Jenna Lovejoy

Senior Jenna Lovejoy closed her varsity cross country career at Fort Atkinson with a 'perfect' race. It was her third trip to the state meet. 

WISCONSIN RAPIDS — A perfect end to a standout career.

Senior Jenna Lovejoy claimed her best finish and time at the WIAA Division 1 state cross country meet Saturday at Ridges Golf Course in Wisconsin Rapids.

Lovejoy placed 19th in the 139-runner field with a time of 19 minutes, 03.5 seconds. Lovejoy, a three-time state qualifier, had her previous best finish and times as a junior with a 38th-place finish with a time of 19:37.6.

“My race was perfect, it was exactly how it wanted to go,” Lovejoy said. “At the beginning of the year my goal was to make top 20 and another goal I had was to make it into the 18s (minutes). I was top 20, so it was awesome to reach that goal. I was super close to getting into the 18s in a really hard course.”

“This is the sort of race athletes shoot for, ending a high school career with an all-time best at the state meet,” Fort Atkinson head coach Chick Westby said. “She was so calm at the start, nothing to prove, really no pressure. This was her third time running the course, so while we were walking the course it was easier for her visualize what was going to happen later.”

A strong start helped propel Lovejoy to her 19th-place finish.

“I did a really good job of getting out and getting to where I wanted to be,” Lovejoy said. “Right from the start I was in the mix of top 20.”

“She got out a little quicker than at sectionals and was in about 26th at 1k in,” Westby said. “The race really doesn’t start to break up until about 2k when the hills start. Each time we saw her she was inching up.”

Lovejoy improved on her times and placements each time she went to the state meet. She improved by 40 placements and 46.67 seconds from her freshman season and moved up 19 spots and trimmed off 34.1 seconds from her junior run.

“I think I was in so much better shape this year,” Lovejoy said. “At conference and sectional this year I was tapered for state. They wanted me to reach my goals at state.”

Lovejoy ends her cross country career in Fort Atkinson as a three-time state qualifier and a four-time first-team all Badger South member.

“I feel like if you have a bad day on one of your last days it almost doesn’t give you closure,” Lovejoy said. “I feel so happy about my high school career, looking back at all the things I accomplished.

“The thing I’m going to remember the most is hanging out with the girls. Those are my best memories for sure.”

WIAA STATE MEET

DIVISION 1 GIRLS

Team scores — Muskego 72; Onalaska 111; Sun Prairie 134; Middleton 147; Hartland Arrowhead 218; Appleton North 227; Whitefish Bay 238; Waukesha West 241; Madison West 246; Brookfield Central 267; Mequon Homestead 282; Stevens Point 290; Eau Claire Memorial 293; Kimberly 324; De Pere 340; Janesville Craig 376; Fond du Lac 392; Slinger 454; Greendale 474; Racine Case 528.

Top individuals — 1, K. Malecek, Ona, 17:45; 2, Pansegrau, Mid, 18:14; 3, Willis, Ste, 18:21; 4, Sperka, Mus, 18:26; 5, Collett, FdL, 18:27; 7, Kopotic, Sun, 18:35; 8, Nashold, MW, 18:39; 19, Lovejoy, Fort Atkinson, 19:04.

Sun Prairie — 7, Kopotic 18:35; 24, Ray 19:18; 52, Thompson 19:42; 56, Boardman 19:48; 65, Hodges 19:55. Janesville Craig — 63, Lorenz 19:54; 112, Arrowood 20:27; 128, Coleman 20:43; 129, Hulick 20:44; 132, Petruzzello 20:46. Fort Atkinson — 19, Lovejoy, 19:04. Waunakee — 34, Bertz 19:29. Monona Grove — 95, Nelson 20:16. Beaver Dam: 126, Redman 20:38.

DIVISION 2 BOYS

Team scores — 1, Valders, 78; 2, Green Bay Notre Dame, 108; 3, Freedom, 116; 4, La Crosse Logan, 133; 5, Shorewood, 174; 6, Elk Mound, 177; 7, Wisconsin Lutheran, 188; 8, New London, 192; 9, Deerfield/Cambridge, 212; 10, Winneconne, 243; 11, Hammond St. Croix Central, 275; 12, Jefferson, 278; 13, Osceola, 289; 14, Wautoma/Wild Rose, 309; 15, New Glarus/Monticello, 344; 16, Mount Horeb, 347.

Top individuals — 1, Florsheim, Sho, 15:59; 2, Richardson, Madison Edgewood, 16:12; 3, Slevin, LCL, 16:17; 4, Siltman, Evansville, 16:23; 5, Brolin, Madison Edgewood, 16:33; 15, Huffman, DC, 16:53.

Deerfield/Cambridge — 15, Huffman 16:53; 32, Nikolay 17:04; 37, Trewyn-Colvin 17:08; 108, Navarro 17:58; 134, Brown 18:31. Jefferson — 28, Sande 17:02; 50, Drew 17:17; 103, Marin 17:55; 121, Thorp 18:10; 124, Phillips 18:16. Whitewater — 25, Anello 17:01. Lakeside Lutheran — 69, Gresens 17:28.

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