It was the same track the Fort Atkinson Blackhawks will be running for the Badger Conference Meet, so it was a good test of their training.
One minute passed after Jenna Lovejoy completed the Koshkonong Klassic as the Fort Atkinson senior led the Blackhawks to a first-place finish in their home invitational on Thursday at Fort Atkinson High School.
Fort Atkinson scored 30 points in the girls race and was followed by Lakeside Lutheran (59), Milton (59) and McFarland (72). Lovejoy completed the 5-kilometer race in 19 minutes, 17 seconds and Milton sophomore Mara Talabac finished in a time of 20:38.
It was the second race Lovejoy has won this year and the sixth time she’s finished in the top 10.
“Every year for the last four years, we increase the volume and intensity,” said Fort Atkinson coach Chick Westby of Lovejoy, “right now, she’s running her workouts with the guys. For the volume she’s running and keeping her miles up, that’s the program. That’s what we hope all of our runners are doing in their careers.”
Fort Atkinson pack of four runners finished in the top 10 to help the Blackhawks lock up the top girls team spot. Sophomore Jada Zorn took fifth place in a time of 21:19. Laurel Miller (21:32) came in seventh and was followed by Kat Kessler (21:33) and Lauren Bilau (21:38).
On the boys side, the Blackhawks finished in third place out of four teams. Fort Atkinson scored 73 points. Milton won the boys race with two top-five runners and 36 points. Devin Woodcock won the race in a time of 17:00.
Senior Jacob Holmes was the first Fort Atkinson runner to cross the finish line as he took sixth place in a time of 17:57. Freshman Anthony Henrichon took ninth place in a time of 18:21.
“Those guys are working hard and really looking good right now,” Westby said. “Last week, we didn’t have any races, so we ramp it way up with intensity and volume. On Tuesday, they had one of the hardest workouts of the year and I think they’re still feeling that today.”
Holmes tried to kick it into gear with 500 meters left and passed multiple runners, but was unable to sustain his kick as McFarland senior Evan Kania and Milton senior Reider Snow beat him by fewer than three seconds.
Senior Greyson Gottchalk finished in 30th place for Fort Atkinson in a time of 19:28. Sophomore Dominic Hebbe (19:48) and Anthony Theriault (19:50) rounded out the scoring for the Blackhawks in 24th and 25th place respectively.
Fort Atkinson continues its season at home on Saturday, October 19, when the Blackhawks host the Badger South Conference Meet at 9:30 a.m.
Lakeside Lutheran girls take second, boys fourth
Senior August Gresens continues to pursue a state qualifier in cross country after missing out last year by one place and 2.8 seconds. Gresens finished in third place for the Warriors after finishing the race in a time of 17:39.
Sophomore Jonathan Abel (18:51) took 14th place and senior Ben Ertman (19:21) took 19th place.
On the girls side, freshman Abigail Minning also took third place for Lakeside after finishing in a time of 20:58. Mya Hemling (22:06) was the 11th runner to cross the finish line. Four Warriors finished consecutively beginning with 14th-place runner Kristin Karas, who ran the race in a time of 22:21. Abbie DiGiovanni (22:22), Jada Gresens (22:46) and Grace Cody (22:48) followed Karas.
Lakeside Lutheran returns to racing at the Capitol Conference Meet in Poynette on Saturday, October 19 beginning at 10 a.m.