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By dennis semrau
Sports Reporter 

Sauk Prairie runners earn honors

Eagles hand out team awards


November 23, 2017

Sauk Prairie's cross country teams recently held their season-ending banquet and handed out several awards. From left, the boys' winners: • Most Improved: Hudson Haas • Coaches' Award: Noah Wankerl • Most Valuable: Carson Radl and Dylan Herbrand • Rookie of the Year: Gavin Teteak

Coach Andy Sherman set high goals for the Sauk Prairie boys' and girls' cross country program this year.

The Eagles accomplished many of their individual and team goals with the highlight of the season coming at the Badger North Conference meet where the Sauk Prairie boys finished second, while the girls placed fifth.

The cross country program recently came together to celebrate a stellar season and the promise of even better days at its annual postseason banquet.

The boys' and girls' teams each recognized a Most Valuable Performer, Most Improved, Coaches' Award recipient and Rookie of the Year.

Seniors Dylan Herbrand and Carson Radl were named Co-Most Valuable for the boys' squad.

Herbrand was seventh at the conference meet to earn all-league first-team honors. He was also 31st at the sectional meet, while Radl finished 55th at the conference meet.

"Both of these seniors were leaders for us this season," Sherman said. "They took care of many of the little things that good team leaders do."

Sophomore Hudson Haas won the boys' Most Improved Award.

Haas was the first boys' state qualifier from Sauk Prairie since 2009 and finished 102nd. He also finished fifth at the Badger North Conference meet to secure first-team honors and was 11th at the sectional meet to pace the Eagles.

"This goes without saying, to improve your time from last year by almost two minutes and to qualify for state as a sophomore, the team recognized how impressive this was," Sherman said of Haas.

Sophomore Noah Wankerl received the Coaches' Award for the second straight season. He placed 19th at the conference meet.

"Noah earned this award with his hard work and dedication. He battled through being sick and having a bad ankle for most of the season," Sherman said.

"He struggled at the conference meet in the slippery conditions and with his bad ankle. He fell near the end of the race, but he was able to get back up and finish strong enough to help the boys to a second-place finish."

Rounding out the boys' team award-winners was senior Gavin Teteak, who was named the Rookie of the Year in his sole season of competition.

"From the start of the season, Gavin made an impact on our team. He was a good runner that brought a lot of personality to our program," Sherman said of Teteak.

The Sauk Prairie girls' squad battled injuries all season which Sherman said revealed the Eagles' true character.

Senior Maggie Harter received the Most Valuable award to cap her four-year career. She finished 28th at the conference meet and 53rd at the sectional meet.

"A four-year runner of exceptional character, Maggie led our team in all aspects of being a part of our program," Sherman said.

"But a testament to her character, during the sectional race, she stopped before the finish line and helped a girl who had collapsed cross the finish line."

Senior Julia Ballweg was named the Eagles' Most Improved award-winner and also provided leadership on and off the course.

"One of the hardest working runners we have had in our program, Julia improved her time this season by a minute and a half and helped show our younger runners how hard you have to work to improve," Sherman said. 

Freshman Emily Herbrand was named the girls' Rookie of the Year. She finished 24th at the conference meet and was 65th at sectionals. 

From left, the girls' winners: • Most Valuable: Maggie Harter • Rookie of the Year: Emily Herbrand • Most Improved: Julia Ballweg Missing is Ella Drescher, who won the Coaches' Award.

"Emily had a great first season. She came on strong at the end of the season being our second runner in several races," Sherman said. "We're looking forward to seeing what she does in the future."

Rounding out the award-winners was sophomore Ella Drescher, who received the Coaches' Award despite missing the entire season with an injury.

"Ella earned the Coaches' Award due to how positive she was with everyone on our team, even though she was unable to compete for us this season due to as bad of a stress fracture as you could have," Sherman said.

"She loves running and it was difficult for her to not be able to run. But she was there every day keeping everyone's spirits up and cheering for them all." 

Dylan Herbrand said the future looks bright for the entire program.

"We had a lot of younger runners who ran with a lot of confidence because they're up there running with the upperclassmen all the time," he said. "I think they will do really well in the future."


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