was a bit slower than normal due to the rainy, wet and muddy conditions.”
The same was true for Winterton, who’s time was a little slower than the one she posted in an invitational held at the same course earlier this season.
When she ran at The Ridges at the Oct. 10 Wisconsin Rapids Invitational, Winterton turned in a time of 20:17.1 to finish fourth in a field of more than 100 runners.
Saturday’s inclement weather slowed the entire field down, however, and Roddick expects Winterton’s solid effort will help her and her team in the future.
“It was a great experience for Taylor and her teammates who came to watch her run,” Roddick said.
It is hard to attend the state cross country meet and not get caught up in the excitement and be motivated to run there,” she added, Hopefully, this experience helped them all set high goals for next season.”
Amery senior Alicia Monson burned up the course in 18:28.96 to capture the Division 2 state title, while Gale-Ettrick-Trempealeau freshman Dana Feyen finished second in 19:00.09.
In the Division 2 girls team competition, West Salem finished in 14th place.
The Panthers, who won the Division 2 sectional title at Black River Falls on Oct. 24, were led by Kate Schroeder with a 47th-place finish in 21:03.79 .
Elizabeth Korn came in 55th for West Salem with a time of 21:11.64, while Sarah Novak finished the 5,000-meter course in 21:18.53 to land in 60th place.
Hannah Caulum was right behind in 61st place for the Panthers with a time of 21:25.09, followed by Lauren Van Cleave in 81st with a time of 22:05.55, Dani Faas in 82nd with a time of 22:06.84 and Sydney Fitzpatrick in 92nd place with a time of 22:31.34.
In Division 1 girls action, La Crosse Central finished in 17th in the team standings, while Westby captured second in the Division 3 girls team standings, just seven points behind first place Lourdes Academy.
In the boys team competition, La Crosse Aquinas came in fourth and Westby finished ninth in the Division 3 race,  while Viroqua captured 14th in Division 2 and Onalaska finished 18th in Division 1. 

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