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Cross Country at the Highlander Invitational

The University School cross country team competed in the Highlander Invitational sponsored by Homestead High School at Tendick Park in Saukville on Friday, September 6th.  The USM boys team finished 8th in the meet.  The USM girls did not have enough runners to place in the meet.

In the boys meet, Drew Stephens led the Wildcats.  He finished 10th out of the 95 runners competing in the race.  His time on the 5 kilometer course was 17:22.9. 

Drew Stephens’ brother Thomas was the next Wildcat to finish.  He took 20th place with a time of 17:48.5.

George Graham finished in 42nd place with a time of 18:24.7.  Ryan Treptow finished in 64th place at 19:14.1. Harrison Hartjes took 73rd position in the race with a time of 19:40.2, while Hunter Kaufmann finished 75th at 19:56.1.

USM had two strong runners in the girls’ race.  Mya Hartjes took 7th place with a time of 20:14.6.  Lexi Keppler finished in 34th out of 106 competitors who finished the race.  Keppler’s time on the 5K course was 21:10.8.

After the meet, Eric Pilling, USM’s head coach, said, “The athletes made significant improvements from our first meet - both in terms of time and race execution.”

Discussing the boys race, Pilling said, “Drew and Thomas Stephens both adjusted their race strategy and were rewarded with top 20 finishes. Drew moved up from 20th place at the mile to finish 10th. And Thomas moved up from 40th place to finish 20th. George Graham and Ryan Treptow also made solid improvements to finish 42nd and 64th. With one of our top five out sick, Harrison Hartjes and Hunter Kaufmann made their varsity debut, and they finished very well in 73rd and 75th.”

Turning to the girls’ race, Pilling added, “Freshman Mya Hartjes continued to impress in her second career race against mostly D1 powerhouse competition. She ran the whole race in the top 10 and closed with confidence to finish 7th overall. Lexi Keppler pushed through a tough section mid race to finish 34th.”

Pilling went on to say, “We are really pleased with several of the athletes who ran the JV races to work on working together as a team and gaining experience. Lucia Rondini and Brooke Robinson led the way with several athletes making dramatic improvements.

“We are looking forward to two solid weeks of uninterrupted training before returning to competition at the Whitefish Bay Invitational on September 19th.”

As the coach noted, the University School cross country team competes in the Whitefish Bay Invitational hosted by Whitefish Bay High School at Kletsch Park in Glendale on Thursday, September 19th beginning at 4:40 p.m.