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Taplin lone EHS qualifier to state cross country meet

Ike Taplin rounds a corner on the "loop" of the boys' racecourse during Saturday's sectional meet2 / 2

BLACK RIVER FALLS - Ellsworth Isaac Taplin will be heading back to the WIAA State Cross Country meet after qualifying as an individual at Saturday's Division 2 sectional meet at Skyline Golf Course.

Taplin, a senior, finished ninth individually in a time of 17:13 which put him amongst the top five runners not on a qualifying team. This will be Taplin's second straight state meet.

As a team, the No. 15 ranked Ellsworth finished fourth, missing the top-two cut to go to state as a full team. The Panthers No.l runner, senior Matt Priest, bravely ran injured all the way to the finish line despite the shin splints which forced him back to a 32nd place finish in 18:32. He suffered the injury near the end of the race and was in line to qualify for state when it occurred.

The Panthers' Jaylen Pavloski, senior, finished 17th overall, senior Sam Mahaffey was 27th and junior Tyler Marson was 37th.

EHS's girls team took ninth in the 16-team meet. Juniors Cassie Lofgren and Kennedy Kowalchyk both finished in the top 30 in 21st and 27th places respectively.