East Troy High School’s Henry Chapman brought home the gold medal from the WIAA cross country sectional championship on Oct. 19. (Bob Mischka photo)

Boys cross country team heads to state meet

By Dan Truttschel

Correspondent

The East Troy boys cross country team certainly is a determined bunch.

For the second time in two weeks Saturday, the Trojans set a goal and reached it with their first-place finish at a WIAA Division 2 sectional at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater.

The sectional title is the first for East Troy, which is making its third straight trip and fourth overall to the WIAA State Meet this weekend.

“Immediately after the race, some of the boys were already asking if they had won,” East Troy coach Michael Rajsich said. “They have worked very hard to win a conference and now a sectional championship. There is a ton of excitement within the program. The kids have worked hard to accomplish goal number two.”

East Troy finished with 45 points, followed by Jefferson with 56, Deerfield with 91, Waukesha Catholic Memorial with 117 and Watertown Luther Prep with 123.

Senior Henry Chapman paced the boys with an individual sectional championship in 17:05.5. Senior Nathan Fox was second overall in 17:11.3, followed by junior Tommy Larson, 10th (17:42); junior Calvin Collins, 15th (18:00.2); junior Michael Rosin, 17th (18:03.7); senior Jacob Smith, 20th (18:11.3); and sophomore Austin Depuydt, 25th (18:40.6).

Chapman continues to excel in big moments, Rajsich said.

“Henry ran a very conservative race,” he said. “He did a great job setting the pace. Nathan did a great job keeping Henry in sight. I know both of them have individual goals at the state meet that they have worked hard for.”

The other five runners certainly did their part as well, Rajsich added.

“Each runner has played a major role in the success of the team,” Rajsich said. “Nate and Henry placing first and second obviously allows the team to get ahead of most teams’ first and second runners.

“Tommy Larson continues to have a great season. Calvin Collins has shown consistent improvement, and Michael Rosin, Jacob Smith and Austin Depuydt battled to place in the top 25. All seven have challenge themselves to be the best they can be.”

Rajsich said he’s been pleased to see the boys stick to a game plan and work hard to execute it, even when it hasn’t always been easy.

And the results certainly speak for themselves.

“The boys have continued to challenge each other to not get complacent,” he said. “We have battled some sickness over the last couple of weeks, which we are hopefully finally getting over. They have worked hard to close the gap between our first and last runner. Obviously, the faster you get, the harder it is to drop time.”

Eyeing a team medal

The Trojans will race Saturday at 1:10 p.m. at the Ridges Golf Course in Wisconsin Rapids. East Troy was 11th overall a year ago and 12th in 2016.

“The boys have worked hard to put themselves in position to compete for a spot on the team state podium,” Rajsich said. “We know we have to run well because there are ton of great teams at the state meet. It will take a group effort to do so.

“Each individual needs to run their race and understand that there are individuals racing that are not part of teams. Every place matters at the state meet. … Our runners need to understand the scoring and put themselves in position to have the best race they can.”

 
 

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