VERONA — The Sun Prairie boys cross country team got an early look at what the Big Eight Conference will look like, competing against its league rivals in Saturday’s Verona Invitational.
The Cardinals finished in fourth place, behind Big Eight programs Madison La Follette, Madison West and Middleton, and ahead of Verona and Madison Memorial.
Sun Prairie finished with 176 team points.
“The coaching staff saw a lot of promising signs today,” said Cardinals head coach Kevin Hall. “It was admirable to see the varsity squad compete so competently, given their experience level and place in their training cycle. It was another weekend that had the Cardinal runners walking away from the finish line knowing they have more to give in races, which is exactly our aim this early in the season.”
Junior Connor Carpenter was the first Sun Prairie runner to cross, in 22nd place with a 5K time of 17 minutes, 17.7 seconds.
Following Carpenter were sophomore Joseph Freng (26th, 17:20.1) and sophomore Tyler Stoll (34th, 17:34.1), while rounding out the Sun Prairie scoring were senior Hunter Teniente (40th, 17:38.5) and junior Joseph Stoll (54th, 17:58.9).
Junior Max Saron (69th, 18:21.9) and sophomore Ben Marshall (97th, 18:56.7) also represented Sun Prairie.
“It’s gratifying to see the varsity squad build their confidence in each workout and race and see them setting a foundation on their strong identities and temperament. We hope to see this group continue to bolster their confidence in the coming weeks,” Hall said.
Chris Wolfe of champion Madison La Follette won the individual title with a time of 16:20.1.
Sun Prairie competes again this Saturday in the Wausau East Invitational. Racing begins at 10:50 p.m.
“The team’s focus will remain on forming packs and racing together as we head into the coming weeks,” said Hall.
Team scores: Madison La Follette 61, Madison West 100, Middleton 101, Sun Prairie 176, Onalaska 182, Verona 196, Monona Grove 202, Madison Memorial 228, Stoughton 277, La Crosse Aquinas 292, Baraboo 304, Oregon 336, Monroe 350, Watertown Luther Prep 352, McFarland 354, New Glarus/Monticello 378, Whitewater 448, Wisconsin Heights/Barneveld 461, Beaver Dam 493, Fort Atkinson 507, Platteville 509, Wisconsin Dells 564, Mauston 583.
Top 5 runners: 1. Wolfe, ML, 16:20.1; 2. Patzka, WH/B, 16:24.7; 3. Olson, ML, 16:32.7; 4. Johnson, MID, 16:35.8; 5. Leffel, MID, 16:36.3.
Sun Prairie: 22. Carpenter, 17:17.7; 26. Freng, 17:20.1; 34. T. Stoll, 17:34.1; 40. Teniente, 17:38.5; 54. J. Stoll, 17:58.9.