If the first race is any indication, the Waupaca cross country team could make some noise this season in the Eastern Valley Conference.
The boys’ squad placed two runners in the top five and won the Pioneer Invitational Aug. 28 in Westfield. Meanwhile, the Comet girls had three top-20 runners and placed fourth.
Mitchell Rotta and Eric Bolwerk placed second and fourth, respectively, in the boys’ race with times of 18:11 and 19:01. Also placing for the Comet boys were Ryan Weise, 14th, 19:51; Hunter Smith, 15th, 19:51; Parker Sweeney, 25th, 20:20; Ryan Esch, 37th, 21:20; and Danny Esch, 46th, 22:20.
Michelle Petkovsek placed fourth in the girls’ race in 21:47. Also placing for Waupaca were Mya Snyder, 16th, 24:39; Victoria Nowak, 18th, 24:53; Ashley Jeske, 30th, 25:59; Alisa Blank, 31st, 26:04; Sophie Sicchio, 35th, 26:41; and Kristin Petkovsek, 39th, 27:11.
Team scores for the boys were Waupaca, 60; Portage, 65; Omro, 82; Westfield/Montello, 83; Markesan, 139; Lodi, 169; Tomah, 175; Princeton/Green Lake, 180; Reedsburg, 202; and Rio/Fall River, 234. Lodi’s Adam Phillips won the race in 18:07.
Portage placed four runners in the top 10 to finish first among girls’ teams. Other team scores were Reedsburg, 57; Lodi, 80; Waupaca, 99; Wautoma, 138; Westfield/Montello, 170; Tomah, 185; Omro, 206; Rio/Fall River, 222; and Markesan, 277. Lodi’s Mckenzie Kruchten won the race in 20:48.
Waupaca joined Iola-Scandinavia, Weyauwega-Fremont, Manawa, Amherst, Clintonville, Marion, Freedom, Bonduel, Menominee Indian, Wittenberg-Birnamwood, Peshtigo, Laona/Wabeno, Gillett, Oconto, Menasha St. Mary Central and Winneconne Sept. 2 at the Iola-Scandinavia Invitational at the Iola Winter Sports Complex.
The Comets will see how they stack up against Freedom, Clintonville and Winneconne, teams that also compete in the Eastern Valley.
From there, Waupaca will head to the Freedom Invitational, which draws more than 20 teams to Irish Waters Golf Club. That meet is set for 4 p.m. Friday, Sept. 5.