The young, and at this point still rather inexperienced, Viroqua boys cross country team finished in the middle of the pack in a pair of invitationals last week, placing ninth out of 16 teams at the Westby Invitational and eighth among 16 teams competing at the River Valley Invitational
Competing in cool, breezy and damp conditions, junior Michael Stuber (18:36) and freshman Andrew Quackenbush (18:48) ran together and placed 17th and 19th respectively, in a field of 115 runners, leading the Blackhawks to an eighth-place finish, Tuesday, Sept. 5.
Aaron Dobbs, another VHS freshman, broke the 20-minute barrier for the first time in his varsity career, with a time of 19:43, placing 42nd, while brothers Jackson Roels (20:43), a senior, and Henry Roels (20:57), a freshman, placed 63rd and 72nd respectively, for the Blackhawks.
Westby senior Hayden Fredrickson was the individual meet winner with a time of 16:30.
“I was impressed with our boy’s team, finishing ninth out of 16 teams against some very tough competition,” coach Scott Benzing said. “The team is getting stronger and our boys continue to improve every race.”
In regard to individual efforts, Benzing had his to say, “Andrew and Michael both had great races. They both pushed the envelope of their comfort zones and achieved personal records. Aaron has been a fun addition to the team…he works hard and loves to take on challenges. Henry also had a good race …he has steadily been improving all season.”
Brookwood won the team title against very evenly matched competition, with a 115 team score, followed by Wisconsin Dells with 117, Sparta 121, Boscobel 123, Westby 137, Hillsboro 150, Wauzeka-Steuben 160, Altoona 170, Viroqua 213, Fennimore 214, Cashton 253, New Lisbon 281, Kickapoo/La Farge 363, Osseo-Fairchild 372, Prairie du Chien 390 and Royall 461.
River Valley Invite
With two varsity runners unable to compete for the Blackhawks because of prior commitments, three freshmen, a sophomore and a senior led the team to an eighth-place team finish, with 280 points, against very stiff competition at the River Valley Invitational, Saturday, Sept. 9.
A pair of freshmen, Quackenbush (18:43) and Jay Lind (20:49), placed 19th and 73rd respectively, each turning in personal best times. Dobbs (19:58) placed 47th, and Josh Frye (20:17), a sophomore, finished 56th for the VHS harriers. Jackson Roels 21:24, rounded out the teams score with an 85th place finish individually.
“Our boys turned in a great performance as a team…these guys are always improving and I look for them to continue improving all season long,” Benzing said. “They are a fun group of kids to work with and keep impressing me all the time.”
Placing four runners among the top eight individuals, Darlington ran away with the team championship, with 38 points, Wisconsin Heights/Baroaboo co-op was a distant second with 104, followed by Boscobel with 126, Brookwood 159, New Glarus/Monticello 160, Palmyra/Eagle 181, Hillsboro 209, Fennimore 211, Viroqua 280, Gibraltar 291, Madison Country Day 296, Belleville 301, Albany 327, Pecatonica Argyle 344, River Ridge 387, Lancaster 392, North Crawford 430 and Prairie du Chien 435.