In the 82nd running of the Janesville Midwest Cross Country Invitational, the Whippets walked away with a slew of personal bests in what was the fastest course and best weather so far in the 2019 season. This meet has 45 teams represented from across Wisconsin, neighboring states and a team from Houston, Texas. With the size of this meet, there are 3 races contested for each gender, they include the varsity race, blue race and white race. With a tremendous amount of large school representation, this meet can have a little bit of a “small fish in a big pond” type of feel to Whitewater. Rubbing elbows with the best runners, no matter what division, helps the program take a step forward both in growth and experience as they move closer to the goal of running their best in the championship portion of the season.
Every varsity boy ran a personal best either for the season or a lifetime personal best. Trenten Zahn placed 50th with a time of 16:57. He was steady in his pacing and was rewarded with a nice time and place in the loaded field. Gio Anello, Cooper Hammond, Peter Zimdars, CJ Tomomitsu, Will Hofmann and Mason West all ran gutsy races and propelled the team to a 5th place finish within D2 schools and 26th overall. The blue race was led by Manny Rodriguez who debuted in his first race after a nagging knee injury to place 171st in 19:20. Jack Mayer, Evan Schepp and Jaden Salmieri all ran personal bests for the season in this race. They finished in 23rd overall as a team.The white race featured Broderick Frye leading the team to a 38th place finish. He ran a new personal best of 22:00 and was flanked by teammates Josiah Holder, Keith Cameron and Ben McCulloch throughout the race. Seeing them pack together and feed off each other in the race was great to see as that was a team goal for this meet. They were all rewarded with big time drops. Senior Justin Mitchell also cut more than a minute off his person best.
On the girls side, the varsity girls placed 35th and led by sophomore Gwen Truesdale. She dropped her personal best down to 24:18 and placed 225th. Sabrina Bomberg is crushing every time she toes the line and cut just over a minute off her previous best which was set last week. Rounding out the varsity team were Olive Coburn, Sophie Walton and Nikole Pelot. In the white race the Whippets were led by Jenny Villarreal as they place 29th overall. She blazed the course in 27:53 and looked strong. Emma Weigel and Caelyn Caputo really rocked it and smoked the course together. They each cut in excess of 2 minutes off their previous season bests. Not to be left out of the fun, Jeannette Falcon equaled that time drop by posting a new person best of close to 2 minutes as well.
This is the first of three meets the Whippets will be racing over the course of the next six days. On Tuesday the teams travel to Jefferson for a 12-team invite and finish on Friday at the 4th annual Nightfall Classic, which is a meet contested entirely under large flood lights. It’s gonna be a great week!