Ok…let me have it
It has been 10 years since the D1 team champion was in the triple digits (LaFollette – 2006), but this years race is shaping up to play out that way. This will be an absolute dog fight, with the championship coming down to a mere inches. The winner will be decided by 2 points this season!
Individually, the fast times that everyone is anticipating won’t be quite as fast as everyone thinks. A little precipitation this week, followed by a cool stiff breeze on Saturday will make running conditions once again challenging on the mighty RIDGES. That being said, Gessner, Newcomb, and Wagner have one epic battle that ends with Gessner pulling away in the final 800-1200m, quieting everyone discussion of his lack of foot speed at 800m.
#1 Middleton – They have been resting, re-energizing, and just plain laying in the weeds since the Verona invite over Labor Day weekend. In a surprise turn of events, a spirited sprint up the finishing hill by a young freshman #5 runner seals the deal.
#2 Mad West – They are right there, but with 2 Middleton runners crossing the line before the first Mad West runner, they are just not able to close the gap.
#3 West Bend West – With the return of their experienced senior runner mid season, this team has been on the upswing…but a little too late for a championship run this season.
#4 Arrowhead – Peaked a couple weeks too early, but still battle to the finishing hill for the championship.
#5 Kimberly – Tremendous improvement in the back half of the season and their experience at big meets carries them to a top 5 finish.
#6 Monona Grove – Of the teams that came out of the Beloit Sectional, they didn’t look like they “went to the well” quite as much as the others, and their ability to cruise to a conference title 2 weeks prior plays to their advantage.
#7 Neenah – I changed my mind about Neenah getting their revenge against WBW winning sectional. Participating in the post season in 2 sports takes its toll on the young sophomore sensation. Team is still deep enough to hold on a top 10 spot.
#8 Stevens Point – Although they had the easiest road to Madison and have the freshest legs of any teams, they just don’t have the depth we anticipated at the beginning of the season.
#9 Homestead – After #1 and #2 runners they will struggle to break the 17 minute mark.
#10 Sun Prairie – The Big 8 conference meet and the brutal sectional in Beloit took their toll on this group. They laid everything on the line last week just to get here and you could see it in each of their legs as they crossed the finish line. They will struggle to a very respectable top 10 finish.
#1 Finn Gessner – 15:14
#2 Gus Newcomb – 15:24
#3 Drew Bosley – 15:33
#4 Brian Jacques – 15:35
#5 Nate Farrell – 15:37
#6 Tannor Wagner – 15:40
#7 Sam Pinkowski – 15:55
#8 Luke Guttormson – 15:59
#9 Jordan Janusiak – 16:02
#10 Issac Benz – 16:02