It was cross country under the lights at Wisconsin Dells Friday.

The Tomah High School boys and girls cross country teams enjoyed the unique experience of nighttime racing at the Nightfall Cross Country Classic at Spring Brook Resort and Golf Club.

The flat course and cool, crisp evening with an enthusiastic crowd created an ideal atmosphere for cross country, said Tomah boys and girls coach Jon Heesch.

“The atmosphere was electric, and the crowd was excellent cheering the kids on with people lined throughout almost the whole course,” Heesch said. “The kids had so much fun being able to run under the lights with music playing throughout the course. What a great experience for the kids to be able to have and also for us coaches to be out there to cheer on our kids.”

Hannah Wilcox-Borg took advantage of the perfect conditions to break her own school record of 19 minutes and 49 seconds in the girls race. It marked the first time a Tomah girl broke the 20-minute barrier in a five-kilometer race. She finished fourth overall.

Wilcox-Borg wasn’t the only Tomah record setter. Coy Nelson shattered the freshman boys record with a time of 17:55.

Trevin Nelson led the Tomah boys with a time of 16:41 and finished eighth. Eugene Peterson was next in 17:18 followed by Caleb Lenning (17:37), Shandii Begay (17:48), Nelson, Eric Tollefson (18:19) and Matthew Holtz (18:22).

The Tomah boys finished fifth out of nine teams.

The Tomah girls were ninth out of 10 teams. Rounding out the Tomah varsity were Brielle Harmel (22:38), Brooke Bakken (22:41), Brooke Lucka (22:53), Hannah Scorsone (24:47) and Kyrie Ambrosia-Brown (30:44).

Tomah had a pair of boys junior varsity runners − Weston Boettcher and Micah Winchell − crack the 20-minute barrier, and Jesse Smith missed getting under 20 minutes by just two seconds. Four more Tomah runners − Charlie Ella, Austin Lyden, Daniel Swanson and Thor Lass − ran the course in under 21 minutes.

Twelve boys and three girls set personal records.

The Timberwolves compete in their only home event of the season Tuesday, when they host the Jesse Parker Invitational starting at 4 p.m. at Hiawatha Golf Club. The field includes Chippewa Falls, La Crosse Logan, Necedah, New Lisbon, Reedsburg, Wautoma and Westby.

Tomah heads to the Wisconsin Rapids Invitational Saturday, Oct. 7 and competes in the Mississippi Valley Conference meet in West Salem Thursday, Oct. 12.

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Steve Rundio is editor of the Tomah Journal. Contact him at 608-374-7785.

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