In the 81st running of the Janesville Midwest Cross Country Invitational, the Whitewater Whippets were treated to some great racing conditions and supreme competition. Whitewater is one of the smallest schools in the meet but found great value in rubbing elbows with some of the Midwest’s best athletes and walked away with many new personal bests.
The girls’ team was led by junior Caelyn Caputo who ran 23:09 and was the team’s top finisher for the first time this season. Caelyn has really shown strong growth and solid racing confidence as the season moves along. Another junior, Emma Weigel, also dug deep and was the team’s second runner and ran 23:17, cutting nearly a full minute off her best time this season. Gwen Truesdale started out quite fast but battled hard and was just a few strides behind Emma at the finish and nearly equaling her best time from earlier this season. Freshman Nola Coburn raced with no fear and just slaughtered the race course to cut almost two minutes off her previous season best, drawing herself much closer to the front pack of Whippets. Evie Troxel competed as the team’s 7th runner in varsity and found herself with a new PR by 14 seconds as well. The girls’ varsity program finished in 34th out of 35 complete teams.
In the JV field, senior Olive Coburn debuted with a solid time of 25:33, and freshman Lucy Troxel benefitted from Olive’s return as she latched onto her in the race and was pulled to a huge new personal best of 25:55, which is 1:40 faster than her previous best. Freshman Sami Van Daele also enjoyed the benefits of working hard and continuing to challenge herself and was rewarded with a new personal best of 26:45, which is 40 seconds faster than her previous best.
The boys’ team was once again led by Jack Hefty who finished in 77th with a new personal best of 17:05. In this incredibly loaded field, it is important to note that Jack was the 3rd best freshman in the varsity field. Cooper Hammond got out to a hot pace that will pay off in the future but was a tad much for his legs to maintain, but he was still able to come away with his second best time of the year so far. Nate Holden returned to solid form after some illness and was the team’s 3rd runner back on track where he was a few weeks ago and better races to come. The varsity team finished in 36th out of 44 complete teams.
The JV team came away with some incredible time drops in their own stellar racing. Notably, senior Casey Schilling cut over two minutes off his time and looks better than ever in a Whippet uniform. Xavier Zei didn’t want to let Casey have all the fun and ran with him and hauled in a new personal best by over three and a half minutes! Lastly, Alex Clarksen looked his best as well and cut close to three minutes off his best time.
The Whippets head into next week with two meets on the slate. First will be the Jefferson Invite on Tuesday on the golf course in town followed by the Stoughton Invite on Saturday at Stoughton High School.
Article Submitted by Chad Carstens
Whitewater High School Head Cross Country Coach
Photos Courtesy of Bob Mischka