A strong, well-rounded effort yielded a pair of third-place finishes for the Golden Eagles at the conference meet.
Mauston placed third overall in both the boys’ and girls’ team standings at the 2019 South Central Conference Meet Saturday, October 19 in Wisconsin Dells.
Their best result of the day in either race came on the boys’ side courtesy of freshman Eli Boppart, who placed third overall with a time of 18 minutes, 10.41 seconds. Wisconsin Dells senior Pablito Schultz posted a winning time of 17 minutes, 45.39 seconds to take home top individual honors. Wautoma senior Kordell Woyak (18:02.74) finished second overall.
Given that Boppart is just a freshman and the only two runners to finish ahead of him are both seniors, he seems extremely well positioned to contend for individual conference titles in the years ahead.
After Boppart was a trio of Wautoma runners: junior Aiden Doherty (18:16.51) in fourth, senior Lance Erdman (18:36.31) in fifth and junior Ashton Schwartzman (18:41.85) in sixth. Mauston senior Ray Gruman (18:44.31) placed seventh overall, Nekoosa/Port Edwards senior Derek Coates (19:06.00) followed in eighth and a pair of Wautoma seniors rounded out the top 10: Creedon Abraham (19:11.92) in ninth and Caleb Williams (19:14.95) in 10th.
Elsewhere for Mauston, junior Gabe Czlapinski (19:48.19) came in 14th, junior Nelson Brandt (20:50.23) was 23rd and junior John Luke (21:00.96) took 26th. Also running for the Golden Eagles was sophomore Tanner Harrison (21:13.30), sophomore Joe Hammer (21:31.44) and senior Jacob Muchenberger (21:36.81).
The Wautoma boys were downright dominant on their way to a team conference title, posting a score of just 26 points. Wisconsin Dells had a nice showing with 69 points and Mauston was right behind the Chiefs in third at 71 points. Nekoosa/Port Edwards (110) took fourth, Adams-Friendship (132) came in fifth and Westfield/Montello (138) was sixth.
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The Golden Eagles also had a stellar showing on the girls’ side with three runners finishing in the top 10: senior Journey Malacina (21:50.03) in fifth, senior Anna Boppart (22:58.23) in eighth and sophomore Autumn Drinkwine (23:14.08) in ninth.
Mauston sophomore Elle Horn (25:09.22) came in 22nd overall and junior Haley Heath (25:32.20) followed in 23rd. Freshman Emma Sewiers (25:47.46), junior Kennedy Barnier (26:30.60) and senior Keli Borem (26:49.54) all also ran for the Golden Eagles.
Much like the Wautoma boys, the Wisconsin Dells girls blew away the competition en route to a conference championship.
The Chiefs posted a winning score of 24 points on the girls’ side. Wautoma was second with 50 points and Mauston followed in third at 65 points. Westfield/Montello (132) came in fourth, Adams-Friendship (135) was right behind in fifth and Nekoosa/Port Edwards (145) finished in sixth.
A pair of Wisconsin Dells seniors occupied the top two spots on the podium. Laura Beghin (20:12.81) crossed the finished line first nearly a full minute ahead of teammate and second-place finisher Lindsay Cunningham (21:09.04).
Wautoma freshman Laney Havlovitz (21:23.94) followed in third, Wisconsin Dells sophomore Hailey Anchor (21:25.97) was right behind in fourth, Malacina took fifth, Wautoma freshman Madylyn Woyak (22:08.45) placed sixth, Wisconsin Dells junior Emily Cunningham (22:18.49) was seventh, Boppart came in eighth, Drinkwine finished in ninth and Wisconsin Dells freshman Tessa Ketelhut (23:25.96) rounded out the top 10.
Next up for the Golden Eagles is the Division 2 Colby sectional meet Saturday, October 26 at Colby High School. The girls’ race will start at 11:30 a.m. with the boys’ race following at 12:30 p.m.
State qualifiers move on to the 2019 WIAA Boys & Girls State Cross Country Championships Saturday, November 2 at Ridges Golf Course in Wisconsin Rapids.
Follow Zach Rastall on Twitter @zrastall17 or contact him at 608-697-7943.