Jacie Legois is very inquisitive.
Students with a 4.0 grade-point average usually are.
The Luxemburg-Casco junior’s curiosity also has helped her become a successful distance runner since she is always seeking new ways to get better.
It has led her to start keeping a detailed food log to monitor her diet and spending extra time during the summer to correct a small abnormality in her running form by improving her core strength.
Although she was in the middle of another strong season this year, Legois wasn’t satisfied with her progress.
That’s why she went to her coach and again posed the question: How do I get faster?
“She wants to know more about what she could do to be better and then has the drive to just do it,” L-C coach Justin Short said.
Legois advanced to the WIAA state meet for a third time this year and posted the area’s fastest time by finishing in 19 minutes, 7.96 seconds.
The North Eastern Conference champion not only drove her way to the Division 2 state podium for the first time with a third-place finish, but she also paved a path for L-C to tie for second in the D2 team standings.
For her efforts, Legois is Press-Gazette Media’s girls cross-country runner of the year.
“Coming into the season, I don’t think we really expected to go to state (as a team),” Legois said. “We were kind of thinking maybe we have a shot, but to actually get there, that made it 10 times more exciting.”
Legois is the second L-C runner in three years to be named Press-Gazette Media’s girls cross-country runner of the year. Lisa Baeten received the distinction in 2013 after placing fourth in D2 at state.
Legois followed a similar path, including running the hilly trails at the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay campus during the summer.
“It definitely helped out a lot,” Legois said. “It’s different from running on the road all the time around Luxemburg. It definitely paid off for the course at state.”
In addition to winning a conference title for a second straight season, Legois won a sectional title for the first time to help the Spartans advance to state as a team for the first time since 2011.
Legois improved her place at state by 19 spots and her time by nearly 35 seconds from her sophomore year. She also earned a spot on the first team of the Wisconsin Cross Country Coaches Association’s all-state team.
“She’s willing to do everything, even the little stuff,” Short said.
“Those things I think are what really takes you from somebody that is 20th or 22nd, like she was at state (last year), all the way to third now.”
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2015 Press-Gazette Media all-area girls cross-country team
Katie Brockman, fr., Pulaski: Finished 62nd at the WIAA Division 1 state meet and fifth at the Fox River Classic Conference meet to garner first-team all-conference accolades. The emergence of Brockman as a freshman helped the Red Raiders top third-ranked Stevens Point at sectionals to advance to state for a second straight year.
Maria Ehlinger, jr., G.B. Notre Dame: Placed 10th in D2 (19:28.20) to reach the state podium for a second consecutive year and earn honorable mention all-state honors from the WCCCA. She helped the Tritons win a fourth straight FRCC title and a sectional title to advance to state as a team for an eighth straight year.
Savannah Huben, so., Bay Port: The D1 Manitowoc sectional champion helped the Pirates advance to D1 state as team for a 10th time in 11 years. Recorded the area’s third-fastest time (19:18.49) at state by finishing 18th in D1 and received second-team all-state honors.
Jacie Legois, jr., Luxemburg-Casco: The North Eastern Conference champion won eight races and ran the area’s fastest time at state to place third in her third D2 state appearance. The first-team all-state runner helped the Spartans tie for second in their first D2 team state appearance since 2011.
Annika Linzmeier, so., Pulaski: The FRCC champion led the Red Raiders to a second straight D1 team state appearance. She posted the area’s second-fastest time (19:17.02) at state to finish 17th in D1 and earn second-team all-state recognition.
Madeline Sweeney, jr., G.B. East: The Bay Conference champion finished 27th (19:36.87) in her third D1 state appearance, improving her place from the previous year by 30 spots. She helped the Red Devils win their first conference title in more than 30 years.
Sage Wagner, fr., Ashwaubenon: She became the fourth girls runner at the school to advance to state and the first since 2012. Wagner finished 44th in D1 (19:50.18) and placed fourth at the FRCC meet to earn first-team all-conference honors.
Coach of the year – Justin Short, Luxemburg-Casco: Despite not having a senior in its state lineup, L-C tied for second in D2 in its first state appearance since 2011. The Spartans, who won a conference title for a second straight year under the second-year coach, had four runners finish in the top 50 at state. L-C also had four runners place in the top 10 at the North Eastern Conference meet and the D2 Two Rivers sectional.
Katie Anderson, sr., Pulaski; Kristen Burkel, sr., G.B. Notre Dame; Gracie Englebert, so., Southern Door; Lizzy Giddley, jr., Luxemburg-Casco; Mariah McDonough, jr., Peshtigo; Faith Vania, so., Luxemburg-Casco; Bailey Wolf, sr., Oconto Falls.
Kalista Arendt, so., Luxemburg-Casco; Kim Carviou, fr., Marinette; Marissa Cutlan, fr., G.B. Southwest; Hailey Dorn, so., De Pere; Gabrielle Every, jr., Bay Port; Alana Finger, fr., Peshtigo; Maggie Grota, Southern Door; Grecia Guzman, jr., G.B. East; Kennedy Hauser, jr., Ashwaubenon; Kayla Hawley, fr., G.B. Notre Dame; Lauren Herzog, so., Gillett; Courtney Ledvina, fr., G.B. Notre Dame; Teagan Monfils, sr., Shawano; Erinn Olmsted, sr., G.B. East; Hattie Plumb, sr., Bay Port; Amanda Vandenplas, sr., Kewaunee.
Andrew Pekarek, Press-Gazette Media