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Bacon sizzled in senior year

Pewaukee's Bacon caps strong CC season

Oct. 31, 2012

In her first three years competing with the varsity girls cross country team, Pewaukee High School's Ali Bacon has a resume full of memorable accomplishments.

From her freshman to junior years, the Pirates have won two Woodland Conference titles and grabbed one second-place finish. She's also been to the season-ending WIAA Division 2 state meet three times, highlighted by a state championship in 2009.

Bacon wasn't quite finished until last Saturday when her and Pewaukee teammates competed in the WIAA Division 2 state meet at the Ridges Golf Course in Wisconsin Rapids.

The Pewaukee senior and her running mates finished the season on a high note. Bacon had her best state finish ever, taking 45th place in the field of 150 runners with a 4,000-meter time of 15:54. The Pirates placed sixth in the field of 16 schools in the team scoring.

Two weeks ago, Bacon and the Pewaukee girls team won the Whitewater sectional, qualifying for last Saturday's state meet. They made state for fifth straight year and 12th time in the last 14 years.

"I consider myself to be pretty lucky to have made it to state all four of my years on the cross country team," Bacon said. "I've had some great teammates over the years and we all share our success. Winning the state championship my freshman year was special, something I'll never forget."

Bacon is one of the biggest reasons why the Pirates have enjoyed another big season this fall. They captured their third conference crown in the last four years three weeks ago and won the sectional the following week.

Prior to this season, Bacon's best year was her freshman season. That year was capped off by her 44th place finish at the state meet in the field of 152 runners with a time of 16:04. She was the fifth finisher for Pewaukee and beat every other team's third runner that day.

As a sophomore, she finished 70th at 16:27 and last year ran 69th (16:13).

But this year Bacon has been a different runner. That was most evident at the conference meet where she got her best league finish ever by placing sixth. At the sectional she turned in her best run ever for the Pirates, finishing second at the sectional in the field of 101 runners.

"Ali is a completely different runner for us this year," said veteran Pewaukee coach John Kashian. "She dedicated herself to work a lot harder last summer and that hard work has paid off. She now goes into meets expecting to do well. It's just a very good situation."

Bacon, who also does well in the classroom with a 3.78 grade-point-average, said she knew her team this year was going to need a leader and being a senior, she figured that role was hers. Bacon realized she had to come back a better runner this year to fulfill that role.

"It's true I worked harder last summer than ever before," Bacon said. "I wanted to take on that leadership role, so that meant working harder and becoming a better runner. My confidence was a lot better than it's been in the past. I've also stayed healthy and that's helped. Plus, we had a lot of very good runners this year. The coaches told us all year that we could make it back to state if we kept working hard. And they were right."

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