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October 17, 2019

Photo courtesy of Karen Guenther

NGM's Alexa Thayer leads a pack of CC runners at Baertschi.

Wisconsin is known for cheese, milk and a positive attitude. No matter the weather, we gleefully say "It could be worse!" By Wisconsin standards, Saturday morning is GREAT! Whereas last year the fudge-like mud sucked running shoes off our feet, and last Saturday the showers turned a park into a swamp, and last night the wind chill dropped into the 20's; this morning the ground is mostly dry and the cold air slowly warms under a bright sun.

The Baertschi Farm, just outside of Albany, has provided a training ground and now a venue for cross country meets for 40 years. How many teams are lucky enough to access well-groomed paths around and through fields, croplands and woods? The New Glarus-Monticello Varsity girls race first and exactly at 9:00 a.m., about two hundred start the challenging course by running up a hill, sliding around a crowded, muddy corner then flying downhill. This will be repeated four times before they've completed the 3.1 mile course. Annika Ziperski (22:37) and Tenley Faber (22:57) almost include Dayna Karls (23:09) in the 22 minute club. Molly Molencamp (23:57) and Whitney Disch (24:03) finish close together and with Alexa Thayer (27:39) closing the proverbial door on Monroe, Stoughton, Edgerton, Turner and Janesville Parker, for their mid-race finish.

The NGM boys varsity team needs to focus on Dodgeville/Mineral Point as they reside in our sectional. Today D/MP places two ahead of Adam Nelson (18:03) and one more in front of Joe Quaglia (18:16), Evan Guenther (18:21), Braylon Hoesly (18:27), Conor McCoy (18:31) and Ty Ready (18:37). We've brought home six and they've only scored three, but the distribution of other fast runners means we've scored 118 points. The three D/MPs only scored 25 points and we must hope the next two D/MP'ers add at least 94 points to their score. Too soon, #4 comes across in 35th place and #5 finishes in 49th. Unfortunately for us that totals 109, and we end up behind. We need to run a race with more people in front of their fourth and fifth fellows or place our top guys among their top three. For the record, we place fourth among 24 teams. Monona Grove and Stoughton take the trophies today.

As the air temperature rises it warms the reptilian part of the junior varsity brains and something strange happens. Jude Rice (19:04), Linden Lounsbury (19:14), Garrett Grossen (19:36), Brayden Ryan (19:46), Logan Blum (19:48) and Simon Blohowiak (19:59) run under twenty minutes and almost win the whole JV race. Yes, Monona Grove finds a way to finish ahead, but the NGM'ers place second of 17 big, medium and small teams.

By eleven o'clock the always-high-energy middle schoolers are wound-up like springs. Off they go with Lily Maynard in 4th and 108 girls behind. Emma Martinson, Lucy Melvin, Sophie Stecha, Ruthie Zuber, Camryn Arnett, Carlee Rodebaugh, June Lounsbury, Ella Skidmore, Steffi Dopp, Emma Mondloch, Elena Marunde, and Devi Duerst place fourth overall.

NGM's Breckyn Thompson chased the two Belleville boys, Carter and Bryce, all season. Once again they take off on the 1.5 mile course. 123 runners compete in this middle school race but they don't notice. It's a three horse race. Carter wins and Breckyn is five seconds behind Bryce. Tanner Gardner, Owen Runkle, Grayson Rodefeld, Dylan Baker and Michelangelo O'Brien put NGM MS'ers third among the young boys.

Next Saturday the cross country team runs at Shepherds Meadow Golf Course in Poynette for the Capitol Conference Championships. Temps in the 60's, 10mph winds and 20% chance of rain. It couldn't be much better!

 
 

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