Bonduel girls and boys teams state-bound

1st time both teams are headed to state in same season
By: 

Photo by Diane Schnell Bonduel High School’s state-bound boys and girls cross-country teams finished as WIAA Division 3 sectional champions Saturday at the Westfield Sectional. Team members are, from back row, Colin Ewing, Will Beaumier, Craig Rusch, Jared Wondra, Charlie Mews, Elena Shest, Abby Owen, Madison Kurey, Breanna Schnell, Grace Tubutis, Chris Salerno, Alex Jasch; front row, Carter Kurey, Colen Klosterman, Ashlyn Schnell, Allyssa Moser, Jacob Moede, Derrick Folkman, Laney Richmond, Kara Troxel, Katlin Thompson and Erin Timler.

Photo by Kristine Stoll Bonduel High School freshman Kara Troxel, right, runs alongside first-place finisher Erika Kisting, of Iola-Scandinavia, at the WIAA Division 3 sectional in Westfield on Saturday. Troxel finished second overall in 20 minutes, 23.31 seconds. Bonduel won the girls and boys sectional titles.

The Bonduel girls and boys cross-country teams are making history as both head to the state championships after winning their respective WIAA Division 3 sectional races on Saturday in Westfield.

This is the first time both Bonduel teams advanced to state and clinched first place at sectionals. The girls team finished with 62 points, 29 ahead of second-place finisher Weyauwega-Fremont. The boys tallied 83, five ahead of Amherst.

“It really comes down to our depth, and they really peaked at the right time,” head coach Diane Schnell said. “They all consistently improved.”

With 36 runners across both teams, there’s constant competition for the top seven varsity spots on each team.

“We have such strong runners this season that they all want to compete for those spots,” Schnell said. “When you have so few spots and so many strong kids, they all push each other. The last two spots are usually up in the air, so there’s a fight to get those.”

The girls team’s success isn’t due to experience; most of the them are freshmen.

“We knew they were going to be a strong class,” Schnell said. “We watched them last year win almost every meet they went to. And knowing how much talent they brought in, this year the goal was really just keeping them healthy and letting them do their thing.”

Five of the seven girls who will compete at state are freshmen, including top runner Kara Troxel.

Troxel is ranked 12th out of more than 400 runners in the division. She finished second at the sectional with a time of 20 minutes, 23.31 seconds.

“I think I did pretty well this year since it’s my first year in high school and races are longer than in middle school,” Troxel said. “In the beginning, I was running around 20:55, and I cut it down a lot in the end. So that’s a personal achievement.”

Troxel’s goal for state is to finish in the top 10 and improve her time.

“I’m focusing my work for state on sprinting more,” she said. “I know I have more in me to give.”

“Kara, she’s one of those people that sets her mind to something and really digs in,” Schnell said. “She’s really competitive and really driven. She’s one of the runners that worked hard over the summer in preparation for the season. I’m absolutely confident that she can make the top 10.”

In addition to Troxel, the girls advancing to state are freshman Madison Kurey, senior Ashlyn Schnell, freshman Katlin Thompson, freshman Breanna Schnell, freshman Erin Timler and senior Abby Owen.

Junior Colin Ewing, junior Jared Wondra, senior Jacob Moede, senior Craig Rusch, sophomore Carter Kurey, senior Charlie Mews and sophomore William Beaumier will represent the boys team.

With 52 teams competing in each race at the state meet Saturday in Wisconsin Rapids, Schnell tried to set realistic goals.

“There’s so many more teams at state, so I’m being more practical with my goals for them,” she said. “We’d like to achieve the top 10 for both boys and girls. I think the girls can take the sixth slot, so that’s our hope for them.”

The boys have been working toward state since the start of the season.

“During summer, they started practicing hard with that vision in mind,” Schnell said. “They made noticeable improvement throughout the year and were able to achieve their goal.”

Last year just one boy from Bonduel qualified for state.

“They push each other, and that’s really been the biggest difference,” Schnell said. “We just have a good group of kids this season with a lot of drive and spirit, and it’s really a lot of fun to coach them. There’s a lot of different styles and personalities and leadership styles with that many people.”

The boys run at 2:35 p.m. Saturday. The girls race is scheduled to start at 12:40 p.m.

WIAA Division 3

Westfield Sectional

Girls: 1. Bonduel, 62 points; 2. Weyauwega-Fremont, 91; 3. Amherst, 127; 4. Gillett, 163; 5. Coleman, 164; 6. Westfield/Montello, 170; 7. Crivitz, 183; 8. Princeton/Green Lake, 184; 9. Laconia, 189; 10. Iola-Scandinavia, 190; 11. Oconto, 224; 12. Manawa, 303; 13. Markesan, 310.

B: Kara Troxel (20:23.31) finished 2nd overall; Madison Kurey (22:56.15) 9th; Ashlyn Schnell (23:08) 10th; Katlin Thompson (24:16.58) 19th; Breanna Schnell (24:45.19) 22nd; Erin Timler (25:01.14) 25th; and Abby Owen (25:23.58) 32nd.

Boys 1. Bonduel, 83 points; 2. Amherst, 88; 4. Pardeeville, 126; 5. Coleman, 137; 6. Oconto, 146; 7. St. Mary Catholic, 159; 8. Laconia, 175; 9. Weyauwega-Fremont, 178; 10. Westfield/Montello, 203v 11. Markesan, 285.

B: Colin Ewing (19:03.59) finished 9th overall; Jared Wondra (19:09.19) 11th; Jacob Moede (19:42.33) 15th; Craig Rusch (20:03.79) 21st; Carter Kurey (20:20.82) 27th; Charlie Mews (20:28.47) 28th; and William Beaumier (21:07.39) 38th.