Finn Gessner


Why no Finn at River Valley. ACT, ill, injured, or just sitting out. His collapse at the Verona finish line was uncharacteristic but running a 15:18 on a tough course might be considered uncharacteristic as well. Hope he is ok and ready to excite us again.


If he has bigger plans down the road could he just be sitting out? As long as he is not deliberately avoiding anyone I don’t think it is unfair of him to take off. He would have been a 3-time River Valley meet champion. What does that mean compared to Big Eights, State or Nationals?


Madison La Follette’s remaining regular season schedule is:

Sep 17 - Waukesha Cross Country Festival (Oconomowoc, Pewaukee, WBE, WBW & 20 others)
Sep 24 - Midwest Invitational (Middleton, Kimberly & 35 others)
Sep 27 - 5 Team Challenge @ Badger Prairie Park in Verona (Middleton, ME, MW, Verona)
Oct 1 - Stoughton Invitational (Middleton, Stevens Point & 12 others)
Oct 7 - City Meet @ Lake Farm (ME, MM, MW, MEDG)
Oct 15 - Big 8 Conference @ Badger Prairie Park

I know nothing about the reason he didn’t run. But if he’s going to sit out a meet or two this season, River Valley was by far the most logical one. There’s zero let-up the rest of the season. I assume he’ll also sit out the 5 Team Challenge.

I’ve driven through Badger Prairie Park a hundred times, but never with the thought of a cross country meet being held there. I think Madison East is the host. Where were the past meets that Madison East hosted?


We train there quite a bit and it is totally unacceptable for a large conference meet of the caliber of the Big 8 runners. There is no area for a start of more than a couple dozen runners. Trails are very narrow and it is extremely hilly both up and down. Bathroom facilities are totally inadequate, and parking is non existent. A sectional was run there in 1993 when hundreds of hours were spent mowing a wide start and filling the many holes that then abounded. It still prove inadequate. Middleton’s use of this for the Big 8 5 Team event is very questionable.


Finn had an official recruit visit at UW.

Verona is hosting conference now, same course as Verona Invite. So, not at BPP.

I don’t think Middleton has much around it to hold a course in general…limited options for where to go.


Finn is Fine. He had ACT during the River Valley meet and may not run until Midwest. Certainly pointing toward bigger fish he and his coach are playing it smart. Big 8 5 team meet still at Badger Prairie however. I will bet Middleton does not run any of their top guys on that course whatever it may be. I see they held out their top five at least at the Big 8 Grade Level Meet. Course was basically a quagmire and pretty heavy slow running. Times at least 30 seconds off even the West Invite which was mushy Saturday and now the new rains took it to another level of mushiness.


East has hosted at Warner Park and I think Lake Farm before.


The conference meet is not at Badger Prarie. East was supposed to host it at lake farm but forgot to reserve the park so instead Verona will be hosting it on the same course that the Verona invite was run at.


So will Gessner and Newcomb go at it again at Stoughton on Saturday (10/1)? Should they?


I think it would be wise to adopt a “mutually assured destruction” deterrent to going all out at these regular season meets. No use in risking injury by ripping through 2 miles in the 9:30s and gunning after ridiculous times at Stoughton.

I think Finn has 14:40s - 14:50s in him. Really wondering if he is going to be an 8:40s kid. It also wouldn’t surprise me to see Newcomb run 15:05 somewhere. But why not gear those efforts toward a time when state, regional and national accolades are on the line?

What they should do:

If they run, big guns go out in no faster than 10:20 – cruise control for these guys – and simply work on closing the last 1.1 fast. They can maintain single digit team points running controlled 15:40s (or who knows) and at the same time prepare for the later stages.


I don’t think it’s in Finn best interest to collaborate with someone who is provably intimidated of him. you lose that intimidation you may accidentally lose state even though I agree your suggestion may help from a national perspective. If I was Finn coach I just wouldn’t allow this many chances for Gus to get him. I would adjust his schedule. done griak etc


I would guess Finn sits for Stoughton.

The bigger question is October 15 @ Conference on a challenging Verona Course. How hard will they go at Verona?


Big Eight has really been spoiled with great rivalries the past 10 years or so. There are many to think about. As a whole the rise of the Big Eight and the strengthening of D2 < very key > has led a total resurgence in Wisconsin Distance Running.

