Cross country teams shine at Midwest Invite

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MTT News's picture
Rob Reischel
Gus Newcomb (right) and Middleton's boys cross country team finished third at last Saturday's power-packed Midwest Invite./Times-Tribune photo by Mary Langenfeld

Middleton’s boys and girls cross country teams have been models of consistency for years now.

They’ve been dominant forces in the Big Eight Conference. They’ve shined in the postseason and been staples at the state meet.

But the 2014 Cardinals might be poised for their greatest levels of success in quite some time. Last Saturday’s star-studded Midwest Invitational seems to be proof of that.

In the premier cross country event of the year, both of Middleton’s teams put on a show.

The Cardinals’ girls were second out of 30 teams, while Middleton’s boys were third out 37 teams. As good as Middleton’s programs have been, neither gender had cracked the top-three at this event since at least 2008.

“Finishing second and third at this meet is a huge deal,” Middleton co-coach Isaac Mezera said.

That’s for sure.

Middleton’s girls finished fourth at state the last two years, but hadn’t been higher than fourth at the Midwest Invite in that time. But the Cardinals changed that this year.

Dodgeville-Mineral Point won the meet with 125 points, while the Cardinals were a close second at 132. Madison West was third (133), while Wisconsin Lutheran (159) and Arrowhead (186) rounded out the top five.

“This was their dress rehearsal for the upcoming big meets such as conference and sectionals,” Middleton co-coach Cindy Bremser said. “This meet has always been a measuring stick for our season.”

If that’s the case, good things are on the horizon.

Middleton’s Bobbi Patrick finished 11th overall in 19:41, while Rachel Wians was 15th (19:53). Sam Valentine was 16th (19:56), Kallie Stafford was 32nd (20:32) and Jennifer Phillips was 58th (21:08).

“Our top girls got out fast which allowed them to avoid the large groupings of other runners,” Bremser said. “I feel this was a very successful outing filled with valuable experience. 

“Right now I feel all the girls are measuring up. They work so hard, support each other and have a contagious positive attitude. Those three things will continue to see our team improve.”

Jenny Mangas also won the JV race (20:38) with a time that would have allowed the Cardinals to win the varsity title had she been up a level.

“She has been working very hard in practice and finally is running the times she has been working toward,” Bremser said of Mangas. “Her time would have made a difference in the outcome of the varsity race.”

Middleton’s boys also had a memorable day.

The Cardinals were 11th at this event last year, and still qualified for state. This time, Middleton had impressive performances up and down the lineup and was third overall.

Madison La Follette won the boys title with just 41 points, while Arrowhead was second at 126. Middleton was third (145), while MacArthur, Tx., (206) and Darlington (246) rounded out the top five.

“If we consider this meet a measuring stick for the season, then our boys are in a great place,” Mezera said.

Gus Newcomb had a sensational performance, finishing fourth overall in 16:22.

“Gus got out hard, just under five minutes for his first mile,” Mezera said. “He needs to work on his second mile, but he is in a great place at this point in the season."

Zach Shoemaker-Allen was Middleton’s second-best finisher and was 25th overall (16:53). Amazingly, it was just the second race of Shoemaker-Allen’s career.

“Our whole cross country family is glad Zach made the switch from football this fall,” Mezera said. “He's not only an extremely talented runner, he's a great teammate and motivator.”

Jack Rader was 27th (16:54), Hayden Johnston was 41st (17:12) and Christian Lindblom was 48th (17:14).

“Third at Midwest was a great accomplishment and a great statement to the state,” Mezera said. “The way our guys are training, Cindy and I know the best is yet to come.”

• On deck: Middleton is at the Big Eight Conference five-team challenge Tuesday at Janesville's Blackhawk Golf Course. The Cardinals are then at the Stoughton Invite Saturday at 9 a.m.




Boys team scores

Madison La Follette 41, Hartland Arrowhead 126, Middleton 145, Houston MacArthur (Texas) 206, Darlington 246, Neenah 280, South Milwaukee 296, Madison Memorial 310, La Crosse Logan 311, Verona 315, Janesville Craig 328, Dubuque Senior (Iowa) 333, Catholic Memorial 309, Racine Case 432, Oconomowoc 460, Mequon Homestead 471, Beaver Dam 519, Dodgeville/Mineral Point 526, Janesville Parker 540, Stoughton 553, Mukwonago 577, Marquette 597, Wisconsin Lutheran 610, Madison West JV 613, Sun Prairie 624, Platteville 672, Monroe 720, Oregon 747, Beloit Memorial 764, Whitnall 781, Westby 790, Waunakee 798, Whitewater 821, Rockford Guilford 894, Burlington 909, Milton 1,048, Elkhorn 1,109.



(5,000 meters)

1. Ryan Nameth (Verona), 15:22.4; 2. Finn Gessner (ML), 15:40.6; 3. Will Simons (HA), 16:06.9; 4. Gus Newcomb (Mid), 16:21.3; 5. Joshua Janusiak (SM), 16:22.1; 6. Alex Cotter (ML), 16:24.5; 7. Jaden Komprood (DMP), 16:26.3; 8. Trevor Legg (ML), 16:29.6; 9. Vince Momot (Plat), 16:31.3; 10. Wayu Bedaso (ML), 16:31.3.


Girls team scores

Dodgeville-Mineral Point 125, Middleton 132, Madison West 133, Wisconsin Lutheran 159, Arrowhead 186, Madison Edgewood 17:53; Stoughton 232, Neenah 249, La Crosse Logan 282, Fond du Lac 293, Madison Memorial 312, Waunakee 328, Beaver Dam 329, Westby 332, Oconomowoc 356, South Milwaukee 402, Dubuque Senior 409, Verona 483, Oregon 518, Mount Horeb 536, Janesville Parker 562, Darlington 580, Janesville Craig 602, Elkhorn 630, Whitnall 663, Platteville 672, Burlington 699, Milton 726, Racine Case 776, Sun Prairie 804.



(5,000 meters)

1. Amy Davis (ME), 17:52.4; 2. Hannah Owens (DMP), 18:42.6; 3. Audrey Janik (WL), 18:51.3; 4. Siena Casanova (MM), 18:56.5; 5. Ally Gietzel (FDL), 19:02.7; 6. Delaney Eigenberger (MM), 19:04.9; 7. Annie Moore (FDL), 19:06.1; 8. Marlie Houston (Oc), 19:06.1; 9. Brenda Hernandez (BM), 19:14.4; 10. Maddie Wood (SM), 19:15.1.

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