Merrill?s Harris finds way to make state dream come true

Merrill’s Sydney Harris made sure the season wasn’t over for the Bluejay cross country team, by digging deep and qualifying for this Saturday’s WIAA State Meet.
Harris finished ninth overall in the meet, in a time of 15:29.7, putting her in the top five of individual qualifiers.
“Sydney ran like she deserved to be at the state meet and earned that opportunity to do so being the fourth individual qualifier,” MHS coach Kurt VandenHeuvel said. “I as a coach was having difficulties coaching to make sure Sydney was in the position to go to state.
“It was hard to coach this week because it was up to her to show up to the meet and want to run with the best. I showed her a list of girls in the top 15 and stressed to her that she needs to finish above the top 10 to have a for sure chance of going to state.
“She made me nervous at first because she got out hard, but when she came through strong at the second-mile mark it was there I knew she was going to run her best time ever and had a strong chance of going to state. Sydney is a strong endurance runner and I am extremely proud to have another week to work with her and the other committed athletes.”
The Bluejay girls placed ninth themselves in the 12-team meet, behind Kate Williams (44th, 17:15), Christa Schleif (57th, 17:41), Ashley Berton (63rd, 17:56) and Stephanie Chapleau (67th, 18:06). Kendra Andreska (70th, 18:14) and Kelci Peterson (76th, 18:57) also competed.
“The girls ran nice races and meaning they ran hard and smart,” VandenHeuvel said. “I was proud of the way they worked together as a team, earning one of the lowest team point totals this season. This meet result was the definition of how the season went; tough, exhausting, and painful but with the confidence, teamwork and commitment comes success individually as well as a team.
“Congrats to our most improved female runner Kate Williams, who cut 2:00 off from the first meet, as well as the other girls for putting in the hard work to have the opportunity to finish strong and get a girl to state!”
The boys ranked 10th in the meet, behind Garrett Schmelling (33rd, 18:12), Andrew Seaman (35th, 18:17), Reece Beyersdorf (52nd, 18:56), Michael Seaman (56th, 19:02) and Andrew Koch (58th, 19:04). Jacob Jensen (59th, 19:04) and Marcus Reinhardt (73rd, 19:43) also ran.
“The guys also finished strong showing enormous improvement not only in running as individuals but as a team,” VandenHeuvel said. “Andrew Seaman and Garrett Schmelling battled the entire season to make each other better and by the end of the season they were also helping lower the team score.
“I was excited to see a negative split from Andrew Koch who has been one of our most consistent runners and finished his season well. Reece Beyersdorf was the most improved boy runner cutting off 2:45 off from the start of the season. Finally, Michael Seaman and Matthew Dewar?? ran hard, giving the team a chance to move up on other teams.”
Team standings-Girls-Wausau W. 54, Wausau E. 67, D.C.E. 74, SPASH 111, Superior 125, New London 171, Antigo 204, Marshfield 209, Merrill 240, Shawano 261, Rhinelander 263, Wis. Rapids 285…….Boys-SPASH 37, D.C.E. 45, W.E. 106, WR 165, Shawano 179, Rhinelander 187, Marshfield 189, W.W. 209, Antigo 212, Merrill 234, Superior 246, New London 297.

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