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SJCA Cross Country Preview

By Brian Thomas (Kenosha News), 08/15/19, 12:00PM CDT


Cross country is perhaps the most unique of high school sports, as most teams are coed and coached by one head coach. The dynamics bring many opportunities for both coaches and runners to share the ups and downs of the season.

Perhaps one of the best aspects of cross country is that everyone is welcome, regardless of experience, level of fitness or whether you are the slowest or fastest runner on the team. As I like to say, the slower you are, the more playing time you get! If you have not considered cross country, maybe you will for this upcoming season.

Coaches and runners are in their final preparations, as the high school season starts on Aug. 19 throughout the state.

As we look ahead to the upcoming season, let’s pause for a moment to highlight and recognize the WIAA State Tournament team and individual champions from Kenosha County:

Dennis Monroe of Kenosha High School in 1957, the 1971 Tremper boys team still coached by Chuck Bradley and led by individual state champion Ron Fink, Zach McFall of St. Joseph in 2004 and 2005 (Division-3) and the 2010 St. Joseph boys team currently coached by Jon Furreness.

The top returning state qualifiers from 2018 are the St. Joseph boys team, the Indian Trail boys and girls teams and individual qualifiers Micah Anderson of CLS, Richard Schaefer of Shoreland Lutheran and Heaven Anderson of Central.

Here is quick snap shot of SJCA:

The Lancers are coached by Jon Furreness, who is entering his 25th year and has historically had his runners peaking at the end of each season. St. Joseph has sent runners to state every year since 2003 and since 2010 have sent seven boys teams and four girls teams to state.

Returning runners from last year’s state qualifying boys team are Michael Pienkos, Rocco Matteucci, Hayden Dippel and Wylie Knight.

Leading the girls team will be Maryjoseph Acosta and Emma Getka.