Dillon, Schueller earn state cross-country berths for Germantown
Dillon becomes first four-time girls qualifier
Earning their places in school history, Germantown senior cross-country runners Caitlin Dillon and Adam Schueller each claimed WIAA individual state berths with efforts at the sectional meet at Tendick Park in Saukville on Saturday.
With her effort, Dillon becomes the first Warhawk girls runner to earn four state meet berths in her career and with his qualifying slot, the first-year runner Schueller carries on a strong family tradition started by his brother, Keith Schueller, who runs for Marquette University.
The girls Division I race at Wisconsin Rapids' Ridges Golf Course is at 12:20 p.m. Saturday. The boys run at 2:20 p.m.
For Dillon, her season-best 4,000-meter effort at Tendick was a breakthrough, as she has had to work hard to regain her state-level form this season.
"I was definitely waiting for a race like this," she said. "We (as a team) were all working for this because we all knew that this could be our last race. We just wanted to do our best. I keyed off a few other runners I knew (including Homestead's Lauren Holtz and Menomonee Falls' Megan Paule) and I worked hard to stay with them and then tried to beat them at the end."
Dillon came across in 15 minutes, 19 seconds on an almost perfect day for running - 60 degrees and sunny - and led the Warhawks to a seventh-place finish out of 11 teams with 187 points, as Arrowhead (23) and West Bend West (71) earned the state team berths.
Coach Nancy Pietrowiak was very pleased for Dillon.
"She really ran a solid race," said Pietrowiak. "She did everything that we asked of her. Her splits were right on the mark and she knew what she needed to do. She knew who to keep her sites on and she just kept working that thing until she got it done."
"(She's) a real team leader."
And one who knows what she accomplished.
"To be the first four-time qualifier is a very good feeling," she said. "I'm glad I'm part of the school's cross-country history."
Other runners for Germantown included Jennifer Ellis in 31st (16:39), Andrea Brown in 47th (17:07), Paige Kutzora in 50th (17:09), Julia Hoffmann in 53rd (17:30), Hannah Knapp in 58th (17:36) and Kimmie Karin in 66th (17:58).
For Schueller, this season represented a change-up. He had always gone out for track in the spring, but the fall was set aside for soccer. With college ahead, he decided to switch to cross country this fall.
"I felt I had a better chance at getting stuff (financial help) for college," he said. "We'll see how well it works out."
Schueller finished in eighth individually on the 5,000-meter Tendick Park course, the second of five individual state qualifiers. He was clocked in 16:33 for his spot in leading the Warhawks to a fourth-place showing in the 12-team field with 113 points.
Arrowhead (19) and Wauwatosa East (79) earned the state team berths while Homestead was third with 99.
For Warhawks coach Andy Bavlnka, whose squad was part of the team competition last season at state, the finish was only a small bit of a disappointment.
"We ran OK," he said, "and it was better than at conference (last week, which was also at Tendick). It just didn't get us where we wanted to go. But even if we had run really well, it would have taken a really special day to beat Tosa (and qualify as a team). Tosa did not give an inch today."
Bavlnka was pleased for Schueller, noting that all his hard work has really paid off this season.
Other runners for Germantown included Muzahir Badani in 14th (16:56), Zach Baus in 21st (17:21), Sam Marchewka in 33rd (17:50), Riley Shelton in 37th (17:55), Alex Lindenberg in 44th (18:12) and Josh Biesel in 49th (18:29).
Bavlnka was a little sad for the senior Badani, who came in as a freshman with just average talent and developed into a high-quality runner these past three years.
"It would have been nice had he had another six or eight seconds in him (needed for a state berth)," said Bavlnka, "but he had a great career and developed into a real team leader."
Baus, another senior, also was praised for his efforts.
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