Better than expected: Rocket girls finish fast


CEDAR GROVE-BELGIUM’S Faith Konzak (left) and Hadley Heimerman were the two fastest Rockets in the Division 3 state cross country meet on Saturday.

By MITCH MAERSCH

Ozaukee Press staff

The Cedar Grove-Belgium High School girls’ cross country team finished ahead of where it was seeded at Saturday’s Division 3 state meet in Wisconsin Rapids.

The Rockets came in as the 10th-fastest team but finished eighth, and they weren’t far from claiming a higher place.

The Rockets scored 189 points, one point behind Boscobel and 23 behind Lancaster’s 165.

Cochrane-Fountain City won the meet with 132 points, followed by Lourdes Academy’s 138, Valders’ 151 and Dodgeland’s 155.

The Rockets’ top two runners improved on their past state performances.

Junior Hadley Heimerman was 35th (19th among runners on full teams) of 149 runners, finishing the 5,000-meter course in 20 minutes, 28.7 seconds. That’s better than her 47th in 21:13.8 last season.

Senior Faith Konzak was 44th (24th) in 20:58.8, an improvement from her trip to state as a freshman in 2019 when she was 68th in 21:21.1.

“Hadley and Faith ran together for a majority of the race, as they have done all season. I was pleased that they were able to improve upon their previous state experience in terms of time and place,” coach Brandon Langer said.

Junior Elise Brill was 70th (37th) in 21:40. Junior Mallory Arroyo was 88th (51st) in 22:18.5, and Ashley McCluskey was 95th (58th) in 22:34.8.

Sophomore Amara Beernink was 105th in 22:45.8, and senior Allie Jaworski was 133rd in 24:09.1.

“It was a good way for both Faith and Allie to end their high school careers with a trip to the state meet,” Langer said.

“Elise ran a very strong race, attacking the hills and almost running a personal record, which is impressive considering the layout of this course compared to where she ran her personal record at. Mallory got out well and was not too far off Elise at the mile, but I think the hills got her a bit as the race progressed.”

McCluskey, Beernink and Jaworski were also impacted by the hills, but Langer said every team member ran faster than at the sectional meet.

The team hoped to finish in the top five.

“After the first mile, they were in fourth, so they put themselves in good position early. I was hoping they would have moved up a bit more over the course of the last two miles — some did, and some fell back, as the hills took their toll on some of the girls,” Langer said.

With a mile left, the Rockets were in sixth place and fought hard.

Fifty-seven points separated first through eighth place, “so it was a tightly contested race,” Langer said.

“I was proud of the girls for their efforts, not just in this race but throughout the season. They accomplished quite a bit, both individually and collectively,” he said.

“With five of our top six returning next year and having gained valuable experience throughout this season and with the state meet, the girls will no doubt be in excellent position to improve upon this year’s finish next fall.”

Ozaukee had one qualifier, junior Meredith Clark, who finished 76th in 21:49.9.

It was Clark’s second time at the state meet but first at the Ridges Golf Course. She ran at Maple Groves Country Club in West Salem in 2020 when divisions competed in different spots due to the pandemic.

“You cannot simulate the state meet, and for her to get this experience and run well with strong competition is hopefully going to pay off next year as a senior,” coach Andrew Pfeuffer said.

“Mere did a great job all season for us by continuing to move up and push herself in races and as a leader. She’s someone that we are going to rely on next year on and off the course to help push this team hopefully back to the state meet.”

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Wisconsin’s largest paid circulation community weekly newspaper. Serving Port Washington, Saukville, Grafton, Fredonia, Belgium, as well as Ozaukee County government. Locally owned and printed in Port Washington, Wisconsin.

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