The Wabasso Rabbits cross country team made history Oct. 24 when, for the first time ever, the maroon and gold of Wabasso Public School earned the right compete the state meet.
Unlike the previous two Section 3A meets at the Madison Golf Course, the 2019 event was held in perfect conditions for running. Twenty-four teams were represented with state meet entries on the line.
The top two teams received bids, and the next eight runners to cross the line who are not members of the qualifying teams also punched their tickets to the 2019 Minnesota state meet to be held Nov. 2 on the campus of St. Olaf in Northfield.
At 4 p.m. seven Rabbit varsity girls took off on the 5,000 meter, multi-loop course and as a unit finished 14th as a squad.
Chloe Haven etched her name in stone where no Wabasso cross country runner has ever been put by placing 11th overall to qualify as one of the eight individual runners to move on to the state event. Haven ran in a group of six runners who distanced themselves from the pack, and by the one-mile-to-go mark the senior was in perfect position to make a claim on one of the eight coveted spots.
In the end, Haven was easily within the margin to qualify as the 14th place finisher was the final individual qualify and Haven was 18 seconds in front of that finisher.
Madeline Hanna ran to an 84th place card in a time of 25:28. Haley Albu’s storied career came to an end with a top 100 finish as she ran 25:47 to place 98th.
Aubrey Mathiowetz ran a gutsy race to take 105th in 26:38. Allison Parker was 107th in 26:42 to round out the Rabbit scoring. Jocelyn Jenniges put the period on her freshman season by taking 108th in 26:49, and Annabelle Struntz backed up her breakout race at the conference meet by taking 115th in 27:07.
The Rabbit boys’ squad was 19th of 24 teams lead by All-Conference performer Vander Mathowetz who was 82nd in 20:19. Alex Schmeising was 105th in 21:21, with Nicholas Irlbeck in 109th in a time of 21:27.
A 128th place spot in 22:44 capped the career of Ti Trost. Aidan Kampsen and Jacob Doyle toured the 5K course as a pair finishing in 131st and 132nd in respective times of 23:27 and 23:32. Haven will compete in the second session of the state meet starting at 1 p.m.