DARLINGTON – The Darlington Redbirds cross country team kept one of its SWAL streaks alive, but another came to an end at Thursday’s SWAL Meet.
The Redbirds captured the boys’ title for the eighth straight season with a workmen-like effort, while Albany ended the Lady Redbirds’ seven-reign as conference champions with a dominating performance at the Darlington High School course on Oct. 15.
“Every season brings new people, new chemistry and new challenges. It takes more than talent to be successful year after year. To be able to maintain our success over the years is a tribute to the character of the guys in our program. We hope to continue that success,” said Darlington head coach Arnie Miehe. “We have had various injuries that we have had to deal with since the Marshall meet, so we have had to regroup the past couple of weeks and fight an uphill battle. We didn’t run our best race of the year and Albany ran an incredible race to win the meet and end our streak.”
Darlington placed all five team scorers in the top 11 to claim the boys’ title with 31 points. Boscobel pulled in second with 50 points and Albany was third with 70 points.
Boscobel senior Dakota Kauffman claimed the boys’ individual title for the second year in a row after covering the 5,000-meter course in a time of 16:43, but the ‘Birds took five of the next 10 places to run away with the team title.
Senior Jaden Komprood was runner-up for the second straight season, finishing 10 seconds behind Kauffman in 16:53 to lead the hosts. Freshman Payton Heinberg was fourth in 17:33, followed by sophomore Tanner Evenstad in sixth in 17:40 and seniors Sean Barbee and Blake Cwynar in eighth and 11th, respectively, in 17:44 and 18:12.
Junior Connor Hackett also made the SWAL boys’ All-Conference squad after placing 12th in 18:15.
“The guys were patient and went out together, and then made their move after the mile mark. They ran another solid team race like they have been all season. I have been impressed with the young runners we have had fill positions and give us the depth. That has been our strength this season,” stated Miehe.
The Lady Comets placed all five team runners in the top nine to cruise to the girls’ title with 22 points. Boscobel was second with 45 points and the Lady Redbirds pulled in third with a score of 64.
Albany junior Ciara Kaderly won the girls’ individual title with a winning time of 19:41 over the 5,000-meter race.
Sophomore Reghan Komprood led the way for the ‘Birds by placing sixth in 21:57, and fellow sophomore Erin Wolf was right behind her in seventh in 21:59 to also make the All-SWAL team.
Sophomore Emma Crist was 16th in 22:50, followed by freshman Ilse Mendez in 17th in a personal-best 22:56 and sophomore Meghan Douglas in 18th in 23:10.
“We had some outstanding individual efforts that I was very pleased with,” Miehe added about the girls’ team.
Darlington swept the junior varsity races and individual titles, winning the boys’ title with a perfect score of 15 points and adding the girls’ title with 20 points. Senior Dylan Perrin won the boys’ JV race in 19:07, and junior Bailey McDonald won the girls’ JV race in 24:48 for the ‘Birds.
Darlington will host the 2015 WIAA Division 3 Regional Meet at DHS on Saturday, Oct. 24. The girls’ race will start at 11 a.m., and the boys’ race will follow at approximately 11:45 a.m.
The top two teams in each race advance to the WIAA State Meet along with the top five individual finishers who are not members of those teams.
“It looks as if the biggest challenges (for the boys’ will come from the teams in our conference plus Lancaster coming in. We will have to do what we have done all year and run as a team and put as many runners as we can in before everyone else’s fourth and fifth guys,” Miehe said.
“Like the guys, the girls’ race will come down to our conference’s top three and Lancaster, who won the Southwest Wisconsin Conference meet. Our sectional will be loaded. It will take a total team effort to get through, and that is what our ladies plan to do.”
2015 SWAL MEET
Varsity Boys Team Scores: Darlington 31, Boscobel 50, Albany 70, Southwestern/Cuba City 127, Riverdale 137, Iowa-Grant/Highland 164, Fennimore 177, Pecatonica/Argyle 223.
Boys’ Individual Winner: 1- Dakota Kauffman, B, 16:43.
Other Darlington overall results (5,000-meter): Vars– 17- Trae Schilling, 18:49. JV– 1- Dylan Perrin, 19:07; 2- Paul King, 19:11; 4- Tucker Lange, 19:56; 5- Preston Banfield, 20:00*; 6- Wylie Richardson, 20:12*; 9- Miles Carper, 21:01*; 13- Michael Garcia, 21:43; 16- Curtis Blosch, 22:03; 18- Andrew Merriam, 22:06; 20- Daniel Maurer, 22:40*; 22- Mason Stone, 22:50; 23- Riley Jones, 23:01*; 24- Alexis Cruz, 23:12; 27- Hunter Wilkinson, 23:24*; 35- Dylan Busch, 27:29*; 37- Kyle Thompson, 27:29; 42- Joel Wick, 32:17.
JV Boys Team Scores: Darlington 15, Boscobel 46, Riverdale 85.
Varsity Girls Team Scores: Albany 22, Boscobel 45, Darlington 64, Pecatonica/Argyle 132, Fennimore 136, Iowa-Grant/Highland 151, Southwestern/Cuba City inc, Riverdale inc.
Girls’ Individual Winner: 1- Ciara Kaderly, A, 19:41.
JV Girls Team Scores: Darlington 20, Boscobel 37.
Other Darlington overall results (5,000-meter): Vars– 22- Jaci Moseley, 23:35; 23- Paige Schilling, 23:46. JV– 1- Bailey McDonald, 24:48; 4- Kaylee Meyers, 25:15; 5- Hannah Hauser, 25:28*; 7- Tara Reichling, 25:35; 9- Cheyenne Schuetz, 26:24*; 13- Molly McDaniel, 27:13.4; 14- Allie Halvorson, 27:13.6; 18- Grace Cwynar, 28:25*; 19- Lacie Smith, 28:26; 21- Jada Glendenning, 30:40*; 22- Kim Sniff, 30:59; 24- Kaitlyn Johnson, 32:17; 25- Anastasia Dannenberg, 32:56*; 26- Meagan Jacobson, 35:45.
* Best Time ever
At Darlington, on Thursday, Oct. 15