VERONA — It’s a new season and the Platteville boys cross country team will have its hands full defending their 2015 Southwest Wisconsin Conference title.
Two-time individual SWC champion Vince Momot is gone and the rest of the conference is hungry to chase down the Hillmen, who have won three straight conference titles.
The Platteville girls are still looking up at defending champion Lancaster and perennial power Dodgeville/Mineral Point.
Coach Rob Serres’ teams opened the season last Tuesday with dual meet victories over Lancaster on their home course at UW–Platteville’s Memorial Park.
Saturday the Hillmen stepped up the level of difficulty by taking part in the 27-team Verona Invitational.
Platteville more than held its own as both teams placed second out of 10 teams.
“We had a great day at Verona with the girls and boys teams both placing second,” said Serres. “We had great teamwork from our 2–3–4 runners with the girls. This was a great meet to see where we are at, get our race legs under us, and set some goals for the season. We hit a lot of PR’s at the first meet. It was some great racing.”
Senior Dan Iselin, sophomore Jace Serres and senior Brelynn Updike each medaled with top-35 finishes overall.
Iselin finished second in D3 and ninth overall out of 167 runners with a time of 16:22.59. Iselin is a two-year state qualifier. He finished third at conference and 27th at last year’s Division 2 state meet.
Serres, who was a second-team All-SWC runner as a freshman, showed his improvement from a year ago, placing fifth in D3 and 35th overall on Saturday at 17:21.09.
Sophomore Calvin Wernimont (21st in D3, 18:42.78), junior Logan Henry (23rd, 19:00.6), sophomore Alex Sonsalla (25th, 19:07.45), junior Tikiri Bandara (33rd, 19:37.13) and senior Eric Wells (35th, 19:39.58) rounded out the Platteville boys’ varsity lineup.
Platteville score 76 points to finish second in Division 3 behind La Crosse Aquinas (47).
On the girls, side Updike turned in a 20:47.52 performance to place seventh in Division 3 and 33rd overall out of 169 runners to lead the Platteville girls.
Junior Morgan Wehnke (21:31.82) finished 10th in D3, senior Sami Brookens (21:45.56) was 15th, followed by freshman Brittani Meis (22:20.89) at 21st, senior Grace Hammermeister (22:49.42) at 22nd, sophomore Julia Kasper (23:11.41) at 29th and sophomore Cori Kettler (23:14.21) at 30th.
The Hillmen will return to action Thursday at Prairie du Chien before traveling to Decorah, Iowa on Saturday for the Luther College All-American Invitational.
(from Tuesday, Aug. 31 @ UW–Platteville, Veterans Memorial Park)
(Girls, 4,000 meters)
Team scores: 1.Platteville 21, Lancaster 34.
Platteville (21): 2.Brelynn Updike 16:49, 3.Morgan Wehnke 17:52, 4.Sami Brookens 17:56, 7.Grace Hammermeister 18:18, 8.Brittani Meis 18:20, 9.Julia Kasper 18:21, 11.Cori Kettler 18:35.
(Boys, 4,000 meters)
Team scores: 1.Platteville 15, Lancaster inc.
Platteville (15): 1.Dan Iselin 13:21, 2.Jace Serres 13:52, 3.Calvin Wernimont 15:20, 4.Logan Henry 15:30, 5.Tikiri Bandara 15:32, 6.Alex Sonsalla 15:33, 7.Eric Wells 15:38.
(from Saturday, Sept. 3 @ Verona)
(Girls, 5,000 meters)
Division 3 team scores: 1.Wisconsin Dells 48, 2.Platteville 75, 3.Mauston 116, 4.Westby 118, 5.La Crosse Aquinas 123, 6.Whitewater 124, 7.Madison Edgewood 158, 8.New Glarus/Monticello 211, 9.River Valley 213, 10.Westfield/Monticello 233.
Division 3 top finishers: 1.Laura Beghin (WD) 18:52.78, 2.Allisan Barrett (Whitewater) 19:57.92, 3.Lindsay Cunningham (WD) 20:27.42, 4.Nicole Tomomitsu (Whitewater) 20:32.11, 5.Taylor Campbell (WD) 20:33.41.
Platteville (overall, D3): 33(7).Brelynn Updike 20:57.52, 52(10).Morgan Wehnke 21:31.82, 63(15).Sami Brookens 21:45.56, 82(21).Brittani Meis 22:20.89, 89(22).Grace Hammermeister 22:49.42, 101(29).Julia Kasper 23:11.41, 103(30).Cori Kettler 23:14.21.
(Boys, 5,000 meters)
Division 3 team scores: 1.La Crosse Aquinas 47, 2.Platteville 76, 3.Mauston 90, 4.River Valley 111, 5.New Glarus/Monticello 150, 6.Whitewater 151, 7.Westfield/Montello 151, 8.Westby 166, 9.Wisconsin Dells 205.
Division 3 top finishers: 1.Dustin Hatfield 16:01.52, 2.Dan Iselin 16:22.58, 3.Kyle Fredrickson (NG/Mont.) 17:06.25, 4.Jeremiah Degroot (Aquinas) 17:16.4, 5.Jace Serres 17:21.09.
Platteville (overall, D3): 9(2).Iselin 16:22.59, 35(5).Serres 17:21.09, 101(21).Calvin Wernimont 18:42.78, 108(23).Logan Henry 19:00.6, 116(25).Alex Sonsalla 19:07.45, 132(33).Tikiri Bandara 19:37.13, 134(35).Eric Wells 19:39.58.