October 29, 2013 | 06:15 PMThe Badger boys cross country team took second place out of 12 teams at the WIAA state sectional meet, Saturday, and qualified for the team state meet for the first time in school history.
The Badgers defeated Verona Area High School, ranked ninth in the state, at their own course and were beaten only by Madison LaFollete, ranked No. 2.
“The team showed tremendous poise,” Badger coach Mike Butscher said. “They were in fourth place at the mile and continued to move up throughout the race and were in second place by the two-mile.”
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All seven runners on the boys team ran what Butscher called “an inspired last mile” that propelled the team into second place overall at the meet.
Junior Alex Martinez finished in third place with a time of 16:30. Sophomore Cody Sadikof finished sixth and set a personal record with a time of 16:48. Senior co-captain Gavin Denecke finished 14th with a time of 17:06.
All seven Badger runners finished in under 18 minutes for the first time all season. The boys had a team time of 1:25:29, their fastest time this season by far.
The last time the boys ran at Verona on Sept. 7, they had a team time of 1:28:29. They shaved exactly three minutes off their team time in the past two months.
The Badger girls finished in third place at sectionals with a team time of 1:26:10 and did not qualify for the girls team state meet, despite a strong performance from Senior Elle Adams (second place overall) and Sophomore Kayla Wruk (eight place overall). Adams ran the 4k in 16:30 and Wruk had a time of 16:42.
Adams, who has led the Badger girls all season long, qualified for the state individual meet.
The boys team will travel to the Ridges Golf Course in Wisconsin Rapids this Saturday to compete in the state team meet. The race begins at 2:25 p.m.
“We are shooting for a sub 1:25 at state and see where that will put us,” Butscher said. “The course is a little easier than the tough Verona Course, but the race is so much different.”
Butscher said that since there will be more than 200 runners competing at state, it will be easy for the boys to get caught in traffic, which could hurt their overall time despite racing at an easier course.
“It will be a great challenge and opportunity for our boys,” he said.