West Salem, Wis. (WXOW) The WIAA State Cross Country Meet this Saturday won't just bring together the best high school runners in Wisconsin.
It will also serve as a season celebration of sorts for the West Salem cross country teams.
Both the boys and girls qualified for State this year after their performances at the Division 2 sectional in Colby.
The Panther boys will be making their 12th trip to state and second year in a row.
The Panther girls will make their 11th trip to state in program history and their first in six years.
"Last year we also qualified for State but we left with kind of a sour taste in our mouth. We didn't quite finish how we wanted to. So I think we came back this year with an extra passion to get back to State and to better than last year," said senior Blaine Wheeler.
"Honestly, just have fun because it's the last race for a bunch of us," said junior Macy Tauscher.
"For the guys I think they had that expectation that they were going to be back just with who we had returning."
"On the girls side, I'm not going to say it was a surprise, but we had a lot of new faces coming in and just having them kind of figure it out through the course of the season it's been a truly remarkable ride for them. I'm proud and excited for both squads," said head coach Justin Stakston.
The WIAA State Meet starts at noon Saturday at The Ridges Golf Course in Wisconsin Rapids.