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Cross Country at the Lake Country Lutheran Lightning Invitational

The University School cross country team competed in the Lake Country Lutheran Lightning Invitational at Lake Country Lutheran High School in Hartland on Saturday, September 30th.  The USM girls team placed 5th in the meet; the USM boys team did not have enough runners to place as a team.

“Coming off some very encouraging performances at the Mukwonago Invitational, we had a really strong day today at Lake Country Lutheran High School,” said USM’s head coach Eric Pilling.  “Our main objective was to use this as a workout - go out conservatively, work together with teammates and familiarize ourselves with the course where conference will be held in two weeks. We held out a few runners to minimize injury risk, and asked everyone to hold back early, but the firm course conditions yielded fast times nonetheless.”

The Wildcats had only two entries in the boys’ meet.  Senior Clayton Cheney was USM’s top finisher.  He took 11th place, completing the 5 kilometer run with a time of 18:21.59.  Junior Flynn Vertz finished in 16th place for USM.  He had a time of 18:38.29.

Pilling noted, “Clayton and Flynn were our representatives in the boys’ varsity race. Coming off a personal best on Thursday, Clayton ran a controlled race for 11th. Flynn ran two Personal Records in two days finishing 16th.”

USM sophomore Lexi Keppler finished 5th in the girls race.  Keppler had a time of 20:54.40.  USM’s other four runners finished right in a row. Freshman Sydney Matthews finished 22nd for the Wildcats with a time of 23:44.26.  Sophomore Lucia Rondini was next in 23rd place at 23:44.48.  Right behind Rondini was junior Caileigh Wine in 24th place with a time of 23:49.32. Her classmate Kristen Chou finished 25th with a time of 24:12.38.

Pilling said, “For the girls, Lexi ran her strongest race of the season. She ran with more confidence and finished 5th in a career best time. Our two through five scorers - Sydney, Lucia, Caileigh and Kristen - ran the whole race together and finished as a tight pack.”

Pilling looked ahead to upcoming meets, then added, “We have two weeks to make final preparation for Conference and one additional week for Sectionals. The runners are continuing to improve from a fitness standpoint and in their approach to racing. The varsity athletes are pushing each other and many of the junior varsity members are making drastic improvements that will help to enhance our depth. Next week we invite everyone to participate in our Homecoming fun run on Saturday at school.”

After the fun run at USM, the Wildcats compete in the Midwest Classic Conference Meet at Lake Country Lutheran High School in Hartland on Saturday, October 14th beginning at 9:00 a.m.

Girls team scores — 1, Palmyra-Eagle 36; 2, Greendale Martin Luther 49; 3, Lake Country Lutheran 66; 4, Poynette 84; 5, USM 99.