DARLINGTON – For head coach Arnie Miehe, the only thing more impressive than the performance of his boys’ team at this year’s Darlington Invitational was the performance of his girls’ team as each was able to keep the team title at home thanks to some stellar efforts.
The fact that the Redbird boys’ team repeated as champions at the annual season-opening event was of little surprise, but the effort by the Lady Redbirds in taking down the defending WIAA Division 2 state champion and 12-time defending meet champion Dodgeville/Mineral Point squad was a pleasant surprise for Coach Miehe and his crew at DHS on Saturday, Sept. 1.
“This was a good start to the season for both the girls and boys teams. They withstood some strong challenges from D/MP and Boscobel, respectively,” said Miehe.
The Lady Redbirds placed a pair of runners in the top five and all five of their team runners in the top 11 to snag the girls’s title for the first time since 1989 with 34 points.
The Dodge-Pointers, who had won the Darlington Invite every year since the Lady ‘Birds last title, gave the hosts a run for their money in finishing second with 42 points despite missing three of the varsity runners, who were showing animals at the Iowa County Fair.
Mount Horeb finished a distant third in the girls’ race with 116 points, followed by Boscobel (119) and Monroe (127).
D/MP sophomore Hannah Owens defended her individual title by finishing first in 15:29.
Redbirds’ senior Christa Wamsley was right on her heels in second in a personal-best time of 15:40, and senior Cheyenne Wolfe pulled in fourth in 16:35. The final five team runners all crossed the finish line within 14 seconds of one another with senior Tatum Evenstad placing eighth in 17:06, senior Rebecca Mathias taking ninth in 17:09 and senior Harley Douglas coming in 11th in 17:12 to complete the team scoring for the race.
Junior Claire Cullen (12th in 17:14) and sophomore Johanna Meister (16th in 17:20) beat D/MP’s fifth runner, Megan Hottman (18th in 17:24), to the finish line to help seal the outcome.
“Christa and Cheyenne did a good job getting in position up front, and our pack of Tatum, Rebecca, Harley, Claire and Johanna was awesome with how they made moves together during the race,” noted Miehe. “We were over three minutes faster as a team than last year. But, we still have a lot of improving to do to get where we want to be.”
Junior Tyson Miehe defended his Darlington Invite individual title from a year ago and lowered his own course record on the home course by winning the boys’ 5000-meter race in 16:15 to lead the Redbirds to the team title with 28 points.
SWAL-rival Boscobel was a close second with 55 points, followed by D/MP (100), Albany (115) and Monroe (150) in the top five.
Senior Quinn Cullen was third overall in a best-ever time of 17:15, while sophomore Thomas Schultz set a personal-best time of 17:37 to place sixth. Senior Garth Garrison was seventh in 17:45 and Kyle Schulte was 11th in 18:08 for the Redbirds.
“Our guys did a nice job of going out under control and then coming on during the second half of the race,” Matye mentioned. “We ran a faster team total time than we did last year at this meet, which is encouraging. We also know there will be stronger challenges down the road.”
In the junior varsity races, the Redbird boys took first with 32 points and the Redbird girls finished second behind D/MP with 74 points.
Darlington will return to action at the annual River Valley Invitational in Spring Green on Saturday, Sept. 8, starting at 8:30 p.m.
Varsity Girls Team Scores: Darlington 34, Dodgeville/Mineral Point 42, Mt. Horeb 116, Boscobel 119, Monroe 127, Lancaster 140, Madison Edgewood 166, Richland Center/Ithaca 215, Belleville 236, Riverdale 267, North Crawford 286.
JV Girls Team Scores: Dodgeville-Mineral Point 25, Darlington 74, Boscobel 95, Mt. Horeb 112, Madison Edgewood 137, Monroe 166, Pecatonica/Argyle 184, Stockton 212, Riverdale 217.
Other Darlington Results: JV- 3- Darby Fitzsimons, 17:50*; 10- Claire Scott, 18:54; 19- Carly Reilly, 19:35; 25- Tara Reichling, 19:53; 27- Andrea McGowan, 20:06; 35- Shai Rowe, 20:23; 37- Devra Komprood, 20:26*; 51- Haleigh Sonsalla, 21:17; 52- Shae Johnson, 21:18; 60- Hope Robiolio, 21:40; 64- Savannah Bergeson, 21:54; 68- Fatima Cheaito, 22:14; 74- Kayla Fitzsimons, 22:55; 80- Molly McDaniel, 23:33; 82- Pauline Dibbern, 23:40; 91- Meghan Vieth, 26:19.
Varsity Boys Team Scores: Darlington 28, Boscobel 55, Dodgeville/Mineral Point 100, Albany 115, Monroe 150, Mt. Horeb 154, Iowa-Grant/Highland 171, Lancaster 186, Belleville 203, Richland Center/Ithaca 256, North Crawford 318, Southwestern/Cuba City 331.
JV Boys Team Scores: Darlington 32, Dodgeville/Mineral Point 71, Monroe 92, Mt. Horeb 93, Boscobel 119, Holy Family 128.
Other Darlington Results: Varsity- 14- Patrick Roche, 18:19*; 22- Robert Martin, 18:39. JV- 2- Tomas Zander, 19:37*; 5- Eric Skattum, 19:55; 6- Blake Cwynar, 19:56; 9- Andrew Kelly, 20:11; 10- Jaden Komprood, 20:14; 12- Sean Barbee, 20:19; 20- Nate Fleming, 20:51; 24- Joe Moseley, 21:03; 29- Steven Cotter, 21:45; 42- Alex Schulte, 22:20; 47- Andrew Jacobson, 22:41; 51- Payton Steiner, 22:55; 52- Kyrin Halvorson, 22:58*; 56- Jeremy Wick, 23:12; 73- Casey Lobdell, 24:40; 82- Philip Roppe, 25:46; 87- Brandon Aardahl, 27:41; 93- Hassan Cheaito, 36:16.