Senior’s win in first meet underscores high hopes for Rockets in cross country; OHS rebuilds with new coach
With Kiera Depies leading the way, the Cedar Grove-Belgium girls’ cross-country team got off to a flying start last week.MEMBERS OF THIS season’s Cedar Grove-Belgium cross-country teams include (front row, from left) Tammi Del Ponte, Jaden Trowell, Lily Paul, Kelly Brochtrup, Jericho Deunk, Maria Schueller, (back row) coach Les Paul, Chloe Paul, Kiera Depies, Brandon Krauska, Derek Arndt, Michael Merritt, Alex Holle, Molly Ison and coach Sherry Schwabenlender. Photo by Sam Arendt
Depies, a senior, blew away the competition in a four-team home meet Aug. 25, winning the 4,000-meter race in 16 minutes, 21 seconds.
She finished more than a minute ahead of teammate Lily Paul, who was second in 17:31.
“Kiera looks ready to run well against anyone,” Cedar Grove-Belgium coach Les Paul said.
Depies, the Rockets’ lone senior, has finished 11th at the WIAA state meet the last two years and wants to move up.
“Last year, Kiera had a strong showing at the state meet, and she will be charging hard with a goal to be on the podium this year,” her coach said.
“There’s no doubt in my mind she can. She is a tough racer and if we have the right fitness, she will be right there.”
Cedar Grove-Belgium won the girls’ portion of the meet with 21 points. Brillion had 45 points, followed by Oostburg with 62 points and Eastbrook with an incomplete squad.
Among other Rockets, junior Tammi Del Ponte took fourth (17:47), sophomore Molly Ison was fifth (17:52) and freshman Jaden Trowell was ninth (18:08).
“The girls did well, with some very nice efforts by new members for the squad,” Paul said. “It’s a young and relatively inexperienced group.”
In the boys’ 5,000-meter race, senior Alex Holle led Cedar Grove-Belgium with a second-place time of 17:16, just behind Oostburg’s Sam Wensink (17:14).
“Alex had a strong race, and he and Wensink will likely battle all season long,” Paul said.
“Alex has had a great summer of training and should be a strong contender for a high finish in Wisconsin Rapids in October.”
The Cedar Grove-Belgium boys took second with 46 points, trailing Oostburg’s 40. Eastbook (59) and Brillion (65) rounded out the field.
Among other Rockets, Brandon Krauska finished fifth (18:42) and Michael Merritt was sixth (18:46). Zach Johnson took 13th (20:32), and Derek Arendt was 20th (23:20).
Overall, Paul said, both the boys’ and girls’ teams fared well.
“Just about everyone ran a new personal record, so our fitness is pretty good,” he said.
The Rocket girls should get a shot in the arm when junior Chloe Paul returns from an injury she sustained in a cycling accident.
Numbers are not a problem because the team has 10 runners.
“The balance of the girls (Maria Schueller, Jericho Duenk, Kelly Brochtrup and Kiran Seghal) should be posting faster times each week,” Paul said.
“This is a very strong team. It is going to be exciting if they can meet some very high expectations that we have set for ourselves.”
Numbers are an issue for the boys, who only have six runners. Joining Holle are returning letterwinners Krauska, a senior, and Merritt, a junior.
“Alex is certainly ready to make that push for state, and Brandon and Michael have not even tapped into their season-long goals for fast times,” Paul said.
“Zach Johnson has made remarkable improvement from last year, and freshman Derek Arndt is training well.”
The Rockets’ sixth runner is Cedric Bals, a foreign exchange student from Germany.
Both Cedar Grove-Belgium teams will next run at the Kiel Invitational on Thursday, Sept. 1.
Warriors try to rebuild with new coach
The Ozaukee cross-country season started with an incomplete effort at the Kettle Moraine Lutheran Invitational last Friday due to summer vacations and scheduling conflicts.
The Warriors have a new coach, Greg Mielke, who teaches English and creative writing at the school.
Freshman Jessika Dieringer paced the girls by finishing 23rd in 17:57.5. Mielke said qualifying for state is her goal.
“Jessika’s introductory run has set the bar for future successes, which she continues to train intensely for,” he said.
Senior Larissa Oliveira, an exchange student from Brazil, was 108th in 24:19.4.
Other team members include returning letterwinners Sara Crynock, Carissa Conine and Marissa Thill. Joining them are seniors Amanda Nordby and Sara Erdmann and sophomores Jessica Wengel, Brianna Lietzke and Devin Fowler.
“The team is energetic and eager to get the 2011 season under way. Several seniors have returned for their final season and are working toward beating last year’s times,” Mielke said.
In the boys’ race, senior Doug Grimm took 59th in 20:38.4. He is the only member of the Ozaukee boys’ team after leading the squad last year
“Doug looks to improve his standings by increasing his personal training goals,” Mielke said.
The Warriors’ next meet will be the Kiel Invitational on Thursday, Sept. 1.