It was a clean sweep Muskego at the Kenosha Bradford sectional.
The Warrior boys and girls cross-country teams each won sectional championships Oct. 22 at the University of Wisconsin-Parkside to advance to the WIAA state meet.
Led by an individual sectional championship from sophomore Kate Jochims, the ninth-ranked girls team finished with 41 team points to easily take down second-place Franklin. It was a closer race for the boys team, which scored 101 team points to hold off Kenosha Tremper (106) and Kenosha Bradford (111).
It is the second time in school history Muskego's girls and boys cross-country teams have won sectional titles in the same year.
"Seeing us 10 points ahead of third place is the closest finish we have ever been a part of at the sectional meet," Muskego boys cross-country coach CJ Michaud said. "It is even crazier when you think about how second place finished between that 10-point margin. We were pretty excited when we heard our team announced as the winner."
Muskego's boys team will be making its eighth state appearance in the last 11 years, including four straight. The girls team qualified for the second consecutive year.
"This was a total team accomplishment for us," Muskego girls coach Richard Raney said. "I told the girls before the race that the great thing about running is that you have complete control over your performance, and you can decide how you do, and they did just that. They made some very strong decisions in their races today that lead us to our first sectional title since 2012."
Jochims completed the course in 18:08.0, the second-fastest time among any Division 1 runners at sectionals throughout the state. Only Meghan Scott of DSHA posted a lower time, as she ran a 17:55.09 at the South Milwaukee sectional.
"My goal was to race as hard and comfortable as I could and still get the result my team needed from me," Jochims said. "I am ecstatic that I finished the race the way I did."
While she still took first place in 18:25.7, Raney felt Jochims did not have her best race at the Eagle Invite at UW-Parkside on Oct. 1. Three weeks later, she knocked nearly 18 seconds off her time on the same course.
Freshman Brittany Helm crossed the finish line 45 seconds behind Jochims in 18:53.6, as the Muskego teammates took first and second.
"This is the best she's looked all season long," Raney said of Jochims. "She's one of the hardest working athletes that I have been lucky enough to coach, and for her to go out there today and race the way she did was awesome.
"While Brittany is only a freshman, she has shown the patience of a senior in her races. (The sectional) was a great example, as she once again just followed our race plan of getting out pretty conservatively from the start and then making a strong move once we get to the top of the hill."
Sophomore Jessica Michala was in 12th place at the 1,000-meter mark and finished in fifth in 19:47.7, while sophomore Elizabeth Missiaen moved up from 30th to take 14th in 20:38.2. Senior Callie Schulist rounded out the scoring lineup by taking 19th in 20:58.8. Senior Haley Maday (25th in 21:10.7) and junior Justina Sviatoslavsky (40th in 21:55.5) also ran for the Warriors.
"I'm so proud of how well each and every girl on our team has done throughout the season," Missiaen said. "It is amazing to see how much we've grown and improved. It's so exciting to have our team qualify for the state meet for a second straight year. I know that every girl on the team has worked extremely hard for this moment, so I can't wait to see how we perform next weekend."
Neuroth leads boys
Senior Kyle Neuroth led the Muskego boys by taking fifth place in personal-record 16:30.9.
"This senior season of his has just been spectacular," Michaud said. "What makes it even more amazing is that his 10th grade PR was 18:49. While runners can improve over the course of two years, his ascension is pretty remarkable."
Sophomore Adam Kierzek came in 18th in 17:10.0, while junior Gino Pierangeli (21st in 17:12.7), sophomore Tyler Termaat (25th in 17:17.1) and freshman Erik Kain (32nd in 17:25.1) completed the scoring. Also competing were Eric Jensen (39th in 17:41.8) and senior Joe Foye (47th in 17:58.3).
Neuroth and Kierzek will be running at state for the second straight year, while the rest of the Warrior boys lineup will be competing at the meet for the first time.
The WIAA state cross-country meet will be held Saturday, Oct. 29, at Ridges Golf Course in Wisconsin Rapids. Both Muskego teams took 18th place at state in 2015.