Middleton runners start strong

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MTT News's picture
Rob Reischel
Middleton's boys cross country team started its season strong./Times-Tribune photo by Mary Langenfeld

Middleton’s boys and girls teams both won their season-opening meets on March 24.

The Cardinals’ boys defeated host Verona, 24-31, in a dual meet. Middleton’s girls rolled past the Wildcats, 15-40.

Middleton senior Ryan Schollmeyer won the boys race, completing the 5,000-meter course in 16 minutes, 16 seconds. Cardinals junior Griffin Ward was second (16:16), senior Alexander Marrione was fifth (17:43), sophomore Dean Montour was sixth (17:55) and sophomore Nathan Kurtz was 10th (18:44).

“Verona was a nice rust-buster for the team and just good to see where we were at because we have a lot of unknowns this year,” Middleton coach Brian Finnel said. “I was happy to see we won it and the boys raced well for the first meet and with the crazy wind.” 

On the girls’ side, junior Lauren Pansegrau won the race in 17 minutes, 18 seconds. Bella Chirafisi was second in 19:34, while Zaira Malloy-Salgado was third (19:37), Natalie Ahn was fourth (20:44) and Leona Frinzi was fifth (20:43).

Middleton’s girls also won the four-team Sun Prairie March Madness event last Saturday.

Middleton finished with 19 points to easily outdistance the field.

Pansegrau was first in 17:50.4, while Malloy-Salgado was third (20:08.8). Elizabeth Schwartz was fourth (21:39.0), Frinzi was fifth (21:50.3) and Ahn was sixth (21:58.8).

“The girls are remaining positive and resilient this season,” Middleton coach Alexa Richardson said. “We have a solid top four including Pansegrau, Ruszkiewicz, Zaira Malloy-Salgado and Chirafisi. After that, we have about five girls competing for the last two spots on varsity, only one of which is a senior.

“I know the girls are very motivated and are excited to have their teammates to train with, I also know it is somewhat difficult for the girls to get excited about meets with so many unknowns still. Thankfully they are all really good at looking far into the future and are able to train consistently now for their goals that may be months or even a year away yet.”

On the boys’ side, Sun Prairie edged Middleton, 30-32, for first place. LaCrosse Logan (68) and Eau Claire North (111) rounded out the field.

Ward won the race in 16:45.9, while Schollmeyer was second (16:55.1). Marrione was seventh (18:10.0), Montour was 10th (18:35.9) and Kurtz was 12th (18:58.6).

“Sun Prairie brought us more competition with a slightly larger field and it was a fun race with the rain and mud,” Finnel said. “We were pretty buried early on and Sun Prairie got out way harder than us. It was good to see the squad move up, but we just didn’t have the depth like they did. 

“Both meets we got an amazing 1-2 punch from Griffin Ward and Ryan Schollmeyer. Both are veteran runners and we will be counting on those two a lot this season for low points.”




March 24


Individual winner: Schoolmeyer, M, 16:16.

Middleton: 1, Schollmeyer 16:16; 2, Ward 16:16; 5, Marrone 17:43; 6, Montour 17:55; 10, Kurtz 18:44. Verona: 3, Manning 16:46; 4, Olseon 17:34; 7, Ratze 18:17; 8, Metcalf 18:21; 9, Kwitek 18:34. Road race at Verona High School, 5,000 meters.



March 24


Individual winner: Pansegrau, M, 17:18.

Middleton: 1, Pansegrau, 17:18; 2, Chirafisi, 19:34; 3, Malloy-Salgado 19:37; 4, Ahn 20:44; 5, Frinzi 20:43.


Road race at Verona High School, 5,000 meters.


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