By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Monroe returns to state
Times photo: Mark Nesbitt New Glarus-Monticello sophomore Ryan McCoy (2878) runs along with Madison Edgewood's Joe McKenna (2836) Saturday at the University of Wisconsin-Platteville. McCoy finished third and earned an individual state qualifying spot.
PLATTEVILLE - Monroe senior Dylan Starck was just happy to run in the WIAA Division 2 Platteville sectional Saturday.

Starck had a hip injury last year and he missed the sectional as the Cheesemakers had their five-year run of state appearances snapped. Fast forward a year and Starck is back running at an elite level. Starck finished fifth at the Platteville sectional and the Cheesemakers finished as the sectional runner-up to qualify for state as a team for the sixth time in seven years.

"It was just nice to be healthy this year and be able to run at the sectional," Starck said after finishing the 5,000-meter race with a time of 16 minutes, 54 seconds. "I just kept harping at the guys to do the right thing and it will pay off and it paid off today."

Dodgeville-Mineral Point, behind sectional champion Trevor Wunnicke, edged the Cheesemakers for the sectional title 66-79. The Cheesemakers finished ahead of New Glarus-Monticello (93) for the second state team qualifying spot. New Glarus-Monticello sophomore Ryan McCoy took third (16:33) and was an individual state qualifier.

"Our goal is always to win," Starck said. "It would have been nice to beat Dodgeville and get a sectional plaque. We live to see another week."

McCoy was excited to make it through the sectional for a second straight trip to state.

"My arms felt like they were lead weights today," McCoy said. "I'm pretty excited about the opportunity."

Monroe sophomore Steve Christiansen finished 11th (17:11) and junior Luke Peterson took 13th (17:23). Monroe freshman Ethan Moehn took 20th (17:37) and junior Joel Henry was 30th (17:48). The difference for the Cheesemakers in the finish ahead of New Glarus-Monticello was Peterson and Moehn. Peterson finished 13 spots ahead of the Knights' No. 3 runner and Moehn finished seven spots ahead of the Knights' No. 4 runner.

"It's one of the huge goals you have at the beginning of the year," Monroe boys cross country coach Dave Hirsbrunner said of state. "Joel had an off day and someone had to step up. Our No. 2, 3 and 4 runners did it for us today."

Peterson has overcome a knee injury to lead the Cheesemakers. He had to rehab his knee injury by swimming early at the pool at the Green County YMCA the last several weeks.

"He is getting his legs back under him," Hirsbrunner said. "I think his best race is ahead of him."

Peterson hopes that he has overcome his knee injury.

"My knee felt fine today," Peterson said. "I'm glad it's back."

Peterson said the Cheesemakers were a little nervous waiting for the official results.

"We controlled what we could and that was ourselves," he said referring to the way they ran. "Coming into the meet, we felt like we could take at least second. New Glarus-Monticello and McFarland ran better than expected."

New Glarus-Monticello senior Reid Zanoya finished ninth (17:08) and was six seconds away from the last individual state qualifying spot that went to Madison Edgewood's Dave Mott.

The Knights had three runners finish together with freshman Young Chul Vetterelie taking 26th (17:42), sophomore Alexander Yeiser finishing 27th (17:46) and junior Riley Miller was 28th (17:47).

Brodhead-Juda finished 11th out of 16 teams. The Cardinals had two runners in the top 50. The Cardinals were led by senior Daniel Drewes, who took 45th (18:23), and junior Tate Harnack, who finished 48th (18:31).

"We ran the best races we could," McCoy said. "I don't think there is anything else we could have done today. In a lot of people's opinions, this is the best sectional in the state. There are five teams here who if they were in a different sectional could make it to state."