DEFOREST — Baraboo’s cross country season came to a halt on Saturday afternoon, as the Thunderbirds went up against a tough field at the WIAA Division 1 DeForest sectional.

The Baraboo boys tallied a team score of 151 to finish sixth out of 12 teams at the meet at Windsor Sports Complex, while the girls scored 319 points to place 11th.

Middleton took the top three spots in the boys race, finishing with a team score of 34 to beat out Madison West (50), Verona (116), Madison East (131) and Madison Memorial (149). Sauk Prairie (185) came in eighth, while Reedsburg (347) finished 12th.

“We certainly went into this thing knowing that Middleton is number one in the state and Madison West is number two, so it was going to be difficult. They were going to have to get lost if we were going to qualify for state,” Baraboo boys head coach Peter Arndt said following the race. “We hoped to be in that top tier. ... And I thought that we ran really well today.”

Garrett Exo led Baraboo to the finish line. The sophomore used a time of 17 minutes, 23 seconds in the 5,000-meter race to finish 22nd overall. Matt Lane (17:34) added a 26th-place finish, while Silas Patten (17:38) took 29th, Liam Taber (17:44) placed 33rd and Jasper Swallen (18:09) finished 41st.

“Matt Lane in the finish chute was one highlight,” Baraboo assistant coach Jacob Boll said of Lane beating out a pair of opponents to take 26th. “But all those guys really held off people at the end. That shows a lot of heart at the end of a 5K race, to be able to hold off some tough competition. Not a single one of our runners today lost a head-to-head race at the finish line.”

“You know what that is? That’s toughness, that’s what that is,” Arndt said. “Our tent over there says ‘Tradition of excellence,’ and that’s what these guys lived up to all season long. They had to attempt to achieve that, and they are just tough kids. They’re great kids and they have a lot of heart.”

The Baraboo boys ran well a week after finishing first at the Badger North Conference meet held at Baraboo High School on Oct. 14.

“Quite frankly, that was our main goal, to win the conference after taking third the year before,” Arndt said. “Those guys really, really gave it all last week. ... We’ve had an incredible year. They did everything they were supposed to do all season long, and that’s why they’re the conference champions.”

Middleton junior Caleb Easton won the individual boys sectional title in 16:06, followed by teammates Sam Jaeger (16:10) and Michael Madoch (16:22).

On the girls side, Madison West (58) won the title, while Stoughton (61) took second and Middleton (78) placed third. Reedsburg came in 10th with 219 points, followed by Baraboo (319) and Sauk Prairie (334).

Freshman Venna Krayer and sophomore Molly Stewart paced a young Baraboo girls team on Saturday. Krayer finished in 21:59 to place 49th individually, while Stewart crossed the line in 22:03 to take 50th. Asia Dubray (23:01) added a 70th-place finish for the T-Birds, while Abby Kingcade (23:13) took 73rd and Bella Urben (23:27) took 77th.

Waunakee junior Reagan Hoopes crossed the finish line in 19:02 to win the girls individual title, while Madison West’s Vivian Hacker (19:30) finished second.

Saturday was the final high school race for Patten, Swallen, Taber, Urben and the Baraboo senior class.

“Terrific runners the last four years, all of them,” Boll said of the senior class. “That’ll be a lot of leadership, big shoes to fill, but I know all those underclassmen are dedicated and I know they’ll rise to the occasion next year.”

“They were just incredible leaders, and we’re going to miss them dearly,” Arndt added. “The beauty of those seniors is they’re not done yet. We’re going to be able to see what they can do on the fast track (this spring).”

Sauk Prairie’s Haas qualifies for state

Sauk County will have one representative at the WIAA state cross country championships next weekend.

Sauk Prairie’s Hudson Haas crossed the finish line in a personal-best time of 16:38 on Saturday, taking 11th overall to earn the fifth individual qualifying spot in the boys race.

“I didn’t expect necessarily to go (to state),” Haas said of his expectations entering the meet. “But I expected myself to try as hard as I could to get there.”

The sophomore will represent the Eagles at The Ridges Golf Course in Wisconsin Rapids on Saturday.

“He’s just continued to improve all season long,” Sauk Prairie coach Andy Sherman said. “Hudson got out quick. I knew where he was. I met him at the finish line and knew he was in. It was pretty fun to watch this guy all season long.”

DIVISION 1 DEFOREST SECTIONAL

BOYS

Team scores: Middleton 34, Madison West 50, Verona 116, Madison East 131, Madison Memorial 149, Baraboo 151, DeForest 169, Sauk Prairie 185, Stoughton 217, Waunakee 225, Oregon 286, Reedsburg 347.

Top 10 individuals: 1, Easton, Mid, 16:06; 2, Jaeger, Mid, 16:10; 3, Madoch, Mid, 16:22; 4, Letcher, MW, 16:28; 5, Loetscher, ME, 16:29; 6, Jacobs, MW, 16:30; 7, Barger, V, 16:30; 8, Burgener, D, 16:32; 9, Foster, MM, 16:35; 10, Neunninghoff, MW, 16:36.

Individual state qualifiers: 5, Loetscher, ME, 16:29; 7, Barger, V, 16:30; 8, Burgener, D, 16:32; 9, Foster, MM, 16:35; 11, Haas, Sauk, 16:38.

Baraboo — 22, Exo 17:23; 26, Lane 17:34; 29, Patten 17:38; 33, Taber 17:44; 41, Swallen 18:09. Reedsburg — 56, Harsch 18:25; 60, Becker 18:31; 73, Stelling 18:54; 78, Hale 19:37; 80, Brunner 20:22. Sauk Prairie — 11, Haas 16:38; 19, Desroches 17:17; 31, Herbrand 17:41; 55, Vande Hey 18:25; 69, Holloway 18:50.

GIRLS

Team scores: Madison West 58, Stoughton 61, Middleton 78, Verona 117, Madison Memorial 137, DeForest 183, Oregon 186, Waunakee 206, Madison East 210, Reedsburg 219, Baraboo 319, Sauk Prairie 334.

Top 10 individuals: 1, Hoopes, Wau, 19:02; 2, Hacker, MW, 19:30; 3, Bowman, MW, 19:40; 4, Jenny, St, 19:48; 5, Wozniak, St, 19:59; 6, Peterson, MM, 20:02; 7, Ross, St, 20:05; 8, Pletta, V, 20:08; 9, Schwartz, Mid, 20:19; 10, Patterson, Mid, 20:19.

Individual state qualifiers: 1, Hoopes, Wau, 19:02; 6, Peterson, MM, 20:02; 8, Pletta, V, 20:08; 9, Schwartz, Mid, 20:19; 10, Patterson, Mid, 20:19.

Baraboo — 49, Krayer 21:59; 50, Stewart 22:03; 70, Dubray 23:01; 73, Kingcade 23:13; 77, Urben 23:27. Reedsburg —11, Koenecke 20:21; 33, Fry 21:20; 38, Moon 21:37; 62, McBride 22:35; 75, Greenwood 23:26. Sauk Prairie — 53, Harter 22:14; 64, Schneller 22:50; 65, Herbrand 22:52; 71, R. Breunig 23:01; 81, Bierstaker 24:04.

At Windsor Sports Complex, 5,000 meters

Follow Brock Fritz on Twitter @BrockFritz

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