Varsity Cross Country · Cross Country Team Has Several Champions

Ninth-grader Laura Sunnarborg earned first place in the girls varsity race at the Norwood-Young America Lions Invitational Sept. 10 / photo by Richelle Wendorf

By Adam James

Though last week’s rainy weather canceled the second of two meets for the Mound Westonka High School cross country team, it didn’t impact their schedule when they competed at the Norwood-Young America Lions Invitational on Sept. 10. Hosted at Baylor Park, the Westonka runners joined other middle school and high school racers from the area.

The White Hawks featured four champions on the day. Ninth-grader Laura Sunnarborg won the varsity girls race in a time of 19:44.50. Junior Kyle Sorrentino took first in the junior varsity boys race in a time of 18:59.36. Middle school runners eighth-grader Miles Dumbauld and seventh-grader Brooke Garlock finished in first with times of 5:50.08 and 6:35.54, respectively, in the boys and girls races.

Aside from individual champions, Westonka had three teams finish first on the day. The middle school boys won their meet, taking first, second, third, sixth, and eighth out of the 67 runners in the race. While Dumbauld set the pace, eighth-graders Jack and Lucas Markstrom were close behind, finishing second and third in times of 5:54.40 and 6:00.46, respectively. Eighth-grader Matthew von Edeskuty finished sixth (6:12.89), and seventh-grader Eric Wendorf finished eighth (6:13.99).

The middle school girls also finished first. While their meet only had two teams competing, there were over 40 runners. Garlock was closely followed by eighth-grader Stella Johnson and seventh-grader Sara Sipprell, who finished in fifth and sixth, respectively, with times of 6:53.25 and 7:00.98. Seventh-grader Gabby Callahan rounded out the team with a 13th-place finish in 7:26.57.

Lastly, the JV boys also won against an 11-team race that featured 115 runners. Sorrentino led the way, but the team received additional contributions from juniors Cole Garlack, who finished second (19:46.38), Derek Lloyd (ninth, 20:41.93) and Roman Fenzl (12th, 20:45.35), and senior Robby Brustad (14th, 20:51.84).

Senior Alec Van Gelder placed fifth at Baylor with at time of 17:07 / photo by Richelle Wendorf

In the most competitive race of the day, the varsity boys finished in an impressive third place among the 15 teams. All five runners finished in the top half of the 107 varsity entrants. Senior Alec Van Gelder led the way with fifth place in 17:07.97. Sophomore Lance Nemecek finished 13th in 17:38.41. Junior Charlie Herder finished 20th in 18:09.39, and sophomore Beckett James finished 26th in 18:31.27. Rounding out the scoring for the White Hawks was sophomore Josh Engesser, who finished 44th in 19:22.50.

The varsity girls finished sixth in the 14-team race. While Sunnarborg led all runners, Westonka received additional contributions from senior Kate McGown (27th, 22:36.87), sophomore Allison Soule (30th, 22:44.23), ninth-grader Emily Wendorf (41st, 23:17.36), and senior Sarah Malchow (54th, 23:53.82).

The JV girls had five runners represented – juniors Jenna Brustad (16th, 25:06.45), Maya Henslin (35th, 28:41.64), Carly McGown (42nd, 29:55.88) and Jadyn Rice (49th, 30:35.77). Rounding out the JV girls team was senior Olivia Duggan (45th, 30:02.22).

The White Hawks are scheduled to run again on Tuesday, Sept. 17, in the Grasshopper race held at Gale Woods.