Katzung earns 4th trip to State Cross Country

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Prairie du Chien’s Meg Katzung (5193) competes at the Division 2 Westby Sectional on Saturday. Katzung earned her fourth trip to the State Cross Country Meet to be held in Colby, Wis. on Oct. 31.

Prairie du Chien’s Meg Katzung cruises along in good position at the Westby Sectional Saturday on her way to a fourth-place finish and her fourth State Cross Country Meet berth.

As Prairie du Chien’s Meg Katzung prepared for her fourth sectional cross country race, the temperature was 36 degrees, light wind, and the sun was peeking through the clouds. 

As the race started, Meg was in a good spot at the 1-mile mark as she sat in sixth place right behind one of the girls she knew she had to beat. At the 2-mile mark, Meg was approximately 4 seconds behind the same girl coming down the long backside hill on the course and working her way closer. 

At the 2.5-mile mark, Meg was approximately 2 seconds behind and closing in fast. At this point, Meg realized it was time to make her move and closed the gap as she was now running side by side with 200 meters to go. 

As the two girls approached the 70-meter mark, Meg kicked in and used her momentum to get up a sharp hill, allowing herself to roll over the top, get her footing, and take off to never look back. 

Meg finished in fourth place overall and third place in the “Individual Group” to move on to the State Cross Country Meet. She had a time of 20:07. The top five finishers at the sectional meet who are not part of a state qualifying team, earn a trip to the state meet.

This is Megan’s fourth time to qualify for state competition and it was a milestone. 

There was only one class of competition for the first three years of cross country (1975-77). It became two classes in 1978 and three classes in 1980. Terminology was changed from Classes A-B-C to Divisions 1-2-3 in 1990. The girls ran a 3,200-meter course until 1993 and then a 4,000-meter race up until 2014, when the distances were extended to 5,000 meters or 3.1 miles.

With that said, Megan will become the second girl in Prairie du Chien history to participate as a state qualifier all four years of her high school career (2017, 2018, 2019, 2020) at any distance. The other girl was Deidre Dillman (2004, 2005, 2006, 2007) under the 4,000-meter rule. Prairie du Chien has had some three-time qualifiers which include: Diane Toberman (1975, 1976, 1977), Mary Mulrooney (1975, 1976, 1977), Carol Pedretti (1976, 1977, 1978), Bethany Otteson (1996, 1997, 1998) and Amber Huser (2016, 2017, 2018).

Megan will also become the first girl in Prairie du Chien school history to participate as a four-time state qualifier under the longer distance of 5,000 meters. Megan also has been named First Team All-Conference three times (2018, 2019, 2020) as well as picking up the Team MVP three times (2018, 2019, 2020).

Meg will run on Saturday, Oct. 31 at the state meet in Colby, Wis. for her final race as a high school student-athlete.

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