For the first time since 2014, the Poynette boys and girls cross country teams are ranked at the same time. The Lady Pumas are currently ranked sixth, while the Poynette boys are eighth.
The Pumas showed they are worthy of the rankings by sweeping the Small School Division at their annual invite last Thursday.
“It is pretty early, so time will tell if we deserve that ranking, but it is a nice honor and shows the respect our program has earned over the years.” Puma coach Kevin Frehner said.
The event was held at Shepherds Meadow Golf Course.
“I would like thank the golf course for letting us run,” Frehner said. “We had 644 high school and middle school runners finish the races. They have been a big supporter of our program.
The Poynette boys had a remarkable score of 25 to win the Small School Division by 20 points over Marshall (45).
The Lady Pumas also won the crown by 20 points, 42-62, over Marshall.
“We dominated the small school division of our invitational, winning the varsity and JV races for both boys and girls,” Frehner said. “The boys team won with an outstanding score of 25 points. The girls race was a bit more competitive, beating two teams, Dodgeland and Marshall, who finished in the top six in the state last year. For the first time that I am aware of, we had our top six runners in both the boys and girls races earn medals, meaning we had a non-scoring runner earn medals for both teams.”
Lodi competed in the Large School Division at the invite.
The Blue Devil boys came in fourth place behind Deerfield-Cambridge (42), Wautoma (56) and Luther Prep (58) with 128 points.
“The boys put in a great effort against some quality teams,” Lodi coach Kurt Wilson said.
The Lady Blue Devils came away with 159 points to place sixth in the Large Division. Lake Mills easily won the title with 26 points, while Luther Prep (61) was a distant second.
Elias Ritzke won the Small School Division individual title after finishing the race in 17 minutes, 46.06 seconds.
“Elias Ritzke had a much improved race over last week,” Frehner said. “Coming back from injury, he struggled with pushing through some parts last week. This week he beat a number of kids who got the better of him at Deerfield/Cambridge. He simply took a big step in getting back to racing hard.”
The Pumas had Tucker Johnson (19:08.56) and Trent Sickenberger (19:20.54) finish back-to-back in third and fourth place, respectively.
“The Feet of the Meet award went to Trent Sickenberger,” Frehner said. “Trent did a nice job of getting out in the front of the field and concentrating the entire race. He took a chance and ran with great focus.”
Trent Chadwick (seventh, 19:53.96) and Austin Kruger (10th, 20:14.44) also finished in the top 10 for Poynette.
Quintin Pinhero (13th, 20:20.22) and Carter Hansen (15th, 20:30.56) placed in the top 15 for the Pumas, but did not factor into the team score.
Poynette also had the top runner in the Small School Division girls race. Katelyn Chadwick claimed first place with her time of 20:23.01.
Abbey Marquardt (seventh, 22:19.91) and Felicia Ritzke (ninth, 23:11.06) also cracked the top 10 for the Lady Pumas.
“Felicia Ritzke was chosen for Feet of the Meet,” Frehner said. “She did a great job of working through tough parts of her race. There were a few times I saw her on the course where she was struggling, but she really bore down at those times. We talk about that a lot in practice, so it was great to see her execute it.”
The final scoring runners for the Lady Pumas were Megan Reddeman (24:09.55) and Gwen Golueke (24:44.03). They finished 12th and 13th, respectively.
Lizzy Schwenn (14th, 24:51.88) also ran for the Pumas.
Parker Heintz paced the Lodi boys with a 14th-place finish in the Large Division. He finished in 18:59.96.
Sean Crowder (21st, 19:29.67) and Luke Collins (26th, 19:38.17) also placed in the top 30 for Lodi.
Blaise Zander (31st, 20:17.74) and Mason Marchand (36th, 20:28.22) rounded out the team score for the Blue Devils.
Brandon Grover (37th, 20:28.41) and Josh Larson (44th, 20:52.53) also represented the Blue Devils in the race.
Lauryn Milne continued her great season for the Lady Blue Devils by placing ninth in the Large Division with her time of 22:23.74.
Lodi’s Norah Lee came in 16th after finishing in 22:55.49.
“Lauryn and Nora continue to give us a strong 1-2 punch,” Wilson said.
Also factoring into the team score for the Lady Blue Devils was Claire Schoenemann (31st, 23:53.46), Aly Endres (51st, 25:56.26) and Thea Collins (52nd, 25:58.41), while Lizzy Clepper (57th, 26:42.55) and Marissa Houdek (59th, 27:07.83) also took part in the event.
River Valley Invite
Last Saturday, Lodi competed in the Large School Division at the River Valley Invite.
The Blue Devils finished 12th on the boys side with 334 points.
“Once again the competition was very fierce on the boys side,” Wilson said. “The boys went out aggressively and battled the entire race. They are very fun to watch because you can see the effort they are putting in and the pain they are running through.”
Madison La Follette claimed the Large School Division title with 39 points, followed in the top five by Pleasant Valley (61), Sauk Prairie (92), Mount Horeb (173) and Dodgeville (178).
The Lady Blue Devils registered 277 points to place 13th.
“Our 1-3 gap improved and now we need our depth girls to do even better to improve as a team,” Wilson said. “Once we start hitting on all cylinders, our team place will start to improve.”
Wisconsin Dells garnered the girls crown with 74 points, followed in the top five by Mount Horeb (98), McFarland (124), Madison La Follette (166) and Prairie du Chien (179).
Leading the charge for the Lodi boys was Heintz. He clocked in at 17:55.9 to place 33rd.
Crowder (65th, 18:47.2), Collins (76th, 19:05.2), Marchand (79th, 19:12.1) and Zander (81st, 19:19.5) concluded the scoring for Lodi, while Grover (83rd, 10:23.5) and Paul Lins (104th, 20:04.2) also were on the course.
Pleasant Valley’s Max Murphy (15.57.4) captured the individual title.
Milne (31st, 22:06.7) and Lee (38th, 22:36.7) were the top two runners for the Lady Blue Devils.
Schoenemann (44th, 22:48.9), Lexi Meek (70th, 22:45.4) and Endres (94th, 25:18.7) also factored into the team score for the Blue Devils. Collins (97th, 25:59.9) and Karissa Wenger (105th, 28:07.1) rounded out their roster of varsity runners.
River Valley’s Madison Krey (19:50.0) claimed the individual Large School title.