Improved Lady Hawks race to title at Owl Invite; Grafton takes 3rd in boys’ field
A season of steady improvement carried the Grafton girls’ cross-country team to the top at the Owl Invitational in Slinger on Sept. 29.POSING WITH THEIR championship trophy at the Owl Invitational in Slinger were members of the Grafton girls’ cross-country team — from left, Rachel Ruona, Katie Boehm, Jamie Karrels, Amber Ducheny, Megan Pawlak and Catherine Lundgren. Photo by Carla Karrels
After turning in strong finishes at several earlier meets, the Black Hawks led the pack this time with an impressive showing in which all five of their scoring runners placed in the top 10 of the Division 1 field.
Amber Ducheny set the pace for Grafton, whose 33 points were 11 fewer than runner-up Slinger in an eight-team field. The junior had a second-place time of 16 minutes, 1.47 seconds on a rain-soaked, 4,000-meter course, trailing only Slinger’s Taylor Clyse (14:53.04) among 57 runners.
The Hawks’ other scoring efforts came from Jamie Karrels in fourth (16:30.23), Katie Boehm in eighth (16:52.16), Rachel Ruona in ninth (16:52.66) and Megan Pawlak in 10th (16:53.1).
Grafton’s other runner was Catherine Lundgren, who placed 23rd (17:56.93).
“The conditions were wet and soggy, but the girls ran very well,” Grafton coach Kevin Kriegel said.
“We went into the meet thinking we had a chance to beat Slinger, but we didn’t expect to have that kind of a score.”
Pack running helped give the Hawks the edge, particularly among their third through fifth runners, Kriegel noted.
Grafton also got a solid showing in the boys’ portion of the meet, placing third out of seven Division 1 teams.
Running with a complete lineup for the first time this season, the Hawks scored 77 points and trailed only champion Waupun (40) and Slinger (50).
Sophomore Patrick Tobianski led Grafton with a 5,000-meter time of 18:07.9, good for sixth out of 56 runners.
Also for the Hawks, Jacob Woolf finished seventh (18:08.34), followed by Steven Duarte in 18th (19:011.1), Adam Kahmann in 21st (19:15.21) and Connor Amundson in 21st (19:29.06).
Kriegel said the boys were excited to field a full team after having Tobianski and Woolf as their only runners most of the season.
“They did pretty well. Anytime you can put a full team out there, it’s got to give you a lift,” he said.
The winner of the boys’ race was Mayville’s B.J.Ropel (17:24.88).
Warriors trail with partial lineups
The Ozaukee cross-country teams were unable to field full lineups for the Division 2 girls’ and boys’ portions of the Owl Invitational.
The Warriors had two girls participate — Jessika Dieringer, whose 17:34.57 time was good for 12th out of 62 runners, and Jessica Wengel, who was 57th (24:37.21).
For the Ozaukee boys, Doug Grimm placed 10th (19:28.6), and Ian Hughes was 23rd (20:34.84) out of 61 runners.
This Saturday, the Warriors will run at the Port Washington Invitational in Tendick Park in Saukville at 4 p.m.
Grafton’s next outing will be the North Shore Conference meet Saturday, Oct. 15, also at Tendick Park.
Rockets finish mid-pack at county meet
The Cedar Grove-Belgium cross-country teams ran like wolves at the Sheboygan County meet on Sept. 27 — and got middle-of-the-pack finishes for their efforts.
Just a few days after participating in the Griak Invitational in Minnesota, the Rockets weren’t prepared to go all out, according to coach Les Paul.
“It fell at a odd time in our training to do the (county) meet, so the entire group was able to back off and not race hard, but rather do a little pack running,” he said.
The Cedar Grove-Belgium girls finished fifth out of 10 teams with 118 points. Plymouth was first with 56 points.
Kiera Depies led the Rockets with a fifth-place time of 16:17 for 4,000 meters. The team’s other scoring finishes were Molly Ison in 10th (16:55), Lily Paul in 19th
(17:16), Tammi Del Ponte in 41st (18:05) and Jericho Duenk in 43rd (18:06).
In the boys’ portion of the meet, the Rockets were sixth of nine teams with 159 points. Sheboygan North won with 32 points.
Cedar Grove-Belgium was led by Alex Holle, who took 15th with a 5,000-meter time of 18:19. Also for the Rockets, Brandon Krauska was 21st (18:28), followed by Michael Merritt in 25th (18:43), Zach Johnson in 48th (20:52) and Derek Arndt in 50th (21:07).
Cedric Bals was right behind in 51st (21:12).
This Thursday, Cedar Grove-Belgium will participate in the Port Washington Invitational.