By RICK SOLEM
WISCONSIN RAPDIS, Wis. – They finished sixth last year.
This year, the Logan High School boys cross country team aims for more.
The Rangers football team has moved within two wins from a state berth, but the cross country team is already there.
At 2:25 Saturday - the last race of the day - the Rangers take to the 5,000-meter course at the Ridges Golf Course in the WIAA Division 1 state cross country meet. The meet itself begins at 11:30 a.m.
WIAA STATE XC
This year’s individual title appears up for grabs led by Vernoa junior Ryan Nameth, who finished third last year. He is one of only two runners to finish in the Top 10 in last year’s meet.
As a team, Madison West returns to defend its title, led by three individual state qualifiers from last year.
Seven of the teams that finished in the Top 10 return, including Stevens Point, which placed third and, of course, the sixth-place Rangers, led by Chris Ganrude.
Last year’s team was senior dominated but three return, including two who scored - seniors Ganrude and Soren Johnson. Ganrude placed 74th last year in 16:50.17, while Johnson was 92nd (17:03.31).
On the girls side in the division, Holmen junior Sierra Rabe hopes to make the best of a return trip to state. The junior finished the 4,000-meter course last year in 12th place (14:45.68).
The West Salem boys come in with no favorite to win it all, but a group of runners that pack up and pick people off.
The Panthers are led by seniors Michael Sauter and Noah Jacobson.
Sparta’s boys also qualified led by junior John Roddick.
On the girls side, Viroqua qualified as a team led by returner Mackenzie Schneider. West Salem junior Hannah Thorn also makes a return trip to state.
Austin Pasch looks to come away a state champion for Westby, which qualified as a team, but had nobody in the field last year.
Pasch, a senior, ran away with the sectional by over 29 seconds.
Senior Tyson Miehe of Darlington is the two-time defending champion returning in the division.
The Brookwood boys return as a team after finishing 12th last year. Brookwood is led by senior Walker Rynes and junior Dylan Smith. Rynes placed 19th last year (17:09.85), while Smith was 58th (17:43.81).
Cochrane-Fountain City senior Dray Schreiber returns after a 21st-place finish last year (17:14.75).
On the girls side, Westby returns as a team, which placed sixth overall last year. Junior Becca Maxwell is the leading returner to the squad after finishing 49th last year (16:32.56).
Brookwood sophomore Briana Nelson also makes a return trip to state.
WIAA STATE CROSS COUNTRY
at The Ridges G.C., Wisconsin Rapids, WI
Logan: Chris Ganrude (12), Henry Meger (11), Andrew Olson (11), Soren Johnson (12), Eric Deetz (11), Ted Caya (12), Tanner Pierzina (12).
Onalaska: Blake Reynolds (12), Matt Hibshman (12)
Viroqua: Isaih Abt (12)
West Salem: Michael Sauter (12), Riley Scallon (10), Cameron Robaczewski (11), Connor Koepnick (9), Noah Jacobson (12), Erick Sells (9), Kyle Lane (11).
Sparta: John Roddick (11), Andrew Ochoa (12), Trygve Zurfluh (10), Austin Feltner (12), Max Engh (9), Isaac Pokorny (12), Sam Forbes (9).
Brookwood: Walker Rynes (12), Dylan Smith (11), Luke Schwartz (12), Billy Nusse (11), Devan Summerfield (11), Logan Peterson (9), Jared Johnson (11).
Westby: Austin Pasch (12), Spencer Oftendahl (10), Lucas Knight (11), Tanner Gibbons (12), Audun Saterbak (12), Noah Shea (10), Dylan Widner (12).
Cochrane-Fountain City: Dray Schreiber (12)
Logan: Lizzy Schmida (11), Kendal Miller (11)
Holmen: Sierra Rabe (11)
Onalaska: Monica Delgado (12)
Viroqua: Andrea Weston (9), Mackenzie Schneider (12), Madelyn Wiltrout (12), Samantha Dach (11), Olivia Amrhein (10), Joslyn Dearborn (11), Jennifer Brendel (10)
West Salem: Hannah Thorn (11)
Melrose-Mindoro: Anna Morabito (10), Tiana Mikel (12), Macy Craig (11), Avery Aasen (10), Brianna Kowalsky (12), Emily Oehler (10), Marissa Sime (9)
Brookwood: Briana Nelson (10)
Westby: Becca Maxwell (11), Sammi Hansen (11), Emily Culligan (11), Kelsey Daines (10), Riley see (9), Dani Knight (9), Jade Frydenlund (10)
Hillsboro: Breanna Beaver (10)