Boys XC wins at Arrowhead

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MTT News's picture
By: 
Rob Reischel

It’s been 25 years since Middleton’s boys cross country team hoisted a state championship.

The Cardinals showed last week, though, that drought might come to an end later this fall.

Middleton won the star-studded, 18-team Hartland Arrowhead Invitational last Thursday. The Cardinals, ranked third in the latest state poll, finished with 58 points to easily outdistance No. 2 Arrowhead (98).

Germantown (150), Marquette (155) and Pewaukee (185) rounded out the top five at a meet that included four other state-ranked teams.

“Going into the meet I knew what we could potentially accomplish, but we were coming off a hard week so I wasn't sure how things were going to shake out,” Middleton coach Brian Finnel said. “I think all of us are pretty stoked about the times run, but at the end of the day it's all about the placing for the team.”

Middleton junior Caleb Easton was fourth overall, completing the 5,000-meter course in 15 minutes, 47.2 seconds. Senior Sam Jaeger was seventh (15:56.9), junior Michael Madoch was 10th (16:05.6), sophomore Zach Leffel was 13th (16:18.7) and sophomore Braedon Gilles was 24th (16:34.6).

The Cardinals continue to run without senior standout Jack Rader, who is battling back from injury. Once Rader returns, it’s almost scary how good Middleton could be.

“Arrowhead is ranked No. 3 and we are No. 2, so I thought things were going to be tight with them in particular,” Finnel said. “But the guys just stepped it up and executed beautifully.

“It was exciting to win by that large of a margin and I think it was a great confidence builder for the team. It was really fantastic to see our young guys step up and have some breakthrough performances. The team depth just keeps impressing me. With their level of discipline and effort, I can't wait to see how things continue to unfold.”

While several Cardinals shined, Finnel was perhaps most impressed with the performances of Madoch and Leffel.

“Zach Leffel had a great summer for training and really stepped up today,” Finnel said. “(Leffel) ran 76 seconds faster than the Verona Invite.

“We are building Michael back-up after his junior national triathlon in early August. I think he will keep steadily improving over the season.”

Middleton’s girls were sixth out of 18 teams.

Janesville Craig won the meet with 100 points. Whitefish Bay was second at 130, followed by Divine Savior Holy Angels (135), Arrowhead (158), Pewaukee (162) and Middleton (178).

Senior Shae Ruhly was Middleton’s top finisher, placing 18th in 19:44.5. Senior Erika Rader was 23rd (19:54.2), senior Charlotte Sue was 26th (20:02.0), sophomore Megan Schwartz was 39th (20:13.2) and junior Elizabeth Pansegrau was 72nd (20:57.4).

 

ARROWHEAD INVITATIONAL

GIRLS

Janesville Craig 100, Whitefish Bay 130, Divine Savior Holy Angels 135, Arrowhead 158, Pewaukee 162, Middleton 178, Oconomowoc 185, Waukesha South 219, Homestead 225, Germantown 263, Kettle Moraine 268, West Bend West 283, Madison Memorial 293, Cedarburg 313, Franklin 323, Shorewood 429, Nicolet 447, Brookfield East 495.

 

BOYS

Middleton 58, Arrowhead 98, Germantown 150, Marquette 155, Pewaukee 185, West Bend West 203, Whitefish Bay 217, Oconomowoc 228, Homestead 231, Brookfield East 247, Janesville Craig 253,Nicolet 282, Mukwonago 299, Shorewood 33, Waukesha North 369.

 

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