After weeks of practicing, the DeForest boys and girls cross country teams finally were able to compete last Saturday.

“We just feel so blessed to be able to run every day, so to get an actual competition in was a gift,” DeForest girls coach Chris Smith said. “Being able to race will allow us to use our results for goal setting and improvement. Our focus was definitely different than a usual year as we have no guarantees that we will get another one.”

The Norskies made a trip to Watertown to compete in a triangular.

“It was a welcome sight to have our guys be able to compete again,” Norski boys coach Joe Parker said. “For those that did not do a winter sport, this was their first legit race in nine months.”

DeForest came away with a sweep at the event.

The Lady Norskies finished with 31 team points to finish well ahead of both Pius XI (46) and Watertown (55).

“We have to run with a bit more urgency than normal,” Smith said. “To come away with a meet victory when we really didn’t know what we have was a huge bonus. We’ll be faster in a month that’s for sure. Can we develop the other parts of being a good team, well that will be our challenge? One race doesn’t define any of us as a runner so not appropriate to single out any one performance today. There were many, many positives for sure.”

The DeForest boys turned in a tremendous performance with 27 points. Watertown and Pius XI finished with 46 and 59, respectively.

“While some of the guys did not achieve the times they wanted, that course has never been a grass track,” Parker said. “There are hills and the amount of rain they had in the days leading up to the race did not improve conditions. Our varsity had a really nice day as a group. Only having 1 minute, 15 seconds in between runners 1-5 will certainly continue to be our strength as some our front runners get used to being where they are in these smaller races. Really if you were within a minute or so of your lifetime best, you had a heck of a day.”

Leading the charge for the Norski boys was Isaiah Bauer. He placed second overall with his time of 17:57.

DeForest’s Jackson Grabowski finished the course in 18:32 to place fourth overall.

The Norskies put the meet away when Matthew Vander Meer (18:49), Elijah Bauer (18:57), Caleb Ekezie (19:12) and Ferris Wolf (19:18) finished in sixth, seventh, eighth and ninth place, respectively.

Also running for the Norski boys were Rhett Parker (12th, 19:38), Korbin Eisler (13th, 19:40), Bryce Morauske (19th, 21:14), Rogitha Luecke (20th, 21:19), Joe Huber (25th, 21:41), Malik Victorine (26th, 21:47), Alex Armstrong (32nd, 22:44), Mason Kuluvar (33rd, 22:56), Alex Gardner (38th, 23:48), Caden Herrick (41st, 24:18), Reid Morauske (47th, 26:26), Luke Barske (50th, 27:06), Dean Wink (50th, 27:06), Kaden Simpson (53rd, 28:00) and Hunter Kubasik (56th, 32:35).

The Norskies also had the runner-up on the girls side. Logan Peters came in second place with her time of 22:20.

The Lady Norskies’ Carleen Snow (23:12) worked her way to fifth place.

Grace Roth (24:09), Erica Bodden (24:38), Rylan Oberg (24:53), Jocelyn Pickhardt (25:00) and Lucy Manzetti (25:03) secured the victory for the Norskies after placing seventh, eighth, ninth, 10th and 11th, respectively.

Also running well for the Lady Norskies was Maddie Martin (14th, 25:27), Eden Blader (16th, 26:01), Grace Kuiper (17th, 26:15), Stacy Kipkoskei (19th, 26:35), Quinn Aulik (20th, 26:46), Maci Bartels (22nd, 27:18), Lauren Anderson (23rd, 27:31), Gabriela Pertzborn (25th, 28:32), Amber Beckman (26th, 28:36), Emma Purcell (27th, 28:57), Isabel Bauer (28th, 29:21), Heidi Schwertfeger (29th, 30:46), Olivia Titel (30th, 31:07), Emanuela Budzynski (31st, 31:19), Stella Bieri (35th, 33:21), Riley Herrick (37th, 33:43), Emma Bieri (38th, 34:00) and Emalia Reiche (40th, 34:29).

DeForest made it home debut this past Tuesday. A recap will be in next week’s Times-Tribune.

The Norskies will travel to Fort Atkinson for a dual with the Blackhawks at 4:15 p.m. on Sept. 22.

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