Article submitted by Chad Carstens
Whitewater High School Head Cross Country Coach
Photo Credits: Peter Mischka, Tammy Tomomitsu, Shelly Hammond, Jaime Weigel, Tiffany Buehler
Legendary Hall of Fame North Central College Coach Al Carius’s program philosophy is, “Run for fun and personal bests.” The Whippets really put it together having some fun and ran some incredible personal bests when it was all on the line for the Rock Valley Conference Championships hosted by WHS on Thursday, April 22nd. The team has run on this home course three times this season, and 85% of the team race their personal best on this course, many dropping several minutes, rising to the challenge in the way that Whippets only know how to do: with guts and unwavering determination.
The girls’ varsity started things off, and Gwen Truesdale led the charge finishing in 28th with a time of 25:45. She dropped 36 seconds from her previous best on this course. Olive Coburn was 29th, dropping 1:15 from her previous best. Lauren Buehler dropped a minute from her best on this course to place 31st. Caelyn Caputo, Danielle DePorter, Sophie Walton, and Emma Weigel all came in successive places finishing 35-38. Caelyn dropped over 2:30, Danielle dropped nearly a minute, and Emma dropped over 2:00 from her previous best on this course. The girls’ team placed 8th overall in a tight finish with several other teams. Showing how tight it was, 13 points separated 6th – 8th. These were incredible efforts by these young women!
In the JV girls’ race, Jenny Villarreal stole the show for the Lady Whippets and placed 3rd overall. Jenny cut FIVE MINUTES off her previous best on this course, which also included 4:30 off from her season best on any course. In fact, her time of 25:51.5 put her as the second fastest Whippet female on the day! Izzy Dieter placed 13th with a 46 second time drop. Senior Nikole Pelot went out on her own terms, crushing her final race in a Whippet jersey to place 14th and dropped 1:38 from her previous best time on this course. Evie Troxel also placed 21st in a time of 33:28.
On the boys’ side, senior Trenten Zahn blitzed his way to another first team all-conference honor as he placed 4th overall, just missing out on breaking 18:00 as he stopped the clock in 18:03. Trenten is a pure guts kid. He is just so tough on race day. In his final conference race, Trenten earned his third first-team all-conference honor to go along with a second-team all-conference honor, totaling four all-conference honors in his career. CJ Tomomitsu and Cooper Hammond earned their first ever all-conference honors by placing 19th and 20th. This afforded them the honorable mention all-conference recognition. CJ dropped nearly a minute, and Cooper dropped 13 seconds. Senior Will Hofmann really displayed his grit as he battled lower leg injuries to place 33rd overall and still dropped 1:18 off his previous best WHS course time. Freshman Nate Holden really came to the party and executed wonderfully and placed 35th, dropping nearly two minutes off his previous best. Senior Evan Schepp completed his final conference race as a Whippet in 51st, and Andrew Rollette placed 52nd running varsity for the first time and dropped 2:30! The boys’ team finished in fourth place with 111 points.
In the JV race, Keith Cameron placed 20th with a three-minute time drop in 26:04. Sterling Truesdale placed 24th and finished in 29:08.
Next up for the Whippets will be home again on May 1st as Whitewater High School becomes the competition site once again for the Sectional Meet. Meet times are still yet to be determined by the WIAA and will be shared as they become available. The road to State will once again be coming through Whitewater!