The Lodi girls and boys cross country teams closed out their busy home schedule with a sweep of visiting Watertown Luther Prep.
In their sixth home meet of the season, the Lady Blue Devils edged the Phoenix 28-29.
“The girls knew we had to have some high finishes because we knew WLP has excellent depth runners. After losing a heartbreaker last week, it was great to see the girls bounce back with a thrilling win,” Lodi coach Kurt Wilson said. “It was so nice to see seniors Lauryn Milne and Claire Schoenemann get a win in the last home meet. They have been such a huge part of our team over the last four years.”
The Lodi boys put on a dominating performance and captured a 23-36 victory.
“While we knew we had the advantage with our top runners on the girls side, we weren’t so sure on the boy’s side,” Wilson said. “We felt we had the advantage with our depth guys, but Prep’s top guys have had some impressive finishes, so we needed to break them up in order to win. Well our top boys really picked it up a notch.”
Luther Prep’s Jemma Habben took top honors in the girls race with her time of 22 minutes, 52 seconds. But the Lady Blue Devils had the next three finishers.
Lodi’s Lauryn Milne (23:21) was the runner up, while teammates Norah Lee (23:30) and Brook Endres (23:48) followed in third and fourth place.
“Lauryn, Norah and Brook came through in a big way,” Wilson said. “It seemed like the deciding factor of the race was an amazing finish by Brook Endres. Trailing Prep’s 2nd runner by a sizable distance entering the last 400 meters, Brook kept closing the gap little by little and overtook her opponent down the final stretch to secure the victory.”
Schoenemann worked her way to seventh place after clocking in at 24:33.
“Claire Schoenemann gave a gutsy performance,” Wilson said.
The Lady Blue Devils had Lizzy Clepper (25:19), Holly Jelinek (27:39) and RyAnne Franklin (28:37) place 12th, 13th and 14th, respectively.
“Lizzy Clepper had her fastest time of the season despite the strong winds and unseasonably warm temperatures,” Wilson said.
The Lady Blue Devils were not able to come up with the same magic during the Junior Varsity race, as Luther Prep prevailed 15-48. Running for the Lodi was Aly Endres (seventh, 28:37), Grace Wetzel (eighth, 28:39), Quetzel Peterson (10th, 30:53), Marissa Houdek (14th, 33:36) and Sydney Larson (15th, 33:42).
The Lodi boys control the action at the front of the race, as Parker Heintz (19:01) and Connor Pecard (19:25) claimed the top two spots.
“Parker and Connor went out front early and were never really challenged,” Wilson said.
The Blue Devils’ Paul Lins crossed the finish line in 19:45 to place fifth.
“Paul finished strong and passed their number three runner down the stretch,” Wilson said.
Lodi secured the win after Luke Collins (20:25), Noah Houdek (20:50), Walter Beld (20:53) and Ben Skellenger (20:56) finished in a pack in seventh, eighth, ninth and 10th place, respectively.
“Luke Collins has been solid all season long and the three freshmen behind him have really been coming on strong,” Wilson said. “They have really stepped up after we lost Sean Crowder early in the season and Mason Marchand the last couple of weeks. It will be exciting to see what this team can do at subsectionals”
The Lodi boys also picked up the win in the JV race, 19-39. Competing for the Blue Devils was Owen Wendt (first, 21:54), Elijah Collyard (third, 22:21), Andrew Smith (fifth, 23:11), James Miller (sixth, 23:48), George Breiwa (ninth, 24:40), Mason Young (11th, 24:52), Paxton Wyman (13th, 25:06), Nathan Schilling (14th, 25:49), Sam Clepper (20th, 28:46) and Michael Davis (21st, 30:07).
Lodi will now gear up for the WIAA Division 2 post season. They will compete in the Poynette Subsectional on Oct. 20. The site of the sectional meet on Oct. 24 has not been set yet.