Cross Country at the Whitefish Bay Invitational
It was dreary and the course was wet. Undeterred, members of the University School cross country team traveled to Tendick Park in Saukville on Saturday, September 12th to compete in the Whitefish Bay Invitational, a meet hosted by Whitefish Bay High School. Neither the USM girls’ team nor the USM boys’ team had the requisite five runners to be able to place in the meet’s team results.
However, individually, the Wildcats had some stellar results. Drew Stephens took first place in the boys’ race. He out-raced 32 other runners on wet grounds and finished with a time of 16:36.8. He completed his run 15.6 seconds faster than the next runner. It was Drew’s second win in a week. He ran the same course during better weather on September 5th in 16:20.5.
After the run, Drew said, “I got out about as hard as last week, but this time I was pretty much by myself the entire race. The rain and wet ground made it more tiring and more difficult, so overall this race was much tougher than last week. I’m pretty proud of my time with the course being so tough, and also that I was able to hold on for the win.”
Thomas Stephens, Drew’s twin brother, also ran a fine race for USM. Thomas finished the five-kilometer run in 3rd place with a time of 17:05.3.
USM’s head coach Eric Pilling commented on the Stephens’ twins runs, “Drew took the lead in the first 400-600m and was never threatened. Like last week, it was a pretty dominating performance against some very established Division 1 competition. Thomas improved on last week in both place and time, finishing third in 17:05. Running faster in conditions that were overall a little slower is very encouraging.”
Pilling added, “We had to shuffle the boy's lineup due to the ACT tests. A couple of our guys arrived too late for the varsity race, so we moved them to the JV race. If we plugged their results into the varsity scoring, we would have finished third as a team.”
Harrison Hartjes was USM’s third finisher. He took 27th place at 19:37.6. USM’s fourth runner, Zach Sardas-Trevorrow finished 33rd in the meet. He completed his run with a time of 21:24.4.
Pilling said, “Harrison showed consistency running just a few seconds slower than last week;
Zach made his varsity debut, improving on last week's time by 6 seconds.”
Mya Hartjes and Brooke Robinson were the only two Wildcats competing against 20 runners from other teams in the girls’ race. Hartjes took second place with a time of 20:25.3, just 1:21.4 behind the winner. Robinson’s time of 22:35.4 earned her 15th place in the race.
Pilling said, “Mya and Brooke both had really strong races. Mya followed the fast, early pace of Whitefish Bay's Lily Kriegel. While Kriegel proved to be the dominant runner of the day, Mya distanced herself from the rest of the field for a comfortable second-place finish. Brooke ran a season-best time to finish 15th in less than stellar conditions.”
Hartjes commented on her run, “The run today was good, and I thought I did well. The course was a little muddy and wet with a few big puddles, but knowing the course beforehand helped; I knew where it would be wet the most. There were fewer girls in the race, so it was smaller overall, but the competition was good. I thought the race went pretty well, and I am glad that we are still able to have races this season.”
After their good showings at Tendick for two straight meets, The Wildcats will compete next on a different course. They will run in the 43rd Hilltopper Invitational on Saturday, September 19th at Sheboygan Lutheran High School.