Port boys make most of their chances in racing to 2nd at annual invitational; Holle shines for CG-Belgium
The Port Washington boys’ cross-country team picked a dandy time to turn in one of its best performances of the season last week.MEMBERS OF THE Port Washington girls’ cross-country team broke from the starting line during the annual Port Invitational at Tendick Park in Saukville. The host Pirates finished second in the boys’ portion of the meet and eighth in the girls’ competition. Photo by Sam Arendt
Led by junior Jason Marhal, the Pirates raced to second place in their annual home meet, the Port Invitational, at Tendick Park in Saukville on Oct. 6.
Marhal completed the 5,000-meter course in 17 minutes, 5 seconds, good for fourth in a field of 98 runners.
The Pirates, whose 93 points trailed only Brookfield East’s 39, also received a 13th-place finish by Jack Skelton-Miller (17:39), 21st by Eagan Norman (17:53), 27th by Billy Ernest (18:09) and 28th by Joe Bortolotti (18:11).
Port’s other runners were Taylor Godersky (34th in 18:22) and Jacob Schowalter (38th in 18:32).
“It went pretty well,” Port boys’ coach Mark Pasten said. “We knew Brookfield East was that good and that we probably couldn’t beat them, so we were happy with second place.”
Pasten was happy to have all his scoring runners in the top 30, singling out Skelton-Miller and Norman for strong efforts.
The Pirates finished well ahead of third-place Appleton East (112 points). Rounding out the team standings were West Bend West (138), Slinger (146), Cedarburg (163), New Berlin Eisenhower (180), Cedar Grove-Belgium (207), Hartford (211), Plymouth (241), Menomonee Falls (273), Eastbrook Academy (286), Cudahy/St. Francis (327) and West Bend East (383).
Despite finishing in the middle of the pack, Cedar Grove-Belgium had one of the meet’s top individual performances. Senior Alex Holle led the Rockets with a third-place time of 17:00.59, trailing only champion Brad Johnson of Brookfield East (16:30) and runner-up Aaron Isbell of Cedarburg (16:52).
“Alex continues to have a tremendous season,” Rockets coach Les Paul said.
“He ran comfortable and placed strong against a lot of Division 1 schools and is preparing for a strong effort at the end of the year.”
Also for Cedar Grove-Belgium, Michael Merritt and Brandon Krauska placed 25th and 26th, respectively (both at 18:04), followed by Derek Arndt in 76th (20:20) and Zach Johnson in 77th (20:22). Cedric Bals was 83rd (20:33).
“The entire boys’ team raced well against numerous Division 1 and 2 schools,” Paul said.
The Ozaukee boys’ lone runner in the meet was junior Ian Hughes, who placed 80th (20:18).
Rockets lead local girls
Slinger dominated the girls’ portion of the meet with an 81-point effort that was well ahead of runner-up Appleton East (124) and third-place Plymouth (134).
Cedar Grove-Belgium set the pace for local squads with a fourth-place finish (135). Rounding out the standings were West Bend West (140), Menomonee Falls (143), New Berlin Eisenhower (173), Port (202), Germantown (213), Hartford (253), Catholic Memorial (287), Whitefish Bay (291), West Bend East (307), Cedarburg (337), Cudahy/St. Francis (428) and Ozaukee (465).
Slinger’s Taylor Clyse was the individual champion with a 4,000-meter time of 14:30. Haley Johnson of Plymouth placed second (14:37).
Cedar Grove-Belgium was led by senior Kiera Depies’ eighth-place finish (15:46). Also for the Rockets, Molly Ison took 17th (16:14), followed by Lily Paul in 31st (16:45), Tammi Del Ponte in 33rd (16:46) and Jericho Duenk in 46th (17:04). Chloe Paul was 73rd (18:02) and Jaden Trowell was 89th (18:35).
“Kiera raced well, getting a well-deserved medals spot and is planning her efforts for the year end,” coach Paul said.
Port’s fastest runner was junior Bianca Benkley, who placed 14th (16:06). The Pirates’ other scoring efforts came from Bonnie Allen in 26th (16:36), Abby Kotecki in 32nd (16:45), Maggie Kotecki in 63rd (17:36) and Brianna Ahner in 67th (17:43).
Also for the Pirates, Brenna Russell was 70th (17:47) and Anna Bartlein was 91st (18:39).
“It was a middle-of-the-pack finish for us, nothing outstanding,” Port girls’ coach Joe Adamak said.
“Our four, five and six runners kind of fell off, which was the difference between us the teams ahead of us.”
Adamak singled out the Kotecki sisters for solid performances.
“I think Abby ran her best time, and Maggie had a very strong run coming off an ankle injury,” he said.
Ozaukee got a 48th-place finish from freshman Jessika Dieringer (17:10), but the rest of the Warriors were near the end of a 114-runner field. Brianna Leitzke was 102nd (21:34), followed by Devin Fowler (22:50), Jessica Wengel (23:14) and Carissa Conine in 106th (23:36).
“The varsity team remained consistent with their running times but faced off against strict competition from schools in higher divisions,” Ozaukee coach Gregory Mielke said.
This Thursday, Cedar Grove-Belgium and Ozaukee will participate in the Central Lakeshore Conference meet at 4 p.m. Thursday at Sheboygan Lutheran High School.
On Saturday, the Port teams will return to Tendick Park to host the North Shore Conference meet. Competition begins with the junior-varsity girls’ race at 10 a.m., followed by the JV boys at 10:35 a.m., varsity girls at 11:10 a.m. and varsity boys at 11:45 a.m.
Among varsity teams, the Homestead boys and Whitefish Bay girls are the title favorites.