D-2 Sectional Cross Country MeetSubmitted: 10/22/2016

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WAUPACA - The Division Two Sectional cross country race was just a stepping stone for the Lakeland Union boys team before going to state next weekend. State isn't the only accomplishment they've had so far this year.

"Eight consecutive conference titles is a huge accomplishment for our team, we were all really excited about that," said Kav FitzPatrick.

For junior Kav FitzPatrick, the eighth consecutive title wasn't a big shock.

"The whole team has been running really well this whole season. We have our top four guys who are all really close together and we're trying to pull that fifth guy up with us," said Kav FitzPatrick.

Head Coach Kevin FitzPatrick, Kav's dad, has kept the team focused all year.

"Our goals were to win a conference championship, get a team to state and get a trophy at state. So we've accomplished two of those goals, we're still looking for the third," said Kevin FitzPatrick.

Those goals and Coach's FitzPatrick's style work well with the team.

"He's a really good guy and he knows what he's doing obviously, eight conference titles and three years in a row of going to state," said junior Jack Garcia.

Coach FitzPatrick has been with the team for almost 30 years, the last ten as head coach. Over that time, he's seen plenty of runners.

"I think what's nice is that we have had families buy into the program. The Bodavis', we've had three Bodavis', we've had three FitzPatrick's, we've had two Anderson's on the team. They understand the culture of the sport and the culture of the team and that makes my job a whole lot easier," said Kevin FitzPatrick.

Kav is one of them that's making his job a lot easier. The teams top runner knew the sectional meet was a big one for him and he wouldn't let a cold keep him down.

"I've been sick the last couple of days but I really wanted to hang with the Medford kid, Trey Ulrich," said Kav FitzPatrick.

He did more than just "hang with the Medford kid".

"Right at the finish I turned on the jets and I went for it. I was able to catch the guy from Oconto Falls that was leading it and I took the championship," said Kav FitzPatrick.

That championship was just a stepping stone. His eyes are more focused on state. 

"We're really focused on next weekend actually at state. This weekend is just doing what we need to get done and taking care of business. We all knew we could make it to state but we just had to run a smart race," said Kav FitzPatrick.

Lakeland Union's girls team finished in first place as well. This will be their first appearance at the state meet since 2006.

For other Northern Wisconsin teams, Rhinelander's Alayna Franson is going to state, along with Pines' Annalise Callaghan and Matt McGill, Trey Ulrich and Franny Siedel from Medford. The meet will be held in Wisconsin Rapids.

Story By: Katie Leszcynski

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