Lodi cross country coach Kurt Wilson is not sure what the season will look like, but he is excited the Blue Devils will get a chance to compete.
“Our team is very deep this season,” Wilson said. “We have excellent top runners who would have been one of the favorites to win conference. We have a group of freshmen who are very talented as well.”
The season will have a very different look because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Capitol Conference has canceled all competitions and championships, so the Blue Devils have to piece together a new schedule, which at the moment does not include invites.
“Obviously, we were very disappointed when some in the Capitol voted to not have a conference meet,” Wilson said. “Instead of focusing so much on meets it will be more about focusing on improving and being with teammates. We canceled our home invite at the beginning of the season and are hoping we can reschedule for the end of the year. We still will have some home meets. We are looking forward to the WIAA end-of-the-season event, whatever that might be.”
Because of the changes, Lodi had to adjust its goals for the season.
“Our team goals are to stay healthy so we can complete the season,” Wilson said. “We want to do well in the dual meets we have scheduled. Hopefully, we will be allowed to do some invites toward the end of the season.”
Last season, the Lodi boys placed third behind Watertown Luther Prep (35 points) and Poynette (48) with 70 team points at the Capitol North Conference Meet.
The Lady Blue Devils finished in sixth place at the conference meet with 107 points. Lake Mills (29), Columbus (74) and Poynette (84) claimed the top three spots.
The Lodi Blue Devils were ninth at the WIAA Division 2 River Valley Sectional, while the boys were 10th.
The Lodi boys return five of their top runners from last season, including senior Mason Marchand, juniors Parker Heintz, Luke Collins, Sean Crowder and sophomore Paul Lins.
Heintz earned first-team all-conference last season after placing fifth at the Capitol North Meet.
Collins placed eighth at the Capitol North Meet and was named second-team all-conference.
Crowder (17th), Lins (21st) and Marchand (27th) all placed in the top 30 at the conference meet.
Adding depth for the Lodi boys this season are Walter Beld (Fr.), George Breiwa (Fr.), Sam Clepper (Fr.), Elijah Collyard (Sr.), Michael Davis (Jr.), Noah Houdek (Fr.), Jim Miller (Fr.), Connor Pecard (Fr.), Johnathan Schilling (So.), Nathan Schilling (Sr.), Benjamin Schultz (Fr.), Lucas Thistle (Fr.), Owen Wendt (Jr.), Paxton Wyman (Fr.) and Mason Young (So.).
The Lady Blue Devils also return their top runner from last season, junior Norah Lee. She placed ninth at last year’s conference meet.
Seniors Claire Schoenemann (22nd) and Lauryn Milne (33rd), juniors Aly Endres (32nd) and Lizzy Clepper (40th) and sophomore Lexi Meek (11th) are also back for the Blue Devils after strong showings at last year’s Capitol North Meet.
Filling out the roster for the Lady Blue Devils are Brooke Endres (Fr.), RyAnne Franklin (Jr.), Marissa Houdek (Jr.), Holly Jelinek (Jr.), Sydney Larson (Jr.), Phoenix Peterson (Jr.), Quetzel Peterson (Fr.) and Kayla Pierquet (Jr.).
The Blue Devils are still finalizing their 2020 schedule.