It came down to the very end. Runners from Lakeland, Tomahawk and Medford all looked to finish on top.
Both the Lakeland girls’ and boys’ cross country teams finished second at the Great Northern Conference Championships on Saturday, Oct. 19 in Antigo.
The girls finished second with 45 points. Medford won with 40 points.
The boys finished second with 54 points. Tomahawk won with 51 points.
“Looking at the rankings in our conference, we have three of the top teams in the state so it’s kind of crazy and so it was tough,” coach Dan Claussen said.
Ashley Peterson continued her winning streak, finishing first with a time of 21:21.9. It was her third straight victory.
Kate Melms finished in the top five. She finished fifth with a time of 22:30.9.
Aubrey Anderson finished sixth with a time of 22:45.1.
“I just think we get lost right away in the beginning of the race within the first 800 meters,” Claussen said. “You have to be up there right away and be in the game right off the bat.”
Kate Vizanko returned to racing and finished 17th with a time of 23:50.0.
Kate Tharman finished right behind her. She finished 18th with a time of 23:54.6.
“It comes down to our four-five-six-seven and if they have great races, we’re going to win races,” Claussen said.
Kristyn Dallman finished 21st with a time of 24:03.3. Mia Case finished 26th with a time of 24:40.8.
“I thought the boys ran awesome,” Claussen said. “They followed the game plan.”
Victor Masayesva finished as Lakeland’s top runner. He finished fifth with a time of 19:11.4, but could have ran an even better time.
“(Victor) sprinted to try and beat (Erik Kordus) and it was a little too soon,” Claussen said. “But (Victor) will be ready to go next week. He’ll be totally motivated by the outcome of yesterday.”
The Thunderbirds had two other runners in the top 10. Tyler Teichmiller finished eighth with a time of 19:19.4.
Coming back from injury, Casey Van Hefty finished ninth with a time of 19:22.3.
“Both Tyler Teichmiller and Casey Van Hefty ran awesome,” Claussen said. “This was Casey’s first run in three weeks and Tyler’s second in four weeks.”
Scott Balas finished 13th with a time of 19:54.2.
Alec Steinberger finished 20th with a time of 20:17.2.
“The guy that really ran the most impressive of anybody was Alec Steinberger,” Claussen said. “Each week he’s gotten better and better and better.”
Jake Van Hefty finished 24th with a time of 20:47.7. Forrest Dorsey finished 32nd with a time of 21:30.6.
Up next, the Thunderbirds compete at sectionals on Saturday, Oct. 26 at Edgewater Country Club starting at 11 a.m.
Brett LaBore may be reached at [email protected] or [email protected]