POYNETTE — Thursday was a good day to be a Puma, as Poynette’s boys and girls cross country teams both finished in first place in the small schools division at their hometown Poynette Invitational held at Shepherd’s Meadow Golf Course.
Not only did Poynette’s teams sweep the small schools divisions, but they also had runners win individual titles in the division, as senior Elias Ritzke won the boys race, following junior Katelyn Chadwick’s victory in the girls race.
Ritzke won the 5,000-meter race with a time of 17 minutes, 46 seconds, leading the Pumas to the small school team title with 25 points. Marshall finished second with 45 points.
Ritzke was one of five Poynette runners to finish in the top 10 in the small schools division, trailed by sophomores Tucker Johnson, Trent Sickenberger, Trent Chadwick and Austin Kruger. Johnson finished third in 19:08, followed by Sickenberger in fourth in 19:20, Chadwick in seventh in 19:53 and Kruger in 10th in 20:14.
Pardeeville finished third in the small school boys division with 83 points. Sophomore Nathan Brant finished second in 18:45 to lead the Bulldogs, while freshman Erik Brouette was 12th in 20:19 followed by junior Spencer Smith, who finished 18th in 21:15.
The Rio/Fall River boys finished fifth in the small school division with 126 points. The top finisher for the Rebels was freshman Josh Dietzenbach, who was 19th in 21:10. Not far behind were teammates Isaac Severson in 20th (21:25) and Todd Bateson in 23rd (21:26).
In the boys large school division, the best finish from a local team was Lodi in fourth place with 128 points. Sophomore Parker Heintz led the Blue Devils in 14th place with a time of 18:59.
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The Portage boys finished seventh in the large school division with 170 points. Sophomore Jeremy Saloun had the Warriors’ best showing, taking 16th in 19:11. Junior Levi Wood was next to finish for Portage, doing so in 28th in 20:01. He was followed by sophomore teammate Jacob Goldthorpe, who was 30th in 20:12.
The Poynette girls’ small school championship came by 20 points over runner-up Marshall (42-62). Chadwick won the race with a time of 20:23, beating Waterloo’s Christ Forman by 15 seconds.
Also earning a top-10 finish for the Pumas in the race was senior Abbey Marquardt, who was seventh in 22:19, and freshman Felicia Ritzke, who finished ninth in 23:11.
The Pardeeville girls finished in sixth place in the small school division with 137 points. Freshman Raelyn Guenther led the Bulldogs, finishing 16th in 25:28. Other top finishes for the Pardeeville girls included senior Callie Brouette in 23rd place (26:07) and senior Addisyn Guenther in 26th (26:40).
Rio/Fall River finished seventh in the small school girls division with 152 points. Freshman Riley Landsverk led the way, finishing 21st in 26:02.
The Portage girls finished in fifth place in the large school girls division with 150 points. Sophomore Macy Goldthorpe was the top Warrior, finishing 14th in 22:47. Juniors Aubrey Rietmann, Jamie Shaver and Abbie Shaver were the next to finish for Portage. Rietmann was 30th in 23:44, while Jamie Shaver finished 33rd (23:57) followed by Abbie Shaver in 35th (23:59).
The Lodi girls finished in sixth place with 159 points. Junior Lauryn Milne was ninth in 22:23, while sophomore Norah Lee was 16th in 22:55.