Ali Johnson and Jessica Petruzates, two of Clintonville’s top cross country runners, have qualified for this year’s state competition after finishing third and sixth respectively, at the Sectional meet in Tomahawk on Saturday, Oct. 25.
Johnson took third place in a time of 19:45, while Petruzates took sixth with a time of 20:01. The top two teams qualify and then the top five girls who are not on a qualifying team also earn a trip to state.
Johnson and Petruzates will compete at State in Wisconsin Rapids on Saturday, Nov. 1.
Tommy Miller had the best showing for the Clintonville boys, taking 16th place with a time of 17:29.
“I am really proud of Ali’s and Jessica’s efforts. This is the third consecutive year they have qualified for the state championships,” said Coach Jeff Crumbaugh. “Both were in the lead pack for most of the race. Their accomplishment was the result of hard work. They have run many miles and have run tough interval and hill workouts throughout the season.
“Both runners have had their best season of their careers,” continued Crumbaugh. “Ali has won three invitationals this year including the Wisconsin Rapids Invite, Rosholt Invite and the Mustang Invite (Marion). Jessica has finished as high as second. Both runners also earned All-Conference First Team just last week.”
Johnson and Petruzates earned a trip to sectionals with their strong performances at the Eastern Valley Conference Championships at Winnegamie Golf Club in Neenah on Saturday, Oct. 18.
Johnson finished second behind Freedom’s Lauren Peters while Petruzates finished fourth overall. Both earned All-Conference First Team honors for their efforts.
The Clintonville girls’ team finished sixth overall.
“Ali has been running smart all season long. Her victory at Wisconsin Rapids was a marvelous come from behind victory over Steven Point’s Hannah Bielke,” said Crumbaugh after the meet. “We thought she might be able to beat Lauren Peters of Freedom at Conference, but we were a little short. Ali likes hilly courses and the Winnegamie course was flat and repetitive.”
Petruzates has also had a remarkable senior year, medaling at every invitational and finishing as high as second overall. “Jessica is a tough, durable runner. She starts out at a moderate pace and chases runners down. She becomes stronger as the race proceeds,” said Crumbaugh.
The Truckers’ top boy runner was Trent Marheine, who finished 26th overall at Conference.