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Phoenix cross country inks new recruits

During his senior year, Noah Jahnke won six of the ten races he competed in. File photo

By William Soquet

Contributing Writer

GREEN BAY – The Green Bay Phoenix cross country team has signed seven new freshman team members in advance of the 2023 season, including three runners from northeast Wisconsin — Noah Jahnke of West De Pere, Hallie Peters of Kaukauna and Mason Gates of Manitowoc.

Jahnke exploded onto the local cross country scene in 2021.

The then-junior won his sectional meet and ran a sub-16 minute race for the first time in that event.

He followed that up with a stout performance at the state meet, placing ninth in the Division 1 boys race.

His senior year brought only growth, as Jahnke won six of the ten races he competed in.

He set a new fast time of 15 minutes, 48 seconds at Shawano in September and returned to the state championships, finishing 11th.

“The team and coaches are some of the most welcoming and fun people that I have ever met, and I would like to contribute to UWGB cross country’s first conference victory,” Jahnke said in a team release.

Peters was a four-year varsity runner for a Kaukauna team that routinely ranked as one of the best in the state.

She made waves as a freshman, running faster than 21 minutes twice.

During a sophomore season that was impacted by the pandemic, Peters advanced to the state championship race as part of the Kaukauna team, placing 70th with a time of 20 minutes, 28 seconds.

She ran in the state championship race again in 2021, helping the Ghosts to a sixth-place team finish.

During her senior season in 2022, Peters once again ran into the mid-20 minute range before being sidelined at the beginning of October.

She also won state championships in 2021 and 2022 as part of the Kaukauna softball team.

“I love the environment, the people, and the opportunities,” noted Peters via a release. “I also love the city and being close to home.”

Gates came into his own during the spring 2021 alternate season his sophomore year. He won the de facto conference championship race and also claimed victory in an alternate sectional, advancing to the spring championships.

Gates ran a time of 16 minutes flat at the championship meet and registered a ninth-place finish.

In 2021, he picked up a pair of key race wins at Shawano and the Fox River Classic Conference (FRCC) championships and again ran in the state championship race.

During his senior season, Gates once again took home top individual honors in the FRCC and picked up meet wins at Preble, Two Rivers and Manitowoc.

His high school career finished with a third appearance at the state championships, where he finished tenth.

In a press release, Gates said that he “chose Green Bay because of the culture and people.”

Green Bay cross country coach Mike Klein signed two more Wisconsin high school runners for the upcoming season.

Kate Schaeffer of Wisconsin Rapids and Julia Thompson of Dodgeville will also join the team.

Schaeffer notched a fast time of 20 minutes, two seconds during the 2022 season and finished in the top ten in all but one of the races she ran during the season.

Thompson was part of the Dodgeville/Mineral Point co-op team that won the Division 2 state championship in 2021.

She also helped the team to a second-place finish in 2022, and ran a fast time of 20 minutes, 19 seconds during the season.

Rounding out the signees are Kassidy Gregory of Kouts, Ind. and Carson Maish of Bemidji, Minn.

Maish qualified for the Minnesota boys state championship race in 2022 and finished 53rd with a time of 16 minutes, 36 seconds.

Gregory advanced to Indiana girls sub-states all four years of high school. In 2022, she ran a best time of 19 minutes, 58 seconds.

The Phoenix are coming off a 2022 season which saw both the mens and womens teams finish eighth in the Horizon League.

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