Distance runners have a reputation for being productive early in the morning.
The Waunakee cross country team lived up to that reputation this week, competing in not one, but two meets on Saturday morning. Part of the team competed at the Madison West Invitational, while another part went to Spring Green to run in the River Valley Invitational.
Madison West Invitational
While the eight girls’ teams were ready to go, a fallen bee hive forced a short delay before action could get underway.
Once the race finally started, Waunakee’s girls showed significant improvement in their second meet of the season. In a performance that netted the Warriors third place with 65 points, six of their seven runners dropped their time from last week’s Norski Invite, with the average time being 22 seconds faster than a week prior.
The biggest drop from the Norski Invite to the Madison West Invite belonged to Anne Dotzler, who shaved 54 seconds off her time.
“Dotzler ran out of her mind…” said Waunakee’s Head Coach Heather Raffel. “She’s all smiles.”
Crossing the line in a time of 21:39.50, Dotzler’s finish was good for 17th place; she was one of five Waunakee runners to finish in the top 20.
Emma Bertz was the top Warrior runner, finishing in fourth with a time of 20:14.00, followed by Jordyn Jarvi in 12th (21:14.50) and Kelsey King in 14th (21:24.35). Anna Vanderhoef rounded out the scoring for Waunakee’s girls, coming in 18th place (21:42.32), while Warren Ambord (22:06.40) and Jenna Schiffman (22:43.26) finished in 23rd and 31st place, respectively.
The boys were once again led by the duo of Drew Regnier and Evan Voge. The two were aiming to break the 18-minute mark, but conditions at Lake Farm County Park kept them from doing so.
“There were some soggy areas,” added Raffel. “Which is kind of par for the course there.”
A late kick by Regnier made him Waunakee’s top finisher in 31st place overall with a time of 18:13.98. Voge was close behind in 35th place, crossing the line in 18:33.61.
“They were close; they just didn’t hit that [under-18] barrier yet,” Raffel said.” I know they can do it.”
The final three scorers for the boys were Alex Korth in 37th (18:36.36), Coleson Lincoln in 45th (18:51.03) and Todd Niles in 47th (18:58.01). Waunakee’s final two runners were Baylor Smith in 48th (18:59.93) and Trenton Niles in 53rd (19:34.43).
Five of Waunakee’s seven boys’ runners also dropped their time from the first meet of the season.
“We had some goal times that they were shooting for; the majority of them made it,” Raffel added.
Waunakee fielded a second varsity team at the larger River Valley Invitational.
Similar to the results from their counterparts in Madison, four out of the five scoring runners for the boys lowered their times from a week ago. The Warriors were led by Logan Rynes – who crossed the line in 20:07.4 – and Zachary Samson in a time of 20:18.0.
Waunakee’s final three varsity finishers were Cade Hottman (20:35.2), Benjamin Willem (20:40.1) and Logan Dresen (22:10.9).
The girls had a handful of runners who were competing in their first meet of the season. Brinley Everson was one such runner; she was the fastest runner for the girls, finishing in a time of 23:07.8. Everson was followed by Kyla Schmitt (23:25.9), McKenna Hughey (23:28.8), Valerie Cisewski (23:33.0) and Kiley Kearns (24:29.8).
“The River Valley meet gets really big...” said Raffel “We had some really good performances on both sides for boys and girls.”
The Warriors had another competition on Tuesday at the Badger Challenge in Watertown, the results of which were not available for this week’s edition. Waunakee will travel to Tribute Golf Course on Saturday for the Smiley Invite. The start time in Wausau is scheduled for 10 a.m.