They weren’t at full strength.
Still, only seven points separated the Lodi High School boys’ cross country team from first place at Thursday’s Poynette Invitational.
“The kids ran very well,” said Blue Devils Head Coach Kurt Wilson. “The boys, despite running without several key runners, came very close in the team standings. Six of our varsity boys and four of our varsity girls set their PR.”
Several Lodi runners turned in strong performances.
“Our top runners, Parker Heintz (boys) and Norah Lee (girls) once again performed very well,” said Wilson. “Also having very good races for varsity were Walter Beld, Luke Collins and Cameron Tritt for the boys and Lizzy Clepper and Phoenix Peterson for the girls.”
On Friday, Sept. 17, Lodi will compete at the Rio Invitational, with the Baraboo Invitational coming up on Tuesday, Sept. 21 for the Blue Devils.
Heintz, a senior, ran a time of 17:21.11 to take second individually, finishing six seconds off the winning time for the Lodi boys.
Three Blue Devil runners placed in the top 10, with Paul Lins taking eighth in 18:59.2 and Beld winding up ninth (19:00.1). Collins just missed joining them, as he finished 11th in 19:03.88, while Tritt was 26th, crossing the line in 20:38.03. Those five were Lodi’s scoring runners, as the Blue Devils finished third as a team behind Lakeside Lutheran (49) and Watertown Luther Prep (55).
In the girls’ race, Lodi was fifth with 90 points, as Watertown Luther Prep took top honors with 23.
Lee cruised to a fourth-place finish in 21:46.66, with Clepper (18th, 24:24.62), Alexis Wilcox (20th, 24:36.95), Brook Endres (22nd, 24:40.83) and Peterson (26th, 25:40.96) all bunched together.
River Valley Invitational
On Saturday, the Blue Devils ran at Spring Green and took on some tough opponents.
“We knew coming in that the competition, especially on the boys side, was going to be tough,” said Wilson. “The boys had to battle six state-ranked teams and a couple more excellent Division 1 teams. Although we were hoping to be a little higher in the standings, the boys still performed well. Parker Heintz continued to shave his time down finishing in 17:09. Connor Pecard, Paul Lins and Noah Houdek had nice drops as well.”
As for the Lodi girls, the Blue Devils were shooting to finish among the top 10 teams, but fell nine points shy of their goal.
“Norah Lee dropped her best time by almost a minute to lead the way for the girls,” said Wilson. “Alexis Wilcox and Brook Endres improved by over a minute and RyAnne Franklin by a minute and a half. As long as we keep improving, at some point we will be much more competitive team-wise.”
Meanwhile, the boys JV team had an excellent meet. Out of 19 complete teams they finished eighth, despite missing their top runner.