UNION CENTER — During his high school cross country career, New Lisbon’s Owen Jones has been a mainstay in the top five at the conference meet. His junior year was no different.
Jones placed second overall in the boys’ race at the 2019 Scenic Bluffs Conference Meet Thursday, October 17 at Spring Valley Golf Course in Union Center.
As a freshman in 2017, Jones placed third at the conference meet. He followed that up with a second-place showing last year as a sophomore.
For a second straight year, Jones came in second behind Cashton junior Jarret Carpenter, who posted a winning time of 16 minutes, 56.6 seconds. Jones finished in 17 minutes, 10.1 seconds.
“I feel like I ran pretty well. I got out pretty well and stuck with (Carpenter),” Jones said. “The game plan was to kick the last half-mile. I guess that was his game plan too, so it just came down to who had the strongest last half-mile. Unfortunately, that wasn’t me today.”
After Carpenter and Jones, Cashton junior Carson Hayes (17:47.4) placed third, Bangor senior Carlyle Lyga (17:55.2) came in fourth and Necedah junior Isaiah Herried (17:59.9) followed in fifth place.
Herried didn’t feel like he necessarily had his A-game Thursday afternoon, but he was still pleased with his overall performance that landed him in the top five.
“I think I ran well,” Herried said. “I felt tired in warmups, so I gave my best effort.”
Bangor freshman Gavin Benzing (18:15.1) followed Herried in sixth, Hillsboro junior Matthew Mondesir (18:19.2) took seventh, Brookwood freshman Dylan Powell (18:21.1) came in eighth, Brookwood sophomore Charly Guzman (18:24.8) was ninth and New Lisbon senior Eugene Taylor (18:30.8) rounded out the all-conference honorees in 10th.
In addition to Jones and Taylor, New Lisbon freshman Keagan Shankle (18:54.7) placed 15th, senior Colten Stickney (19:17.5) was behind him in 16th and senior Ethan Baldwin (19:44.4) finished in 20th.
Sophomores Ethan Dvorak (20:25.4) and Devan Minard (21:00.3) also competed at the meet for the Rockets.
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Outside of Herried for Necedah, sophomore Ethan David (20:00.4) placed 22nd, junior Andrew McNally (20:27.4) took 26th, freshman Ben King (21:45.2) came in 35th and sophomore Dominik Bottensek (24:07.5) was 41st. Senior Seth David (24:37.7) and freshman Carson Wilhorn (28:45.7) also ran for the Cardinals.
Royall freshman Levi Lamb (23:11.3) and senior Harvey Leverenz (23:12.8) finished in 39th and 40th, respectively.
The battle for the boys’ team conference championship came right down to the wire with three teams bunched tightly together in the final standings.
Brookwood brought home the conference crown with 59 team points. Cashton was a single point behind in second with 60 and New Lisbon was right behind them in third at 63. Bangor (84) took fourth, Hillsboro (105) came in fifth and Necedah (127) was sixth.
In the girls’ race, Necedah junior Anetha Vogele posted a time of 22 minutes, 30.8 seconds to place seventh overall.
Brookwood senior Shelly Powell captured the individual crown with a winning time of 20 minutes, 35.2 seconds. Hillsboro senior Hannah Munson (20:54.0) came in second followed by a pair of Brookwood runners in third and fourth: freshman Katie Gruen (21:14.9) and sophomore Kimberlee Downing (21:57.7).
Cashton senior Gracey Mlsna (22:11.7) placed fifth, Cashton junior Izzi Mason (22:18.5) followed her teammate in sixth, Vogele was seventh, Hillsboro junior Megan Salisbury (22:30.9) was one-tenth of a second behind Vogele in eighth, Cashton senior Emma Gronemus (22:40.5) took ninth and Hillsboro senior Mia Brown (22:40.9) finished in 10th.
Outside of Vogele, Necedah senior Sheridan Reichel (27:25.3) placed 25th, senior Julia Klafka (29:34.2) took 27th, sophomore Faustina Wicka (29:38.1) was right behind her in 28th and senior Gabby Wilhorn (30:46.4) followed in 29th.
Sophomore Anna Zavala (31:07.4) also ran for the Cardinals. New Lisbon freshman Megan Jones (23:48.7) came in 18th overall in the race.
Brookwood made it a clean sweep in conference titles on the day by coming in first on the girls’ side as well with 33 points. Cashton (45) followed in second, Hillsboro (59) was third and Necedah (104) rounded things out in fourth.
Up next for the Scenic Bluffs schools is the Division 3 Westby sectional meet Saturday, October 26 at Westby High School. The girls’ race will get underway at 12:15 p.m. with the boys’ race to follow at 1 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.