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Drew Bosley just may be earning a free trip to California this Saturday at the Foot Locker Midwest Region Cross Country Championships.

If he does, one of the first persons he will likely seek out is someone who knows UW-Parkside’s Wayne E. Dannehl National Cross Country Course as well as anyone. That’s his mother, former Parkside All-American Laura Petersen, who graduated from Case High School in 1994 and was the Racine Lighthouse Run 4-mile women’s champion in 1997 and 1999.

Bosley, who won the WIAA Division 1 state championship Oct. 28 as a junior at Mequon Homestead High School, got acclimated to running through his mother. And under her guidance, Bosley became one of the most accomplished runners in the state.

He could be on the brink of his greatest accomplishment so far. If Bosley can place among the top 10 in the boys seeded race at 11:25 a.m. Saturday, he will qualify for the Foot Locker National Finals Dec. 9 at San Diego.

“My mom has been one of the biggest influeces on my running career and probably one of the biggest influences on my life overall,” Bosley said. “The two kind of correlate together. She is always there for me, whether I have a bad day at school or a bad day on the track.

“She knows when I am feeling down. My mom has that sense – the sense that can understand me before I even tell her what is going on. And in running, she has that same sense if I have a sore muscle or a nagging pain.”

Bosley, who was second at the state meet as a sophomore and seventh as a freshmen, will bring some impressive credentials to Parkside Saturday.

But the competition will be fierce. Defending Midwest Region champion Dylan Jacobs of Orland Park, Ill., who placed 11th nationally, is back. So is Gabe Fendel of Fischer, Ind., who was third in the Midwest Regional and 12th nationally last year.

“He’s a state champion and he ran a fantastic two mile last summer,” longtime Foot Locker Midwest Regional race director Pete Henkes said of Bosley. “He ran a 9:05 two mile, so that’s phenomenal. He’s undefeated and he has a real good shot of making it.”

Ann Forsyth of Ann Arbor, Mich., who won the Midwest Regional girls championship and was fifth nationally, is not expected to compete because of a medical situation, Henkes said.

But that field is still even more established than the boys. Among those who will be on the starting line for the 10:40 a.m. start of the girls seeded race are Lauren Peterson of Farmington, Minn., (fourth last year in the regional), Olivia Theis of Lansing, Mich. (fifth), Mattie Shirley-Fairbairn of Bismarck, N.D. (seventh) and Lindsey Paine of Glen Ellyn, Ill. (eighth).

Theis had the highest national finish among that group, placing 14th at San Diego.

Kate Sperka of Muskego, who was second at the Division 1 state meet as a freshman this fall, also is a favorite to qualify, Henkes said.

“She’s phenomenal,” he said. “She’s got the Parkside course record and she knows the course like the back of her hand.”

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