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Shorewood girls earn best-ever third at state CC meet

Freshman Florsheim fifth individually

Oct. 30, 2012

Shorewood - It was a record-setting day for the Shorewood girls cross country team Saturday as the Greyhounds, behind the podium-earning fifth-place spot of freshman Morgan Florsheim, overcame a season's worth of pebbles in the path and earned a team-best ever third in the WIAA State Division 2 girls race in Wisconsin Rapids.

"If you do not know it, the team that raced on Saturday was the highest finishing team in SHS history," wrote coach Sarah Kopplin on her team's web page. "Not only did they have the best team finish ever at the state level but they ran the best team race and they did so in the face of great adversity.

"Haley Holan was in her sixth run since late August after working through a stress fracture and only cross training in the pool and on the bike and zero-G treadmill.

"Madee Ferone was in bed most of the week leading up to the race with tonsillitis and raced with the challenge of a partially restricted airway.

"Even though two of our top seven runners were racing with challenges it did not phase this group of runners one bit. This team was focused and determined to run their very best race ever, as a team and as individuals. They truly committed to the notion that if they believed in their ability to race their best, then they would be able to do so."

That they did, as the Greyhounds turned in a 124-point effort for their spot in the 16-team state field. Dodgeville/Mineral Point defended its state title with 84 while Green Bay Notre Dame was second with 98. Shorewood was sixth at last year's state meet.

Florsheim continued her spectacular season with her fifth-place overall showing (fourth in the team standings) of 14:54.11 on the 4,000-meter course. McFarland's Jamie Shannon won the individual D2 title in 14:38.94. Florsheim was the only freshmen among the top 18 finishers.

Her time was the fifth-best ever at state by a Shorewood runner.

Florsheim got great backup from junior Abby Pech in ninth (13th overall) with a time of 15:16.79 and from her junior sister Haley Florsheim in 10th (14th) in 15:19.2.

"The most inspiring performances of the day for me to watch were from Haley Florsheim and Abby Pech," Kopplin said. "Haley has struggled all season with health and confidence issues. Saturday she finally made up her mind to allow her workouts to transfer to her race and worked tirelessly to race side by side Abby. Their 13th- and 14th-place performances were the absolute key to our team placing third."

Haley Florsheim's race was also a personal best.

Also serving as scoring runners were Holan in 48th (81st) with a time of 16:20.87 and junior Laura Gould in 53rd (86th) in 16:22.23.

Other competitors included senior Angela Sperry in 61st (99th) in 16:29.74 and the sophomore Ferone in 102nd (144th) in a time of 17:33.27.

Overall, Kopplin felt it was a great season. The team will graduate co-captains Holan and Sperry from its first seven, along with Lily Blind, Grace Corry and Erika Olson.

"More importantly I feel that this team also has shown that they carry on the traditions and values that we aspire to," she said. "Dedication. Inclusion. Support. Positivity. Friendship. Confidence. Hard Work. The list goes on. The fact that we had several van loads full of team members to support our racing team members was a testament to how supportive this group is and how the relationships that these girls have built will transcend the racing and results."

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