Potential is a key word this season for the Iola-Scandinavia cross country team.
“The season, with some changes and new athletes, presents a lot of potential,” said Trish Nye, who coaches the team with John Turba. “Our numbers have really gone up for our girls’ team. The girls have always run well in packs and we have more runners to fill in the cracks. Though the boys have not increased in numbers, we have a group of hard-working boys and not too much space between one runner and the next. We are seeing more packs of orange and black in the race and it is exciting to see the athletes push each other.”
The Thunderbird middle school teams are also talented, according to Nye.
“With new faces and experienced runners, one can expect fast races and a few surprises as these athletes mature and figure out their race pace,” she said.
The T-Birds opened the season Tuesday, Aug. 30, by hosting the Iola-Scandinavia Invitational at the Iola Winter Sports Club.
“This year’s captains, Ryan Przybylski and Amanda Aanstad, have done a great job stepping up as leaders for all of our teams as runners and as people,” Nye said. “With the season only just getting started, you can expect to see Iola-Scandinavia cross country begin to really take off.”
The high school and middle school roster includes seniors Aanstad, Sarah Brumer, Przybylski and Abby Wiersma; juniors Matt Ellie, John Faldet, Matt Jarosh, Ellen Oligney, Wesley Petersen, Derek Peterson, Carley Peterson, Leah Pierce and Jessie Taylor; sophomores Natalie Gauerke, Lauren Gibbs and Emily Sether; freshmen Emily Madson, Jane Oligney, Brooke Phillips, Chase Przybylski and Shelby Trzebiatowski; eighth-graders Dylan Aanstad, Javier Block, Nick Blum, Sam Jarosh, Mike Schaefer, Josh Taylor and Megan Thulien; seventh-graders Leighten Fischer, Gunner Grenlie and David Schmies; and sixth-graders Natalie Rustad and Makenna Stalter.
The T-Bird boys and girls placed fourth and eighth, respectively, at the I-S Invitational.
Team scores for the boys were Freedom, 29; Oconto Falls, 37; Waupaca, 157; Iola-Scandinavia, 167; Wittenberg-Birnamwood, 168; Bonduel, 171; Winneconne, 186; Menasha St. Mary Central, 190; Gillett, 209; Amherst, 214; Oconto, 342; and Stevens Point Pacelli, 344.
Team scores for the girls were Freedom, 42; Clintonville, 61; Laona/Wabeno, 107; Wittenberg-Birnamwood, 115; Winneconne, 116; Amherst, 142; Bonduel, 175; Iola-Scandinavia, 185; Oconto Falls, 245; Waupaca, 258; Gillett, 306; Menasha St. Mary Central, 310; and Marion, 420.
Derek Peterson led the T-Bird boys by placing 19th in 19:11. Other finishers were Faldet, 29th, 19:30; Ryan Przybylski, 19:43; Chase Przybylski, 35th, 19:50; Matt Jarosh, 50th, 20:50; Wesley Petersen, 57th, 21:29; and Ellie, 89th, 27:14.
Sether turned in the top time for the T-Bird girls, as she placed eighth in 16:50. Other finishers were Gauerke, 40th, 19:14; Trzebiatowski, 41st, 19:20; Madson, 42nd, 19:23; Taylor, 54th, 19:52; Ellen Oligney, 64th, 20:05; Pierce, 71st, 20:28; and Aanstad, 73rd, 20:37.
Zach Wheeler led the Waupaca boys by taking 15th in 18:20. Other finishers were James Warren, 21st, 19:15; Ryan Weise, 37th, 19:57; Eric Bolwerk, 39th, 20:04; Jeff Servey, 45th, 20:34; Parker Sweeney, 49th, 20:48; Nick Henneman, 81st, 24:26; and Endeavor Achten, 88th, 26:51.
Autumn Schultz led Waupaca by placing 31st in 18:47. Other finishers were Abbey Lazers, 35th, 18:59; Katherine Haen, 55th, 19:52; Lizzie Hanke, 68th, 20:18; Taylor Davidson, 69th, 20:22; Alisa Blank, 72nd, 20:32; Morgan Plaata, 75th, 20:43; and Kya Hooker-Moericke, 101st, 24:26.
Waupaca used three top-10 finishes to win the boys’ middle school title. Team scores were Waupaca, 42; Amherst, 49; Iola-Scandinavia, 64; Menasha St. Mary Central, 73; and Bonduel, 130.
Mitchell Rotta placed first in 11:52, Ryan Esch was sixth in 13:06 and Hunter Smith placed seventh in 13:07. Other finishers were Tyler Hanke, 13th, 14:04; Luke Wanty, 15th, 14:33; Dante St. Thomas, 19th, 15:03; Ben Waitrovich, 20th, 15:05; and Brett Hanke, 21st, 15:07.
The T-Birds also had three top-10 finishers in Block (third, 12:55); Schaefer (ninth, 13:36); and Blum (10th, 13:50). Other finishers were Aanstad, 14th, 14:05; Taylor, 28th, 16:03; Sam Jarosh, 30th, 16:16; Schmies, 38th, 17:42; and Grenlie, 39th, 18:00.
The T-Bird girls did not place as a team, but Fischer placed fourth in 13:39, Rustad was 53rd in 18:01, Thulien was 60th in 19:49 and Stalter was 61st in 21:23.
Victoria Nowak led the Comet girls tie for second with Amherst by placing second in 13:38, while Michelle Petkovsek was fifth in 14:05. Other finishers were Ashley Jeske, 14th, 15:07; Tatiana Sotka, 21st, 15:56; and Raven Patzke, 24th, 16:06.
Team scores for the girls were Stevens Point Pacelli, 48; Amherst and Waupaca, 66; Wittenberg-Birnamwood, 84; Bonduel, 109; and Marion, 127.