Although the Wauwatosa East girls cross country team fell short of a state berth as a team, coach Glen Gardiner had plenty of highlights to talk about.
The team awards were handed out last week and the MVP Award went to junior Natalie Schudrowitz, the Most Improved Award to Sally Rohrer and the Coaches Award to senior Jordy Schmidt.
Schudrowitz and Schmidt also earned first-team all-conference honors, while Gabi Caron-Schuler was second team and Ali Piepenburg was a third-team selection.
"We came into the year with high expectations and hopes for a state berth and fell a little short in that regard," Gardiner said. "However, we were able to have a successful season.
"Natalie was a bright spot for the team, erasing the school record in her third meet and winning five meets during the year (Homestead, South Milwaukee, Morse-Marshall Triangular, Purgold and Marquette Sectional). She paced the team all year and capped it off with a trip to state and 22nd place."
Gardiner was also pleased with Schmidt's final season.
"Jordy Schmidt had a very solid year, a trip to state and a hard-fought 35th place at state," Gardiner said. "Jordy was the glue that helped the team work together throughout the whole season."
Gardiner also praised Caron-Schuler, Piepenburg and Lindsey Govan in particular.
"Gabi lowered her PR under 16 minutes and will be expected to take another step forward next year and help lead the team," he said. "Ali had an outstanding freshman campaign and the fourth-highest point total for the team. She has a lot of potential and will be an even more valuable asset in future years.
"Lindsey also has shown a lot of improvement until a leg injury caused her to miss most of the season until the sectional race."
Gardiner spoke about the team's reaction to this year's injuries.
"The team dealt with its share of other injuries to various varsity runners and relied on other girls on the team to step up," he said. "Sammie Osinski, CeCe Uhrich, Katie Salmon and Sally Rohrer had solid races at the varsity level and can use this experience next year to further help the team."
The Red Raiders had runner-up finishes at the Angel and Purgold invites.
"On the varsity side (scorers) we only lose Jordy," Gardiner said. "All other girls are back. With a solid track season and summer of running we should be back to contend for a state berth next year."
Tosa East loses seven seniors - captains Schmidt and Hannah Braun, as well as Shea Conway, Tessa Cristan, Kazmira Hoffman, Alaina Meidl and Zoey Stefaniak.
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