Jacks XC team overcomes season long odds to advance to state for first time in 50 years
With a year that will be remembered for starting late, COVID-19, quarentines and recently blizzard like conditions this past Saturday at the Cameron Sectional, the Ladysmith boy’s cross-country team overcame it all as they advanced to the WIAA State Cross-Country Meet this coming Saturday as a team for the first time since the 1970 season under then head coach Gene Lokkin.
It all start as the Ladysmith cross country team competed in a Sub-Sectional Meet in Webster on Tuesday, October 20th against 11 other schools. The top two teams and top five individuals who are not part of a qualifying team advance to Sectionals on October 24 in Cameron. When the meet started there was already a couple of inches of snow on the ground and by the end of the meet there were several inches of snow on the course.
In the end it was the Lumberjacks taking first as a team up in Webster as Ethan Stewart finished in fourth, Eli Rogers came in sixth, Pete West finished seventh, Blake Prince was eighth and Jack West crossed the finish line in ninth as the top five Jack finishers all finished in the top ten to advance to the Cameron Sectional as a team along with Bishop Peterson and Mitchell Lehman. “Due to COVID, the WIAA reduced the number of Sectional Meets and added a Sub-Sectional Meet round to the tournament series in order to narrow down the field prior to the Sectional Meets. Hopefully this will be the one and only season that this happens. Our boys team ran a great race and ended up being Sub-Sectional Champions. They will have their chance to qualify for State at Sectionals on Saturday,” stated head coach, Jacob Ebner.
The Ladysmith Cross Country program had the boys team ready to compete for the Sectional Meet that was held at Cameron this past Saturday, October 24 as the top two teams and the top five individuals who are not a part of a qualifying team qualify for the State Meet. Last year, the boys team missed qualifying by two places. However, this year the boys team would have a better outcome as they became the first Ladysmith Cross Country team since 1970 to qualify for the State Meet! The boys team finished in second place finish as they will compete in the D3 State Meet this Saturday, October 31 at Maple Grove Venues in West Salem.
The first Ladysmith boy to cross the finish line was Ethan Stewart in a time of 17:55. This was Ethan’s fastest time ever by 23 seconds, breaking his best career mark that he set 4 days ago at sub-sectionals in Webster. The second Ladysmith boy to cross the finish line was Blake Prince in a time of 18:03. This was Blake’s fastest time ever by 57 seconds, breaking his best career mark that he set 4 days ago at sub-sectionals in Webster. The third Ladysmith boy to cross the finish line was Eli Rogers in a time of 18:22. This was Eli’s fastest time every 10 seconds, breaking his best career mark that he set earlier in the season at Cameron. The fourth Ladysmith boy to cross the finish line was Jack West in a time of 18:30. This was Jack’s second best time of his high school career. Jack has come back strong after missing some time a few weeks ago. The fifth Ladysmith boy to cross the finish line was Pete West in a time of 18:36. This was Pete’s second best time of his high school career. Pete literally left everything he had out on the course today. The sixth Ladysmith boy to cross the finish line was Bishop Peterson in a time of 19:38. This was Bishop’s fastest time ever by 37 seconds, and was the first time in his career that he has finished under 20 minutes in a race. The seventh Ladysmith boy to cross the finish line was Mitchell Lehman in a time of 19:57. This was Mitchell’s second best time of high school career. Mitchell has come back strong after missing some time a few weeks ago. “Our boys team has been waiting for this race for the last 364 days. This year they reached their goal of qualifying for the State Meet. It was a complete team effort today and all season for them to reach this goal. The boys are well aware that this year is the 50 year anniversary of the last time the Ladysmith boys team qualified for the State Meet and that it has been 16 years since any Ladysmith team has qualified for a State Tournament. Our boys look forward to representing Ladysmith at the State Meet this Saturday,” coach Ebner concluded.