Heaven Anderson competes in last Saturday’s sectional meet. Anderson and Meghan Capra both compete at state this weekend in Wisconsin Rapids.

Anderson, Capra advance to state cross country meet

By Jason Arndt

Sophomore Heaven Anderson of Westosha Central High School was given one simple instruction at the WIAA Division 1 cross country sectional held Oct. 21 at the University of Wisconsin-Parkside.

The instruction, according to coach Keith Olsen, was not to lose sight of senior Meghan Capra.

Considering Meghan Capra notched a personal best to place third, with Anderson coming in sixth to also record a personal best, the instruction paid off for the duo, which qualified for the Oct. 28 state meet at Ridges Golf Course in the Wisconsin Rapids.

Capra recorded a time of 19 minutes, 6.3 seconds while Anderson finished at 19:29.1.

“Big day for Meghan and Heaven,” Olsen said. “Today at sectionals (Meghan) ran a smart but aggressive race. We were pretty confident going in as she has been racing very well the last half of the season and just destroying workouts.”

Using Capra as motivation, Olsen and the coaching staff told Anderson to stay with the senior throughout the race.

“Our confidence in Meghan helped Heaven as the entire race plan was to keep Meghan in sight,” Olsen said. “This forced Heaven to also be more aggressive than she typically likes to go out.”

While Anderson punched her first ticket to the state meet, the experience in nothing new for Capra, who marks her fourth state appearance.

As freshman, she qualified as part of the Westosha Central team, which included sister, Melissa, along with sisters Maria and Amanda Sabourin and current senior Mackenzie Maccaux. Maddie Murphy and Julia Alberth were also members of the team.

For Capra, who qualified individual her sophomore and junior years, representing the school for the fourth time excites her.

“It’s hard to believe that this will be my fourth time going to state!” Capra said. “I’m so thankful for my coaches because I know I would not have come this far without them and also all the motivation from my teammates.”

Intensifying her excitement is having Anderson running alongside her at the state meet, where she ran alone the last two years.

“I’m glad that I get to share this experience with one of my teammates. Heaven is a hard worker and is always determined to reach her goals,” Capra said. “It’s awesome, because we both push each other, which has helped us improve so much this season.”

As Capra enters her fourth state meet, where she finished 56th as a junior, the senior runner looks to end her career with another record-setting performance.

“I’m hoping to medal. I know this will be a struggle, but I know it’s in reach for me,” said Capra, who needs to finish in the top 10 to medal. “I’m also hoping to break Melissa’s record at state. Since it will be my last high school cross country race, I’m just going to put it all out there.”

Her sister, Melissa, finished eighth as a senior in 2014 when Meghan was a freshman.

Westosha Central, which placed sixth as a team, also received contributions from Maccaux (45th, 22:12.8), freshmen Kelsey Santos (47, 22:18.3) and senior Chelsea Lamp (60, 22:54.6).

Meanwhile, for the Wilmot girls, sophomore Tara Nopenz finished 34th (21:43.9) to lead the 11th place Panthers.

Other contributing runners for the Panthers were freshman Abby Strother (59, 22:53.9), sophomore Barbara Cooper (72, 23:54.7) along with freshmen Isabelle Stypla (74, 24:56) and Rylee Thiel (75, 24:59.8).

Muskego, which compiled 34 points, won the girls meet.

Wilmot boys come up short
Although the resurgent Wilmot boys did not qualify any athletes, the Panthers bucked more than decade of trends, according to coach Bill Dinegan.

“It was their best showing at a sectional meet in over a decade,” said Dinegan, whose team placed seventh.

Leading for the Panthers were freshman Kody Molitor (16, 17:13.7) along with juniors Shawn Davis (34, 17:42.3), Leif Triller (42, 17:55.4), Alex Wank (44, 17:59.3) and Jordan Paulsen (48, 18:04.8).

For Westosha Central, which placed 12th, the Falcons received contributions from senior Colton Greenhill (50, 18:11.2), sophomore Kyle Pflug (18:40.8), freshman Frank Quinones (61, 18:52.2) and seniors Austin Schwab (67, 19:07.3) and Jonathan Filiatreault (69, 19:14.1).

Like the girls meet, Muskego also captured the boys title.

Team results
Girls scores:
1. Muskego 25, 2. Badger 84, 3. Franklin 99, 4. Indian Trail 122, 5. Oak Creek 150, 6. Westosha Central 160, 7. Tremper 162, 8. Racine Horlick 206, 9. Bradford 231, 10. Racine Case 234, 11. Wilmot 307.

Boys scores:
1. Muskego 70, 2. Bradford 79, 3. Racine Case 82, 4. Indian Trail 98, 5. Badger 99, 6. Oak Creek 151, 7. Wilmot 184, 8. Franklin 198, 9. Tremper 240, 10. Racine Horlick 289, 11. Racine Park 300, 12. Westosha Central 304.


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