Wisconsin State High School Championship - Day 2
Today was Day 2 of the Wisconsin Nordic Ski League State Meet. The State’s top high school skiers took on the Rhinelander Northwood’s Ski Trails for the Freestyle portion of the two-day pursuit. While it was expected to be an interesting day, there were more surprises then maybe most people anticipated. Conditions for the day were much warmer and more humid then Saturday’s races but did conclude before rains hit in the afternoon.
Starting out with the boys’ competition, the Madison squad was strangely quiet the first day with their top skiers only able to crack the last spot in the top 10. As it turns out, the Madison skiers apparently are much stronger freestyle skiers as Evan Patz and Gabe Forest moved up from 11th and 10th, respectively after the classic leg, to take 2nd and 3rd in the overall pursuit competition. The combination of their finish and the 15th place by Jeffery Sereno was pushed them ahead of second place Ashwaubenon. Kyler Berg of Ashwaubenon easily maintained his first day lead to win the overall individual pursuit and helped propel the team to second and just edging out Lakeland by a single point.
The girls race followed next and while the team standings after the first day remained unchanged, the individual standings got shook up a bit. Delany FitzPatrick was the second skier off 47 seconds behind Nichole Bathe. Probably a surprise to the spectators was that Delany was first out of the woods and navigated the last stretch down the hill and up into the stadium in first place to capture the overall pursuit title for the girls. Taking second was Olivia Amber and then was followed by Bathe who ended up third for the pursuit.
The Lakeland girls, placing three girls in the top 11, took the girls team title. Erin Bolger finished 6th and Sophia Annis finished 11th to round out the scoring positions for Lakeland. The Hayward girls finished second and the Peak Nordic rounded out the team podium in third.
Next week, many of the same skiers will travel to Madison for the Capitol Square Sprints and the Sprint Championships for the Wisconsin Nordic Ski League.