Athletes from across the state are gearing up for the cross country championship. This year, they're celebrating more than just race victories.
Saturday, hundreds of cross country athletes will be racing to be number one in the state. But before that, a celebration, of the 100th anniversary of the tournament.
"We've only had one other sport celebrate a 100th championship and that's track and field," WIAA Assistant Director Marcy Thurwachter said.
The tournament has been held in Wisconsin Rapids for the past 25 years.
"To see where we're at, 100 years ago and how the sport has changed is just amazing," Thurwachter said.
Current and former runners got together for a banquet this evening, to kick off the big weekend.
"Lots of old friends and rivalries and all kinds of things coming together, fun to see people, incredible talent that's here," Wausau East Cross Country Coach Tim Olson said.
Three-time champion Chris Solinsky ran for SPASH ten years ago, and is considered a local running legend.
"Just to come back and be a part of the 100th, because Wisconsin has such a rich history of cross country, so it's fun to be here," Solinsky said.
State athletic officials say that adds to the excitement.
"It's always good to know where you've been and how you've arrived at the point you're at now," Thurwachter said.
So as teams lace up tomorrow morning, the focus won't just be on winning. But also on a long history of cross country in Wisconsin.
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