The Tomah boys brought home the first-place trophy, while the Tomah girls finished in the top half of the field at the Neillsville Invitational Tuesday.
Tomah coach cross country coach Jon Heesch said it was a “great night” for both teams.
“The kids have been working hard, and their times are trending downward, which is what we want,” Heesch said. “It is always great to bring home some hardware to fill up the trophy case.”
The boys were led by a pair of seniors. Caleb Lenning finished third overall with a time of 18:09, and Eugene Peterson was fourth at 18:12.
Tomah’s other varsity runners were: Kale Gnewikow (19:01), Coy Nelson (19:07), Jesse Smith (19:22), Weston Boettcher (19:31) and Ty Schanhofer (19:31).
The girls finished sixth out of 13 teams after finishing eighth at Neillsville last season. They were led by Brooke Bakken with a time of 24:08. She was followed by Jennie Jorgensen (25:09), Cassie Lenning (25:52), Brielle Harmel (26:47), Alyssa Alden (29:06), Kellie Jorgensen (29:23) and Aidah Hughart Topygal (29:52).
The girls are still competing without Hannah Wilcox-Borg, a junior who was their number-one runner last season.
“For the girls to improve upon their placing even without our number-one is a testament to the depth that we have this year and the work they are putting in,” Heesch said. “We still are missing Hannah, but she is nearing a return.”
The boys also improved on their finish from last year, when they took second.
“We achieved our goals for this race, and the kids were very excited,” Heesch said.
On Saturday, the Timberwolves were without many of their top runners at the Madison West Invitational. Boettcher was the top boys runner with a time of 18:35, and Bakken led the girls in 23:16.
The meet was held at Lake Farm County Park, where the Timberwolves will compete in a WIAA Division 1 Sectional Saturday, Oct. 26.
The Timberwolves head to the Brookwood Invitational at Ontario Saturday, Sept. 20 at 9 a.m.
Tomah Journal editor Steve Rundio can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.