Most good cross country teams have a standout runner that leads the pack. The La Crosse Central girls team doesn't operate by that standard, and it's led them to a breakout season.
The Raiders are back at state as a team for the first time since 2010. They don't have a dominant No. 1 runner, but rather three girls who are closely grouped in sophomores Alex Bruley and Sophie Lienfelder and junior Sara Brekke.
"We've just got a really deep team," Brekke said. "Our runners 1,2,3 are really close together in times and then 4 and 5 are close, 6 and 7, so we all kind of have a partner to gauge ourself off of, which will be really cool."
Central placed all five scorers in the top 26 at the sectional meet in Chippewa Falls. Lienfelder said sticking together again at the WIAA state championships this Saturday in Wisconsin Rapids will be key to a good finish.
The Raiders will compete in the Division 1 girls race at approximately 1:20 p.m. on Saturday. More information on the state meet can be found here.