Cross country: Jefferson girls, boys 2nd at P-E Invitational
PALMYRA — With so many returning runners between them, Jefferson and Lake Mills continue to be closely matched in girls cross country.
The top two teams at last year’s sectional were separated by just three points in the season opening Palmyra-Eagle Invitational held Thursday at Carlin-Weld County Park.
East Troy cruised to the girls title by 30 points with a winning score of 52. Jefferson edged Lake Mills for runner-up honors, 82 to 85.
“For the girls to come away with second place out of 13 teams was impressive, especially after losing three of our varsity runners from last year due to graduation,” Jefferson cross country coach Megan Carstens said.
Senior Mariah Linse, a three-time state qualifier and returning state medalist, won this race for the second time in three seasons, posting a 30-second victory over Waukesha South senior Taya Herrera in 19:58.
“Mariah ran a very smart, controlled race,” Carstens said. “She battled back and forth with the Waukesha South girl for over two miles. Then going up the last hill, her strength took over and she easily pulled away for the victory.”
The rest of the Eagles are all underclassmen.
Sophomores Makenzie Hottinger (eighth, 21:46), Nora Wichman (17th, 22:20) and Emily Hollenberger (24th, 22:52) and freshman Julia Ball (32nd, 23:39) completed the team scoring, while sophomore Ahna Kammer (36th, 24:14) and Ava Gallardo (39th, 24:22) were sixth and seventh on the team.
“Like the boys team, we have two freshmen that will make an instant impact,” Carstens said. “Julia Ball was our fifth and scoring runner today and Ava Gallardo was our seventh runner.
“It was nice to see improvements from last year’s times from Makenzie Hottinger, Nora Wichman, and Emily Hollenberger. Emily was coming off an injury last year, and is showing just how tough she is by taking over two minutes off her time from last year. The girls are focused and motivated to be successful this year.”
Lake Mills was led by sophomore Brooke Fair, who finished sixth in 21:23. Senior Stacie Dressel (15th, 21:59) and sophomores Lauren Winslow (16th, 22:18), Jade Pitta (21st, 22:32) and Reese Willie (27th, 23:16) completed the team scoring. Sophomore Ava Wollin (38th, 24:21) and freshman Meghann Christian (55th, 26:19) also competed.
East Troy made it a clean sweep by winning the boys race with 42 points.
Jefferson was second with 55, with the top five Eagles finishing in the top 20.
Seniors Ryan Nelson (fifth, 18:09), Alex Marin (sixth, 18:12) and Logan Dzielinski (10th, 18:37) led Jefferson, with sophomore Colton Drew (15th, 19:18) and junior Alexander Ellifson (19th, 19:29) also factoring in the scoring. Freshmen Mason Marin (22nd, 19:35) and Sawyer Thorp (26th, 19:51) each broke 20 minutes in impressive varsity debut races.
“The boys team competed hard in the first race of the season,” Carstens said. “Taking home a second place trophy was impressive in a meet of 11 teams. It’s a good feeling to have the first race under our belt and know what our competition will be like this year.
“I was very impressed with Logan Dzielinski, Colton Drew, and Alex Ellifson. They all ran over 20 seconds faster than they did last year at this meet. Mason Marin and Sawyer Thorp will be nice additions to our team as incoming freshmen. We are excited to see where the season takes us.”
The Lake Mills boys finished seventh with 209 points.
Seniors Ethan Lewellin (31st, 20:34) and Abe Flores (37th, 21:35), sophomore Sam Giombetti (46th, 22:34), senior Jesse Ritter (47th, 22:35) and sophomore Jaren Lawks (48th, 22:51) scored for the L-Cats.
Team scores — girls: East Troy 52, Jefferson 82, Lake Mills 85, Waukesha South 106, Waukesha North 108, Deerfield 157, Elkhorn 157, Clinton 164, Lomira 204, Parkview, Palmyra-Eagle, Big Foot, Delavan-Darien incomplete
Team scores — boys: East Troy 42, Jefferson 55, Deerfield 60, Elkhorn 70, Lomira 133, Palmyra-Eagle 176, Lake Mills 209, Big Foot 238, Parkview, Delavan-Darien and Clinton incomplete.