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Monday

July 2014

28

Girls cross country

Seidel runs to record at Ridges

ULS' Seidel makes WIAA cross country history

There's rarely any suspense whenever Molly Seidel runs in a high school cross country race. She simply goes out to the lead, gets faster as the race goes on and then buries her competition down the stretch.

The only question she leaves unanswered is just how fast she's going to run the race.

For the third straight year, Seidel answered all of those questions as the amazing University Lake School junior demolished the field and captured her third straight WIAA Division 3 girls individual championship Saturday at The Ridges golf course in Wisconsin Rapids.

By winning her third consecutive crown, Seidel became just the third girl in the 36-year history of the sport to capture three state titles, matching the titles of Cathy Branta of Slinger (1978-80) and Ashley Beutler of New Glarus/Monticello (2004, 2006, 2007).

Should Seidel win again next year, she'll become the first cross country runner in WIAA history (boys or girls) to win four consecutive state champions.

The talented Seidel sped out to a big lead in the first mile (5:19) and then finished just as strong, winning the race with the fastest time in girls state meet history, covering the challenging course in a spectacular 4,000-meter time of 13:44.32. While no official records have been kept for all of the past 36 years, that's believed to be the fastest time by a whopping 27 seconds.

Seidel, 16, was all by herself nearing the finishing line. Second-place finisher Sarah McMahon of Colfax took second with a time of 14:50.

"I just wanted to go out hard, get the lead and then try and win the race with a time of under 14 minutes," Seidel said Saturday night. "The course was a little different this year because of some flooding they had, so that was a little bit of a concern to me. But once I saw the time coming into that final straightaway, I just felt so good. I knew then I wanted to finish as fast as I could and get the best time I could. I'm very happy how things turned out."

Saturday was not only a big day for Molly Seidel, but also her sister Isabel. Only a freshman, Isabel finished eighth overall in the Division 3 race with a time of 15:26 in the field of 147 runners. She was the fastest freshman in that race.

"I was so nervous at the start," Isabel said. "I couldn't believe it. I had watched Molly run at state the last two years and knew all about the state meet. But I still couldn't believe all the excitement and all the people that were there watching and cheering. My goal was to finish in the top 30, so I'm very happy finishing eighth."

Isabel, 14, ran her fastest race ever. Her previous best time was 15:32 at sectional at UW-Parkside.

To finish eighth, Isabel passed three runners in the final 100 yards to crack the top 10.

After taking a 24-second lead after the first mile, Molly continued to pull away in the second mile. At the two-mile mark Molly's time was 10:59, 58 seconds in front of McMahon. She closed out the race by going 2:46 in the final half-mile.

"Everything went very well," Molly said. "It feels great to have won another championship, and I'm really proud of my sister. But right now I'm going to take a little rest and then get ready for the Foot Locker race in a couple of weeks."

There's no question she's earned a little break.

Top times

2010 state cross country race

(all divisions)

Molly Seidel, Jr. ULS 13:44.32
Allie Woodward, Sr. Notre Dame 13:59.53
Alexandria Fons, Fr. Franklin 14:24.82
Tricia Serres, Jr. Platteville 14:32.03
Jenna McMiller, Sr. Wauk. North 14:34.39

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