The Baraboo prep cross country teams ran alongside a new group of opponents at Thursday’s Wisconsin Lutheran Invitational in Milwaukee.
The Baraboo girls took eighth out of 19 teams in a stacked field, scoring 212 points to finish behind Milwaukee Divine Savior Holy Angels (59), Verona (115), Milwaukee King (154), Menomonee Falls (165), Hartland Arrowhead (172), Badger (198) and Wauwatosa East (204).
“Girls had their best meet of the season,” Baraboo girls coach Julie Faylona said. “Our top four were under 22 minutes.”
Seniors Molly Stewart and Cece Oettinger both set personal records in their final regular-season high school meet. Stewart led the Thunderbirds, finishing the 5,000-meter race in 20 minutes, 44 seconds to place 18th out of 139 runners. Oettinger used a time of 21:34.8 to take 46th.
“I was so proud of our seniors Molly and Cece,” Faylona said. “Cece’s last PR was set when she was a freshman, so this was quite a feat. Molly has turned it on all season long, and this race really is a confidence booster for her.”
Freshman Haylie Weyh was the second T-Bird to finish, using a personal-best time of 20:50.5 to take 21st. Junior Venna Krayer finished 36th in 21:17.9.
“It really helps us out to have two runners consistently running in the 20s,” Faylona said. “Venna was third and is back to racing where she should be. I set the goal for her to break 21:30, and she shattered it with a 21:17. I am so happy that she is where she needs to be now right before conference.”
Junior Aria Schindler came up from junior varsity to run in Baraboo’s fifth spot, placing 96th in 22:43.3.
“She totally stepped it up,” Faylona said of Schindler.
Divine Savior Holy Angels junior Sophie Scopp won the race in 18:47.7.
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Thursday was the final prep for the the Badger North Conference meet, which will be held Oct. 19 at Windsor Sports Complex in DeForest.
“This meet serves as a great springboard into the conference meet,” Faylona said. “We will have Marie (Fadeyeva) back to add to the varsity lineup. ... So if the varsity eight can race like they did today, we should place pretty well for ourselves next weekend.”
The Baraboo boys scored 335 points to place 15th at Wisconsin Lutheran. Verona won with 62 points.
“We had out top five under 18:30 and our top two in the 17s, which was great to see,” Baraboo boys coach Jacob Boll said. “I’m very proud of our boys’ performance and am looking forward to next week’s conference championship.”
Baraboo senior Garrett Exo crossed the finish line in 17:07.0 to take 23rd out of 150 runners, while senior Alec Schmelzer took 61st in 17:49.9.
“Garrett Exo had a top-25 performance to earn a medal and his senior teammate, Alec Schmelzer, had a great move in the last 800 to get his best time under 18 minutes,” Boll said.
Junior Max Statz (18:12.1) followed in 82nd place, while junior Cortney Dunnett (18:14.4) took 86th and freshman Derek Gehin (18:27.8) took 92nd.
“Gehin is making a great impact and ran down some guys in the finish chute to cap off a nice race,” Boll said.
West Allis Hale junior Joshua Truchon won in 15:41.4.