The Baraboo cross country teams tested themselves against the rest of the Badger Conference in Fort Atkinson on Tuesday.

The Thunderbirds tested well, as the Baraboo boys finished third out of 16 teams while the girls took ninth at the Badger Challenge, which brings all members of the Badger North and Badger South conferences together for a time-based competition.

The Baraboo boys put up a five-person total time of 1 hour, 27 minutes, trailing only Monona Grove (1:26:32) and Monroe (1:26:57). The T-Birds led the eight Badger North teams at the meet, followed by fifth-place Portage (1:29:27) and sixth-place Beaver Dam (1:29:29).

“We ultimately were pleased with the outcome, as we demonstrated our ability to compete in a very tough cross country race,” Baraboo boys coach Peter Arndt said.

Senior Silas Patten had Baraboo’s best individual finish of the day, crossing the line in 16:53 to take seventh overall in the boys meet, which was split into junior/senior and freshman/sophomore 5,000-meter races. Sophomore Garrett Exo (17:13) and senior Jasper Swallen (17:18) weren’t far behind in 14th and 15th.

Junior Matt Lane (17:38) added a 21st-place finish for the T-Birds, while senior Liam Taber wrapped up Baraboo’s scoring with a time of 17:58.

Beaver Dam junior Cade Ferron won the boys meet in a time of 16:14.

On the girls side, Baraboo compiled a time of 1:54:17 to finish ninth overall, including fifth among Badger North teams.

“They did great, I’m really proud of them,” Baraboo girls coach Julie Faylona said.

Stoughton (1:42:51), Fort Atkinson (1:43:36) and Beaver Dam (1:46:19) led the field. Fort Atkinson’s Lauren Haas took the girls title in 19:22.

Vita Patten paced the Baraboo girls, using a season-best time of 21:08 to place 17th overall.

“She just looked a whole lot more focused and concentrated, and determined during the race,” Faylona said. “She looked a lot stronger, which is what she should be racing like now.”

Molly Stewart (22:25) followed in 38th place, while Isabella Urben (23:19) took 55th, Venna Krayer (23:32) took 65th and Cece Oettinger (23:53) took 74th.

Faylona said that Urben has been stepping it up early in her senior year.

“She has just really stepped up in practice lately,” Faylona said. “She didn’t let the heat bother her and just stayed focused and looked really competitive. It was her fastest time of the season.”

The T-Birds will host their first event of the year when Mauston, Reedsburg, Sauk Prairie and Wisconsin Rapids visit Baraboo on Tuesday.

Follow Brock Fritz on Twitter @BrockFritz

Capital Newspapers Regional Sports Reporter