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Cheesemakers finish 8th, fail to make state trip
Times photo: Mark Nesbitt Monroe sophomore Abby Rogerson (2860) finished 31st at the WIAA Division 2 Platteville sectional Saturday to lead the Cheesemakers to an eighth-place finish.
PLATTEVILLE - The Monroe girls cross country team finished eighth at the WIAA Division 2 Platteville sectional Saturday at the University of Wisconsin-Platteville.

Although there were no state qualifiers, the Cheesemakers closed out the season with several impressive performances. Monroe sophomore Abby Rogerson finished 31st with a time of 16 minutes, 47 seconds, which was just seconds away from her personal record.

"I wanted to beat my PR," Abby Rogerson said. "I was close, but not quite."

Rogerson said the Cheesemakers were hoping to finish between fifth and seventh as a team.

"The hills are the most challenging part," Rogerson said. "Afterwards we have a nice downhill. It all evens out."

Dodgeville-Mineral Point won the sectional title outdistancing runner-up Madison Edgewood 49-90.

The Cheesemakers ran without Lizzy Dale who was sidelined with a leg injury.

"We knew coming in without her our chances significantly dropped," Monroe girls cross country coach Brian Jefferson said. "We were hoping for a middle of the pack finish."

Monroe freshman Nicole Witt took 41st (17:17) and sophomore Kortney Pippenger was 51st (17:33). Junior Molly Hlubek finished 55th (17:41) and senior Rachel Rogerson was 57th (17:43).

Jefferson wants to use the sectional as a driving force for a team that includes just one senior in its top seven runners.

"I hope they see the focus these top teams show," Jefferson said. "Part of that is the girls and part of that is coaching. They learn something and I learn something."

Jefferson said Abby Rogerson's consistency has improved.

"We are looking for big jump from her next year," he said. "A lot of that will happen in the winter and summer training out of season."

Jefferson said Kortney Pippenger closed the season with a string of three solid races.

"It was a phenomenal race for her," Jefferson said. "She has a lot of potential. She will raise her seriousness of how she trains and it will open up a whole new level for her."

There's also a learning curve for Brodhead-Juda, which finished 10th (274) just ahead of New Glarus-Monticello (278). Four of the Cardinals top five runners are freshmen. Brodhead-Juda freshman Camilla Klar finished 36th with a time of 17:06, senior Shannon Klein took 44th (17:27) and freshman Jenna Klein was 49th (17:31). Freshmen Jacque Conway finished 67th (17:53) and Meg Duffield took 78th (18:19).

New Glarus-Monticello junior Amanda Kaiser finished 40th (17:17) and junior LouAnn Judd was 46th (17:28) to lead the Knights. Fellow junior Jessie Pratt took 56th (17:42) and sophomore Madeline Brunner was 63rd (17:52).