The Poynette boys and girls cross country teams faced a number of challenges at the invite DeForest hosted at Wyona Park in Wyocena, including some tough competition.
The Pumas were up for the challenge and both squads came in third.
The Lady Pumas finished with 68 points to place third behind DeForest (29) and Portage (37).
“Our girls team ran with a very stripped down group, missing three of our top five runners,” Poynette coach Kevin Frehner said. “The race was run in a fashion that our teams were not used to, with waves of 10 kids from multiple school taking off every 30 seconds. This caused some kids to get out harder than they wanted and also created large gaps in the race. Both of these caused some tough finishes within the group, for both the girls and boys. There were some highlights, however.”
The Poynette boys came away with a score of 65 to finish behind only DeForest (25) and Deerfield/Cambridge (44).
“The boys team ran against their toughest competition of the season, which is a good thing moving into our championship season,” Frehner said. “We finished third out of four teams, but overall ran pretty well. We were pushed by two Division 1 teams in Deforest and Portage and a very good Division 2 team in Deerfield/Cambridge.”
The Lady Pumas were led by Katelyn Chadwick. She continued her impressive season by claiming the individual title with her time of 19 minutes, 20 seconds.
“Kate Chadwick continued her undefeated season with a victory,” Frehner said. “She beat the second-place girl by exactly three minutes. When racing against only girls this season, she has not been challenged, which makes racing much more difficult.”
The Lady Pumas didn’t have another runner cross the finish line until Sydney Tobin came in 14th place with her time of 23:58.
Poynette’s Emma McGlynn (26:25) worked her way to 19th place.
The Lady Pumas then had Hazel Ruckle (28:21), Maddie Lee (28:41), Isabella Morales (30:01) and Gracie Bergeman (33:28) place 21st, 22nd, 23rd and 25th, respectively.
“Another girl who raced extremely well was Gracie Bergeman,” Frehner said. “She cut over two minutes off her previous best time and was our seventh runner for the day, her first ever time on our varsity.
The Lady Pumas had just two runners, Hope Ninmann (20th, 33:36) and Maddie Morton (23rd, 34:04), compete in the Junior Varsity race.
The Poynette boys put two runners in the top 10, including Tucker Johnson and Trent Chadwick.
Johnson paced the Pumas with a fourth-place finish, thanks to his time of 18:02.
“Tucker Johnson again led the way,” Frehner said. “He was able to compete with some other runners in this race, which has not happened many times this season. He looked a little tired from the last three weeks of hard training, but did run his normal consistent race.”
Chadwick (18:29) crossed the finish line in 10th place.
“Trent Chadwick continued his season long improvement,” Frehner said. “He has shown improved determination in racing and practice and it is showing”
Poynette’s Trent Sickenberger (18:45) had a solid race and placed 12th.
“Trent Sickenberger got stuck by himself for the majority of the race due to the grouping he was put in, which had a negative effect on his race,” Frehner said.
Completing the Pumas’ varsity lineup was Isaiah Gauer (18th, 19:26), Carter Hansen (21st, 19:40), Austin Kruger (22nd, 19:43) and Adam Hehl (23rd, 19:48).
The Poynette boys finished second at the JV level, thanks to Lucas Prince (sixth, 20:21), Cash Stewart (seventh, 20:31), Tanis Crawford (14th, 21:20), Garret Johnson (17th, 21:41), Matthew Bartz (19th, 21:51), Dominic Graeme (26th, 24:22) and Wyatt McLaughlin (31st, 25:55).
Poynette will close out the regular season with an invite in Waterloo at 4:15 p.m. on Oct. 15.
The Pumas will host a WIAA Division 2 subsectional on Oct. 20. The site for the sectional meet on Oct. 24 has not been set yet.