Ozaukee closes with good runs

Boys’ team of six takes sixth in state; girls have best finish in school history; CG-Belgium runner impresses

OZAUKEE’S LADY RUNNERS (above left) took seventh at the Division 3 state meet last Saturday in Wisconsin Rapids. From left are Kelley Large, Ashlee Mueller, Sophie Uhlenberg, Jenna Schuller, Sarah Nehls, Grace Tinder and Ally Clark. The boys (bottom left) took sixth. They included (from left) Matt Baldwin, Sam Schubert, Calvin McKee, Hayden Rice, Riley Borchardt and Tyler Mueller. Below right is Cedar Grove-Belgium’s lone qualifier Faith Konzak. Above left photo courtesy of Amy Uhlenberg, above right courtesy of Andy McKee, bottom right by Sam Arendt
Ozaukee Press staff

The Ozaukee High School boys’ cross country team exceeded expectations this season.

The Warriors advanced to the state meet for the first time in 35 years and finished in the top half of the teams at Wisconsin Rapids in cold, snowy and windy conditions last Saturday.

Ozaukee scored 184 points to take sixth place of 16 teams, just 11 points behind fifth-place Pacelli in the Division 3 meet.

“For having only six runners on our roster and for them to take sixth place at the state meet is truly remarkable,” coach Andrew Pfeuffer said. “They worked hard all season and it paid off in the end with a great performance at the state meet. I couldn’t be more proud of how they responded all season.”

The top-five Warriors ran a tight race, with just 17 seconds separating the first and fifth-place finishers.

Matt Baldwin led the way by finishing the 5,000-meter course in 17 minutes, 54 seconds, a personal record by 26 seconds and good for 64th place (30th among runners on complete teams) of 149 runners.

Tyler Mueller was next in 72nd (36th) in 18:08, a PR by 28 seconds.

Sam Schubert was 73rd (37th) in 18:09. Calvin McKee was 76th (40th) in 18:12 and Hayden Rice was 77th (41st) in 18:12.

“Our boys team was the underdog all year and they went into the state meet with the attitude that they wanted to prove they belonged and could compete with anyone.  They did just that by improving from their state ranking spot of eighth place and moved up to sixth,” Pfeuffer said.

“This is an extremely scrappy group of runners that love to compete and see how far they could push their limits.”

Aquinas won with 68 points. Brillion scored 96. Kohler had 119 and Clear Lake had 168.

Sixth is nearly as high as the Warriors finished in their own conference — fourth. Kohler won the Big East. The two other teams that finished ahead of them in the Big East, Sheboygan Lutheran and Manitowoc Lutheran, didn’t make it to state.

The Warriors earned their trip to state by winning the Whitewater Sectional Oct. 26. They scored 59 points to win the 16-team meet, easily topping Kenosha Christian Life’s 86.

While the present is positive, the future looks even better. The Warriors return five of their six runners next season, with only Rice graduating.

Ozaukee girls make school history

Three personal records and one season best had the Warrior girls finish seventh of 16 teams “against an extremely talented field,” Pfeuffer said.

That is the best place in the program’s history. The previous best was 15th in the only other time the girls’ team advanced to state.

The Warriors scored 173 points.

Ashlee Mueller led the team by taking 56th (25th) of 149 runners in 21:09, a PR by 18 seconds. Kelley Large was right behind in 58th (27th) in 21:11. Sophie Uhlenberg was 64th (33rd) in 21:15, a PR by 28 seconds.

Sarah Nehls was 73rd (40th) in 21:34, a PR by 16 seconds and Jenna Schueller was 84th (48th) in 21:50, a season best by 13 seconds.

 Lourdes Academy won with 112 points. Gillett scored 126. Auburndale had 128, Oostburg and Lancaster each had 132 and Glenwood City had 133.

“We had such a solid group of girls this season from top to bottom that worked well together, pushed, and picked each other up all season long,” Pfeuffer said.

“They were a lot of fun to work with because they never settled in their workouts or races and they were always looking for more. From a coaching standpoint, that is all you can hope for in your athletes. I’m very proud of how they responded to adversity from just missing out on a state appearance last season and using that as fuel to making school history this season.”

The Warriors earned a trip to state by dominating the Whitewater Sectional on Oct. 26 with 44 points, well ahead of Burlington Catholic Central’s 86. All seven runners placed in the top 17.

The Warriors return four runners next season as Mueller, Nehls and Schueller graduate.

 Practicing as a group helped the Warriors come through in the clutch, Pfeuffer said.

“For the most part, our athletes practice all together with their packs and I think that’s why we are able to step up in big situations, because they have each other to work off of and rely on,” he said.

“Sometimes they are separated a little bit based on paces in practice but for the most part they are all very close to each other and it benefits them to work off of one another everyday.”

Konzak gains valuable experience at state

Cedar Grove-Belgium’s lone qualifier was a freshman who will use top competition to her advantage next season.

Faith Konzak finished 68th in 21:21.

“We didn’t necessarily talk about a time goal, but focused more on place and racing with some of the other individual qualifiers from her sectional,” coach Brandon Langer said. “We stressed all week about positioning during that first mile, as your position typically doesn’t change much after the first mile. You may move up or back about 10 spots, but that is about it. That is exactly how her race unfolded.”

She was 69th at the first mile mark and 70th at the second mile.

“I think she went out a bit too tentatively for the first mile, as she had gone out quicker (probably five to eight seconds) during her last couple of races. However, she did a very good job competing during the race, as she really had to focus on during the last mile, which can really take a toll on the runners if they go out too quick,” Langer said.

Racing alone in a big meet will help next season, he said.

“Next year, I expect her to use these experiences to push her to faster times and run consistently in the 19 to 20-minute range. I know she has the ability and with a year of racing under her belt, she is in a great position to do so,” Langer said.

Correction: Matt Baldwin’s time at the sectional race was 18:40, good for 19th place. The time was inaccurate in last week’s edition.



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Ozaukee Press

Wisconsin’s largest paid circulation community weekly newspaper. Serving Port Washington, Saukville, Grafton, Fredonia, Belgium, as well as Ozaukee County government. Locally owned and printed in Port Washington, Wisconsin.

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