Whippet cross country runner Allisan Barrett made her third consecutive WIAA state championship appearance in Wisconsin Rapids last Saturday. (Bob Mischka photo)


By Troy Sparks


Senior Whippet Allisan Barrett concluded her high school cross country career by making it to the WIAA Division 2 State Meet for the third straight year.

After finishing in third place at the Deerfield Sectional, Oct. 21, Barrett set her sights a little higher for the state meet at Wisconsin Rapids.

“I have a goal, which is to be in the top 15. But you know what? Who cares (where I place),” she said after the sectional race.

Barrett felt the lingering effects of a pinched nerve that sat in her lower back between her sacrum and pelvic bone. She battled through that injury two weeks ago but couldn’t shake it off this time.

Whitewater coach Chad Carstens said Barrett passed the first mile in six minutes, 12 seconds and was among the first 30 runners at that point. Carstens said Barrett’s leg went numb after passing the mile marker.

“Allisan wasn’t willing to accept defeat, failure or quitting in her final moments wearing the Whippet uniform,” Carstens said. “It’s anyone’s guess what she may have done had she not suffered her injury.”

Between the first and second mile, Barrett ignored the pain and moved up a few places while tackling the challenging second mile of the course.

Barrett, like all the other runners, battled the wind and cool temperatures that affected the way she wanted to race. When the finish line was within sight after climbing the final hill, Barrett made that final push to finish 26th overall in 20:20.72. It was more than a minute from her best time ever of 19:08.58 that she posted at sectionals.

“There is certainly no guesswork involved in determining the amount of courage, poise and grace she showed as she took each step toward the finish line on (last) Saturday afternoon,” Carstens said. “There is also no questioning her toughness and commitment to the sport of cross country and to the Whippet cross country program. Allisan has been a tremendous contributor in her leadership, role modeling and ability to mentor others around her.”

Barrett was a four-year all-conference performer. She placed 13th her freshman year to make the second team. Barrett made the first team her sophomore through senior years, placing sixth, fifth and third. She never placed worse than ninth at a sectional race all four years and capped off her postseason career at state, finishing 31st as a sophomore, 23rd as a junior and 26th this year.



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