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Cross Country at the State Championships

Ishan KutticKat and Lexi Keppler represented the University School cross country team in the Division 2 State Cross Country Championships on Saturday, Oct. 27th at the Ridges Golf Course in Wisconsin Rapids.  Kuttickat ran in the boys’ Division 2 meet.  Keppler ran in the girls’ Division 2 meet.

Kuttickat placed 53rd out of 152 boys competing in the D2 boys race.  Kuttickat ran the 5 Kilometer distance in 17:23.6. 

In the D2 girls race, Keppler had a time of 19:57.3.  The time allowed her to place 23rd out of 152 girls competing in the meet.

USM’s head coach, Eric Pilling described the meet, “Assistant Coach Kevin Ryan, a four time participant and former runner-up, did an excellent job preparing our runners for the State Meet.

“Ishan was aware of how challenging the second half of the course is and that there is a risk of going out too fast in the excitement of the state's fastest 150 runners. He ran a very controlled first mile in 90th place. He maintained composure through the middle. The third mile - by far the toughest portion of the course - is where he unleashed his ‘Ishan-ness’. He charged past 33 runners, moving from 86th to 53rd, covering the distance at the pace of the top 20 runners.

The spectacle of the State Meet and specifically the unique challenges of the Ridges course can be daunting, especially for a first-time competitor. Ishan made the most of it. The result was our highest individual boy's finish in Division 2.

“After Lexi's strong sectional performance, we knew that a top 40 finish was likely and a top 25 finish was possible. She was out in perfect position in 50th place at the mile. Through the second mile she moved up to 34th. Like Ishan, her best racing was over the final mile. As other runners struggled, she continued to move up, passing 11 more runners to ultimately finish 23rd. Only about a dozen runners closed faster. Her savvy racing tactics and relentless competitiveness resulted in our finest cross country performance and a new school record.

“We could not be more proud of both Ishan and Lexi. Their exceptional performances reflect the success of the entire 2018 team.”

The State Tournament meet ended the season for the University School cross country team.