PLATTEVILLE – For 10 straight years, the Darlington Redbirds boys’ cross country team has hoisted up the Small School team title at the Dick McKichan Platteville Invitational.
Darlington made it a full decade on dominance by winning the Small School division title with a 31-point performance at the 50th annual McKichan Invitational held at Veterans Park on Saturday, Sept. 30.
Junior Payton Heinberg won the boys’ Small School varsity race for the second year in a row, covering the 5,000-meter course in a time of 16:27.
Senior Tanner Evenstad was third overall in 16:45 and junior Tucker Lange followed in fourth in a best-ever time of 16:47, while senior Paul King placed sixth in a personal-best 17:11 and senior Curtis Blosch finished 17th in a personal-best 18:17 to help the ‘Birds cruise to the title with a 62-point gap ahead of runner-up Wisconsin Heights/Barneveld (93).
“We had a good all around meet. They were running with fire in their eyes and a sense of purpose. We have shifted gears in our training and it shows. We had some young runners step up and run great races. We still have plenty of work to do, but this was a step in the right direction,” said Darlington head coach Arnie Miehe.
Junior Trae Schilling won the boys’ junior varsity race in 17:58 to lead the young ‘Birds to a fifth-place finish on the day with a score of 104.
In the girls’ Small School varsity race, the Lady Redbirds pulled in third with 66 points to finish behind Prairie du Chien (36) and Lancaster (52) in the team standings.
Junior Ilse Mendez was fourth in 20:07 and senior Reghan Komprood was fifth in 20:12 to lead the Darlington squad. Senior Emma Crist was 12th in 21:04, followed by senior Erin Wolf in 16th at 21:18 and sophomore Maddie Crist in 29th with a personal-best 23:03.
In the JV girls’ race, the young Redbirds nipped Dodgeville/Mineral Points, 32-33, for the team title after placing all five team runners in the top 11 and setting a JV team record for the fastest seven runners total time.
Darlington will compete at the annual Wisconsin Rapids Invitational held at the Ridges Golf Course on Saturday, Oct. 7, starting at 10:30 a.m.
Boys Small School Team Scores: Darlington 31, Wisconsin Heights/Barneveld 93, New Glarus/Monticello 103, Lancaster 116, Albany 156, Iowa-Grant/Highland 159, Belleville 163, Madison Country Day 177, River Ridge 208, Wauzeka-Steuben 223, Saint Ambrose Academy inc, Prairie du Chien inc.
JV Boys Team Scores: Monroe 67, Platteville 68, Dodgeville/Mineral Point 83, McFarland 94, Darlington 104, Mount Horeb 132, Sauk Prairie 156, Southwestern/Cuba City/Benton 242, New Glarus/Monticello 270, Lodi 290, Evansville 317, River Valley 335, Wauzeka-Steuben 361, River Ridge 416.
Other Darlington Results: Vars– 20- Willie Riechers, 18:41.4; 21- Bailey Schwartz, 18:41.8. JV– 5- Miles Carper, 18:20*; 129- Michael Thompson, 18:44*; 37- Preston Banfield, 19:30; 49- Daniel Maurer, 19:56*; 52- Andrew Merriam, 20:15*; 63- Alexis Cruz, 20:57*; 84- Michael Garcia, 20:58; 85- Riley Jones, 20:59*; 133- Seth Johnson, 22:56*; 149- Brandon Hardt, 23:46*.
Varsity Girls Team Scores: Prairie du Chien 36, Lancaster 56, Darlington 66, Wisconsin Heights/Barneveld 80, Albany 99, New Glarus/Monticello 184, Belleville 195, Madison Country Day inc, River Ridge inc, Saint Ambrose Academy inc, Wauzeka-Steuben inc, Iowa-Grant/Highland inc.
JV Girls Team Scores: Lancaster 65, McFarland 81, Dodgeville/Mineral Point 105, Platteville 128, Sauk Prairie 144, Darlington 146, Monroe 168, Madison Edgewood 175, Lodi 220, Mount Horeb 236, Brodhead/Juda 248, Belleville 288, Saint Ambrose Aademy 375, Prairie du Chien 423.
Darlington Results: Vars– 34- Aliyah Gould, 23:45*; 38- Bethany McDonald, 24:24. JV– 3- Brooke Douglas, 22:37*; 5- Gracie Douglas, 23:00*; 6- Meghan Douglas, 23:06; 7- Morgan Black, 23:17*; 11- Valeria Trozzo, 23:45*; 22- Miriam Lindquist, 24:31*; 29- Kelly Wick, 24:52*; 44- Layla McDermott, 25:26*; 65- Reagan Crist, 26:13*; 75- Lauren Jones, 26:46*; 88- Kaitlyn Johnson, 27:20*; 95- Natty Soper, 27:38*; 98- Layla McDermott, 28:05*
At Platteville Veterans Park, on Saturday, Sept. 30
* Best Time Ever