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Cross Country (in case you missed it): Three Cats run at state

Wildcat junior Mason Shea (106) eyes the finish line in the Division 1 boys' race at the WIAA State Cross Country Championships Saturday, Oct. 27, in Wisconsin Rapids. She was one of three individual qualifiers for the Cats and the first one across the finish line with a 45th-place time of 16 minutes, 32.5 seconds. Bob Burrows / RiverTown Multimedia1 / 3
Wildcat junior Joey Madsen (109) gets pinned in by a pair of other runners just past the 1-mile mark in the Division 1 boys' race at the WIAA State Cross Country Championships Saturday, Oct. 27, in Wisconsin Rapids. Madsen finished 159th overall with a time of 17 minutes, 33.7 seconds. Bob Burrows / RiverTown Multimedia 2 / 3
Wildcat sophomore Grant Magnuson (107) runs with the pack just past the 1-mile mark in the Division 1 boys' race at the WIAA State Cross Country Championships Saturday, Oct. 27, in Wisconsin Rapids. Magnuson finished 70th overall with a time of 16 minutes, 46.7 seconds. Bob Burrows / RiverTown Multimedia 3 / 3

Juniors Mason Shea and Joey Madsen, and sophomore Grant Magnuson, all got their first taste of the WIAA State Cross Country Championship Saturday, Oct. 27, in Wisconsin Rapids, and all three are looking forward to using their experience as motivation to return next year.

Shea, Magnuson and Madsen were three of the 190 competitors in a rainy Division 1 boys' race that featured the best of the best in the state of Wisconsin. Their coach Kari DeLuca said they learned a lot from the experience.

"The first time running at state can be a bit overwhelming," she said. "It's hard to pace yourself in that field because it's so different than the rest of the season. Lots of runners and teams that we are not used to racing and the race always goes out very fast."

Shea led the River Falls contingent with a 45th place time of 16 minutes, 32.5 seconds on the hilly 5,000-meter course at The Ridges Golf Course. Magnuson placed 70th in his first state race with a time of 16:46.7, while Madsen was 159th in 17:33.7.

Senior Drew Bosley of Homestead won the individual title with a time of 15:20.1 while Neenah was crowned team champions. Hudson placed ninth in the 20-team field while Eau Claire Memorial was 17th.

DeLuca said the three Wildcat individual qualifiers are determined to help River Falls return as a team next season.

"It's great that they got the experience and we'll just keep getting fitter in the next couple of years," she said. "I think each of them left a little hungry to race at state again and improve."

Bob Burrows

Bob Burrows has been sports editor at the River Falls Journal since 1996 and at the Hudson Star-Observer since 2009. Prior to joining the Journal, Burrows served as sports editor with Ledger Publications in Balsam Lake, Wis. A native of Bayonne, N.J. and a U.S. Navy veteran, Burrows attended Marquette University before completing his studies at UW-River Falls in 1992.

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