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Talk about making an immediate impact.

That certainly was the case for Kelsey Radobicky and Kaitlyn Francis, two freshmen who made instant contributions to the Waterford and Case high school girls cross country teams, respectively.

Radobicky and Francis performed so well that they were chosen to the 2017 All-Racine County Girls Cross Country first team, with Radobicky being chosen Athlete of the Year.

Radobicky and Francis were among seven runners selected to the first team. Here are capsule summaries on each of them:

Kelsey Radobicky

SCHOOL: Waterford

GRADE: Freshman

NOTABLE: Advanced to the WIAA Division 1 State Championships at Wisconsin Rapids, but was unable to finish because of illness …. Qualified for the state meet by finishing fifth in the Arrowhead Sectional in 19:05, a season-best time. … Took third place in the Southern Lakes Conference Championships at Lake Geneva.

QUOTABLE: “In just one season, Kelsey established a new school record four times,’’ Waterford coach Nate Schreiber said. “She’s got the mentality, she’s got the work ethic for a bright future. Hopefully, she’ll be making more return trips to Wisconsin Rapids.’’

Kaitlyn Francis


GRADE: Freshman

NOTABLE: Francis was timed at 20:10 and finished 81st in the WIAA Division 1 State Cross Country Championships at Wisconsin Rapids … Placed 12th in the Kenosha Bradford Sectional with a season-best time of 20:03. … Was fourth in the Southeast Conference Championships at 20:35 at Grant Park in Milwaukee. … Earned a medal in every meet this season.

QUOTABLE: “Kaitlyn is a dedicated athlete and fierce competitor,’’ Case coach Jessica Brooks said. “She loves the challenge of running down her competition.’’

Abby Martin

SCHOOL: Union Grove

GRADE: Senior

NOTABLE: Placed 12th in the WIAA Division 1 Arrowhead Sectional with a time of 19:44. … Finished fourth in the Southern Lakes Conference Championships at Lake Geneva in 19:47 … Won the Platteville Invitational in 19:43 … Three-time all-SLC selection, receiving first-team honors in 2015 and 2017.

QUOTABLE: “In my coaching career, which spans 25 years, it was a privilege to coach a strong and smart young lady like Abby,’’ Union Grove coach Mike Mikula said. “Her leadership and fortitude is truly unmatched.’’

Haleigh Reindl

SCHOOL: Waterford

GRADE: Senior

NOTABLE: Opened the season by winning the Racine Invitational … The following week, she won the Rebel Invitational in 15:19, nearly a school record in the 4K … She broke her own 5K record at the Southern Lakes Conference Relays … Her all-time best of 19:18 came at the Waterford Invitational.

COLLEGE: Minnesota-Duluth.

QUOTABLE: “Clearly she is one of the best female distance runners to ever compete for Waterford,’’ Waterford coach Nate Schreiber said. “It has been a privilege to watch her grow as an athlete and a leader over the past four years.’’

Sydney Pitrof

SCHOOL: Horlick

GRADE: Senior

NOTABLE: Posted her best time of the season, 19:28, at the South Milwaukee Invitational … Three-time WIAA Division 1 state qualifier who jumped the starter’s gun at this year’s sectional and didn’t finish the race after believing she had been disqualified … Two-time All-Racine County Athlete of the Year … Three-time All-Southeast Conference first-team selection … Four-year letterwinner.

QUOTABLE: “Sydney has been one of the fastest runners in school history,’’ Horlick coach Jon Hay said. “She holds the fastest 5K and third-fastest 4K at Horlick. It was a pleasure to coach her. She will be missed.’’

Jayda Obluck

SCHOOL: Waterford

GRADE: Sophomore

NOTABLE: Recorded her personal-best time of 20:29 at the Wolverine Invitational. Finished 14th at the Southern Lakes Conference Championships at 21:41 … Placed 30th in the WIAA Division 1 Arrowhead Sectional at 20:48.

QUOTABLE: “Jayda proved her determination to succeed this year,’’ Waterford coach Nate Schreiber said. “Her second half of the season was nothing short of remarkable.’’

Marielle Banco

SCHOOL: Prairie

GRADE: Junior

NOTABLE: Banco finished 51st in Division 3 at the WIAA State Championships at Wisconsin Rapids in 21:20 … Finished eighth in the Lake Country Sectional at 20:53 … Fourth in the Metro Conference Meet at 21:04 … Won The Prairie Invitational in 21:13 … It was Banco’s first year in cross country after having competed in volleyball.

QUOTABLE: “Marielle is a pleasure to coach,’’ Prairie coach Jim Larsen said. “She has her own personal goals and is willing to push herself to go after them. She already has some goals set for next year, so it will be interesting to see what she can do.’’


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