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Sauk Prairie's Boerger, Oregon's Vorontsov torch field at Badger West Conference meet
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PREP CROSS COUNTRY | BADGER WEST CONFERENCE MEET

Sauk Prairie's Boerger, Oregon's Vorontsov torch field at Badger West Conference meet

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WYOCENA — Jack Boerger has been on an absolute tear this season with six event wins and just one runner-up finish at last week’s Wisconsin Rapids Jim Newman Invite.

The Sauk Prairie junior continued his torrid pace on Saturday as he won the Badger West Conference meet going away, helping lead the Eagles to the team championship in the process at Wyona Park. Boerger broke 16 minutes for the second straight meet with a winning time of 15 minutes, 59.25 seconds, over 45 seconds ahead of Mt. Horeb’s Joe Stoddard.

Boerger was joined by teammate Dalton Zirbel (17:04.34) in the top-three while the Eagles’ overall depth registered 65 points to edge out the team title over runner-up Monroe (77). Close behind the Cheesemakers were Mt. Horeb (82) and Baraboo (89), while the host Warriors were fifth with 101 points. Reedsburg rounded out area teams by finishing eighth with 182.

Like all of his other wins this season, Boerger did so with time to spare. After getting to the front of the pack out of the chute, Boerger created plenty of space coming around the opening loop and never looked back.

While Boerger won comfortably as the only male runner under 16 minutes, with Stoddard the only other runner to break 17, it was a packed field behind the top two. Zirbel narrowly beat out Monroe’s Jared Batz (17:08.56) and Mt. Horeb’s Ray Woller (17:09.65), while 14 others broke the 18-minute mark.

Helping lead that charge was Reedsburg’s Caden Schneider as he finished seventh in 17:12.41. Trailing behind him was a trio of Baraboo runners as Daniel Yesipovich (17:31.59), Ethan Sefkar (17:40.50) and Connor Kleist (17:42.96) finished 10th, 11th and 12th.

Joining Boerger and Zirbel for the Eagles was Ritchie Wolff, who finished 14th in 17:47.25. Wolff pulled away from the Warriors’ top three runners, led by Jeremy Saloun.

The Portage senior crossed in 17:49.91 to take 16th as the team’s top finisher. Saloun finished narrowly ahead of teammates Mitchell Fimreite (17:57.18, 18th) and Joe Shaver (18:05.22, 20th).

Panthers prowl to girls title

There was no catching Oregon and Dasha Vorontsov in Saturday’s girls race as the Panthers tallied four top-nine finishers, led by Vorontsov’s individual win, to the team title with 35 points. All five of the Panthers runners finished in the top-15 to hold off a game Mt. Horeb squad, who also had five top-15 finishers en route to a runner-up 46 points.

Sauk Prairie led area teams with 100 points, while Baraboo was fifth (118) and both Portage and Reedsburg were incomplete without enough runners to qualify for the team race.

Like her male counterpart, Vorontsov left no doubt in the girls varsity race as she won finished 5,000-meter run over a minute ahead of runner-up Rhya Brandemuehl of Mt. Horeb. Vorontsov set the pace from the beginning after the opening loop at Wyona Park, had smoot sailing ahead and cross the finish line in 18:50.72.

It was plenty of cushion to top Brandemuehl (19:56.24), who held off Sauk Prairie’s Catherine Gregg (20:01.41). Outside of Gregg, the rest of the top-13 was occupied by Panthers, Vikings and Monroe runners before the Eagles’ Natalie Curtis crossed in 21:28.65 to finish in 14th.

The Warriors were led by Macy Goldthorpe as the senior finished just outside the top-15 by a matter of seconds. Goldthorpe crossed in 21:38.75, just behind Oregon’s Mari Ceaca-Villa (21:35.56).

Close behind Goldthorpe was Baraboo’s top trio of Julia School (21:44.34), Brooke Lawton (21:49.87) and Kadence Funmaker (21:55.00), which finished in 18th, 19th and 20th, respectively. The T-Birds threesome finished just ahead of Portage junior Greta Shortreed (21:58.43, 21st).

The Beavers meanwhile had just three runners and were led by the pair of Abby Voigt (23:03.28) and Payton Cunningham (23:29.18), who finished 37th and 44th, respectively.

With conference now in the books, the area teams will now turn their attention to next Saturday’s sectional meets. Portage will return to Wyona Park as it hosts a WIAA Division 2 sectional meet, while the T-Birds, Beavers and Eagles will travel to DeForest for a Div. 1 sectional at Linde Fields.

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