Poynette made the most of hosting last Saturday’s Capitol Conference Cross Country Meet at Shepherds Meadow Golf Course, as both Puma squads placed in the top three.
“We raced on this course five weeks ago at our invitational and on average, our kids ran one minute and twelve seconds faster on Saturday than they did in September,” Poynette coach Kevin Frehner said. “That is a great improvement. Our program needs to give a huge thank you to Shepherd’s Meadow Golf Course for allowing us to host this meet on a gorgeous fall day. I would also like to thank all the people who came to work the meet.”
The Poynette boys finished with 48 team points to place second behind Watertown Luther Prep (35).
“We were able to cut the gap that Luther Prep had on us earlier in the year in half,” Frehner said. “We had a number of historical things happen in the boys race, as well. We had three first team all-conference runners, which is a first in school history.”
Lodi came in third in the boys race with 70 points.
Meanwhile, the Lady Pumas registered 84 points to finish third behind Lake Mills (29) and Columbus (74).
“The varsity girls finished one place higher than we did last year,” Frehner said. “The girls conference has been as deep the last two seasons as I have ever seen. Lake Mills has clearly been the favorite, but after that it has been wide open.”
The Lady Blue Devils came away with sixth place after earning 107 team points.
“Most of the girls ran pretty well but the conference was very strong this year,” Lodi coach Kurt Wilson said.
Elias Ritzke led the way for the Poynette boys. He claimed the individual Capitol North title after clocking in at 17 minutes, 8.08 seconds. It is his second straight conference crown.
“Elias is the first runner, boy or girl, in school history to win two individual conference titles,” Frehner said. “He is also the only boy in school history to earn all-conference all four seasons. He has never finished lower than seventh at our conference meet, making him first-team all-conference each season.”
The Pumas’ Tucker Johnson (18:10.84) and Trent Sickenberger (18:31.83) finished back-to-back in sixth and seventh place, respectively.
“Tucker Johnson and Trent Sickenberger also earned first team all-conference,” Frehner said. “Tucker ran his typical smart and tough race and was able to move up the field throughout. Trent tried a new race plan of racing with Tucker early and following him. It worked to perfection.”
Trent Chadwick (16th, 19:08.80) and Carter Hansen (18th, 19:10.56) also cracked the top 20 for Poynette. They were the final two scoring runners for the Pumas.
Quintin Pinhero (24th, 19:38.38) and Logan Bahr (26th, 19:45.18) also represented Poynette.
The Lodi boys were led by Parker Heintz. He finished in 18:09.97 to place fifth in the North.
“In the boys race, I felt like some of the team went out a little too fast, but Parker maintained his all-conference place throughout the race,” Wilson said.
Luke Collins (18:36.80) also finished in the top 10. He came in eighth.
“Luke had a great day as he set his PR and was even in the seventh spot for a little while,” Wilson said.
The Blue Devils also got great performances from Sean Crowder (17th, 19:09.93), Blaise Zander (19th, 19:13.52) and Paul Lins (21st, 19:26.08) to close out their scoring.
Brandon Grover (25th, 19:40.53) and Mason Marchand (27, 19:48.72) also represented Lodi in the race.
Meanwhile, the Lady Pumas’ Katelyn Chadwick (20:13.54) was in the mix for the Capitol North individual title, but had to settle for second.
“Katelyn Chadwick finished second to earn her third first team all-conference berth as a junior,” Frehner said. “That is very impressive.”
Abbey Marquardt (22:05.03) was not far behind in eighth place.
“Abbey Marquardt earned her fourth all-conference accolade,” Frehner said. “She is just the sixth girl in Poynette cross country history to earn all-conference four times. Abbey ran such a tough mental race. She has battled injury and illness the last month and really ran on toughness on Saturday.”
Rounding out the scoring for the Lady Pumas were Gwen Golueke (19th, 22:53.58), Megan Reddeman (27th, 23:15.17) and Felicia Ritzke (28th, 23:16.40), while Lizzie Schwenn (34th, 23:57.76) and Mikayla Fox (39th, 25:02.00) also took part in the race.
Norah Lee was the only Lady Blue Devil to crack the top 10. She finished in ninth place with her time of 22:06.18.
Lexi Meek (22:13.29) was not far behind in 11th place.
“Norah was in a good position throughout the race, while Lexi was about 25th at the mile mark and moved up from there,” Wilson said. “Both girls set their personal record.”
Claire Schoenemann (22nd, 22:59.08), Aly Endres (32nd, 23:49.62) and Lauryn Milne (33rd, 23:49.82) were the final scoring runners for Lodi, while Lizzy Clepper (40th, 25:30.65) also ran in the race.
Lodi prepared for the conference meet with an impressive showing at the Columbus Invite on Oct. 14.
The Blue Devil boys ran to the title with an outstanding score of 34. Portage was a distant second with 91.
Lodi had Heintz (third, 11:18.24), Grover (sixth, 11:36.86), Collins (seventh, 11:38.85), Zander (eighth, 11:40.90) and Crowder (10th, 11:45.05) all place in the top 10.
The Lady Blue Devils garnered 62 points to place third behind Lake Mills (31) and Columbus (58).
The Lodi girls had all five scoring runners, including Meek (seventh, 13:39.04), Lee (eighth, 13:39.28), Milne (12th, 13:51.84), Schoenemann (15th, 13:57.24) and Endres (20th, 14:14.40), finish in the top 20.