Recent Big Eight Rivalries:

  • Alex Brill (9:02 guy) vs Brett Kelly (9:05 guy)
  • Gabe Heck (4:16/9:00) vs Abdou Seye (4:16).
  • Tommy Meister (4:08/9:04) vs Chandler Diffee (4:11/9:17)

Brill finished out of a podium spot at state and left some pretty big in-season times behind him. I think he might be the Stoughton course record holder. Abdou ended up getting sick at the end of the year and like Brill left some decent times in season that would have gotten him on the podium. I think Tommy Meister as a senior was holding himself up to his junior year standards and when Chandler caught him mid-season his mind got the best of him. Then Chandler nearly did the same thing as a senior and did not repeat his state championship.

Both Nameth and Hacker were really good but after sophomore year it was pretty apparent that Hacker had another gear. Still wish Nameth had an extra two weeks or so of training his senior year in track. He salvaged a 9:07 with a lot of heart and little bit of luck to duct tape a good finish from what had been an injured season. Great runners but not exactly a rivalry.

I would just hate to see these guys now – who are on a whole different level than any in the recent past – not have it when it counts. Very deep conference across the board. You’ve only got “x” number of races to lay it all out at that level – basically 3-6 if you know what you’re doing.



candidly as much as we are both on the same page and im nervous racing gus too much is bad for Finn its too early to call this a rivarly. Gus has pushed Finn one time in his entire career thus far. If Finn beats him by 20 seconds again next time they race then this will likely be the rivarly that never was. If anything bosley is creeping closer to gus now only 10 seconds away. if bosley really ran a 156 split as a freshman and if he truly ran 416 1600 2 weeks before confrence (undocumented) then he is not someone you want to be close to you with 800 to go. if he is like his dad he did not overtrain this summer but probably the opposite and last cross he went from a top 20 runner to 7th in the final two weeks of peaking. I’m not convinced yet that Gus will make top 3 despite that insane time he ran earlier this year.


100% Gus has been in cruise control for 3 meets! Id be more worried about T.W. Running 15:13, when he could run 16:25 pace and cruise to victory.


Bosley definitely ran a 4:16-high, 4:17-low at the Homestead meet last year. He beat Riley Dem who for sure ran 4:18.

PRs of 4:17/9:21 as a strong but still scrawny freshman can go either route. Phil Downs was 4:20/9:18 as a freshman and went 15:32 at the Ridges as a sophomore. Solinsky was 4:29 / 9:30 and went 15:32 at the Ridges as a sophomore. Andrew Perkins was 4:13/9:18 as a freshman and 15:36 as a sophomore – and afterward he went backwards in cross country.

A modest improvement would bring him to the 15:20s-15:30s. The super star improvement would be 15:00. Do you think we have yet ANOTHER 15:00-flat guy in the making?



I’m not worried about tannor. if your a potential 150 404 sub 850 guy this year than it’s hard not to run under 1530 if you feel good. he has an easy schedule he isn’t over doing anything. just getting ready to battle Finn and try to qualify for nationals after never finishing top10 at state. his first real race will be state this year as far as I know.



Clarify: a sub 1:50, 4:04, 8:50 guy that has not had the best “end of year” performances 2 years in a row in cross and Track, that over raced in both cross and again in track last spring. Completely gased out in last 50 of 1600M of state finals, and had a mental lapse in the 800M with a false start, and ran a relatively sub-par leg in the 4x400.

I’d be worried.


@riplips I like how he ran the 1600 at state and he almost easily beat perrin a 408 junior until of course he didnt. not sure what to say about the 800 but my guess is if he didn’t false start he would have Easily won and then we would all be viewing his season differently combined with his 857 3200 meter jog right after the season ended showing he was hardly burned out. I’m willing to believe his past issues in cross were health related and he will be the real deal this year. that doesn’t mean he will beat Finn in the 5k but that’s only because I believe Finn could be one of the top 10 in the country and trying to run for the win if healthy but I do think tannor is a national caliber talent and I like how aggressive he is. so I guess I disagree and think he will finish top 2 at state and make nationals if healthy


I know this is an open forum riplips, however lets make sure that we keep our comments about these outstanding athletes positive!!! None of them are perfect. All of them are growing and learning to race yet. Very few of us if any know the issues these incredible kids are dealing with outside of running. I was in their shoes once and they are simply chancing the dream and giving 100% in the process. Your comments obviously show your in Finn’s corner. We should be blessed that these boys seem to be on the cusp of taking Wisconsin to the next level once more.