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Sauk boys 4th at Blackhawk


September 13, 2018

Conditions couldn’t have been much better for the 41st annual Blackhawk Invitational hosted by River Valley last Saturday, and the Sauk Prairie boys’ and girls’ cross country teams took advantage to record 16 personal-best performances.

Running in the Large Schools’ Division, Sauk Prairie’s boys placed fourth out of 18 teams, while the Eagles’ girls were 11th out of 15 teams competing at the Spring Green Municipal Golf Course.

“The course was in really good shape,” Sauk Prairie coach Andy Sherman said. “No problems from any of the recent rains. It might have been a bit softer than it has been in the past, but the Spring Green course was in terrific shape and ready for all of the athletes competing.”

The Madison La Follette boys repeated as Large Schools champion placing three runners in the top 10 to finish with 47 points. McFarland was second with 84 points. Third-place DeForest (113 points) was led by individual champion Jacob Burgener, who covered the 5,000-meter course in 16 minutes, 27 seconds.

Sauk Prairie (126), which improved from its seventh-place finish of a year ago, and Monroe (142) rounded out the top five.

“The whole boys team just keeps getting stronger and learning from each and every opportunity,” Sherman said. “Having that type of mentality and inner competition is only going to make them better.”

The Eagles’ boys placed three runners in the top-21 led by junior Hudson Haas, who finished in 17:01 to place eighth. Juniors Noah Wankerl (17:26) and Camden Desroches (17:39) placed 17th and 21st, respectively, for Sauk Prairie.

Sophomore Sam Beattie continued his strong season finishing 38th in 18:42, while junior Casey Vande Hey was close behind with another solid showing in taking 42nd in 18:44 to close out the Eagles’ scoring.

Senior co-captain Tristan Blechinger was 49th in 18:53, and freshman Richie Wolff was 55th in 18:57 to round out Sauk Prairie’s varsity lineup.

“Our top runners are very good,” Sherman said. “They were able to be very competitive within a very strong field.

“We have 10 guys who are pushing each other each and every practice to keep improving and to fight for those varsity spots. On any day, any one of them could have a great race and move up our ranks.”

In the girls’ race, Wisconsin Dells placed three runners in the top-10 to win the 15-team Large Schools’ Division with 65 points. Mount Horeb (104), Milton (108), McFarland (150) and Dodgeville/Mineral Point (164) rounded out the top five.

Kayci Martensen of Southwestern/Cuba City was the individual champion, covering the 5,000-meter course in 18:28.

Sauk Prairie finished 11th with 289 points. The Eagles were again led by the stellar freshman duo of Trinity Doerre and Kassia Marquardt.

Doerre paced the Eagles, finishing 12th in 21:23, while Marquardt was 35th in the team scoring and 37th overall in 22:33.

Sherman said Doerre and Marquardt continue to shine for the youthful squad, which returned no one from last year’s varsity lineup that competed at the Blackhawk invitational.

“Trinity and Kassia are adjusting terrifically,” Sherman said. “It’s not easy to make the jump from middle school races to varsity in that short of a period, but they are both doing great. They are helping to lead the girls’ team in the races and the rest of our team is following their lead when it comes to practices.”

Also, counting in the scoring for the Sauk Prairie girls’ team were: sophomore Emily Herbrand, who was 71st in scoring and 73rd overall in 23:31; freshman Meadow Liedtke, who was 84th in scoring and 86th overall in 24:03; and sophomore Briar Lohr, who was 87th in scoring and 89th overall in 24:09.

Senior co-captain Bethany Johnson placed 100th in 24:25, and sophomore Cassie Radl was 104th in 24:48 to round out the Eagles’ new-look varsity squad.

“The improvements in the girls team in just a few races is great and they are still learning,” Sherman said. “It is great to see.”

Sherman said the Eagles’ boys’ and girls’ programs, which included junior varsity competition, ran extremely well in just their third meet of the season.

“We had 16 new personal-records and 12 others who ran faster than they did on the same course, last year,” Sherman said. “Both teams continue to improve and are making great progress toward the championship phase of our season.” 

• On deck: After competing at the Badger Challenge on Tuesday, Sauk Prairie will concentrate on training until resuming action at the Baraboo Invitational on Sept. 18 at 4:30 p.m.

Sept. 8

Blackhawk Invitational

Large Schools


Team scores: Madison La Follette 47, McFarland 84, DeForest 113, Sauk Prairie 126, Monroe 142, Dodgeville/Mineral Point 143, Mount Horeb 177, Holmen 203, Baraboo 211, Milton 226, Wisconsin Dells 256, Mauston 327, Lodi 373, Reedsburg 423, River Valley 436, Southwestern/Cuba City 471, Waunakee 479, Richland Center/Ithaca 537.

Top 10 finishers: 1, Jacob Burgener, DF, 16:27; 2, Andrew Pahnke, McF, 16:30; 3, Chris Wolfe, MLF, 16:48; 4, Henry Keith, D/MP, 16:53; 5, Eli Kemna, McF, 16:53; 6, Nick Hellrood, MLF, 16:55; 7, Patrick Fasick, McF, 17:00; 8, Hudson Haas, SP, 17:01; 9, Alex Grabowski, DF, 17:01; 10, Karl Olson, MLF, 17:05.

Sauk Prairie finishers: 8, Hudson Haas, 17:01; 17, Noah Wankerl, 17:26; 21, Camden Desroches, 17:39; 38, Sam Beattie, 18:42; 42, Casey Vande Hey, 18:44; 49, Tristan Blechinger, 18:53; 55, Richie Wolff, 18:57.


Team scores: Wisconsin Dells 65, Mount Horeb, 104, Milton 108, McFarland 150, Dodgeville/Mineral Point 164, Lodi 178, Waunakee 208, DeForest 225, Baraboo 274, Mauston 274, Sauk Prairie 289, Holmen 312, River Valley 320, Madison La Follette 324, Southwestern/Cuba City 389,

Top 10 finishers: 1, Kayci Martensen, SW/CC, 18:28; 2, Laura Beghin, WD, 19:50; 3, Journey Malacina, Ma., 20:30; 4, Mara Talabec, Mi., 20:34; 5, Isabelle Clary, L, 20:34; 6, Hailey Anchor, WD, 20:39; 7, Anna Ollendick, MH, 21:01; 8, Jacqueline Lacen, R, 21:12; 9, Lindsay Cunningham, WD, 21:14; 10, Lindsay Johnston, D/MP, 21:14.

Sauk Prairie finishers (scoring/overall): 12/12, Trinity Doerre, 21:23; 35/37, Kassia Marquardt, 22:33; 71/73, Emily Herbrand, 23:31; 84/86 Meadow Liedtke, 24:03; 87/89, Briar Lohr, 24:09; 98/100, Bethany Johnson, 24:25; 101/104, Cassie Radl, 24:48.


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