Second Highlanders CC Invite a big hit despite hot weather
Shorewood third, Homestead fourth in both races
Simply put, Homestead cross country coaches Dan Claussen (boys) and Victor Vilar (girls) did everything that they could to accommodate the field and the hot, muggy conditions at their own second annual Highlander Invite on Friday at Tendick Park in Saukville.
"We moved the JV races to later in the day (around 6 and 6:30 p.m.) so the less experienced kids did not have to run in the warmest weather," Claussen said, "We ran the fitter kids (varsity) earlier and it helped out tremendously. We had only one kid go down (due to the heat).
"We had three trainers out there and ice baths available. We were ready."
"Because at some point, we'd like to expand this to 12 to 14 teams if we could," Vilarsaid.
And it would be a good thing, too, as both the boys and girls varsity races were competitive. The girls had four teams within 27 points in its tightly compacted six-full school field, while it was even tighter on the boys' side, with four teams within 12 points of one another in the seven-school event.
"We wanted to find out how we stacked up," Claussen said, "and we run fairly well, and it turns out that we're only 12 points out of first and we say to ourselves 'You've got to be kidding me?' "
Homestead scored 76 points for its spot on the boys side, as Wauwatosa East edged Brookfield Central, 64-67, for the title, with defending state Division 2 champion Shorewood third with 72.
Leading the way for the Highlanders was Alex Vielmetti, who was sixth on the rock-hard 5,000-meter course in 17 minutes, three seconds. He got support from Kale Mason in 14th (17:34), Nikhil Ramnarayan in 15th (17:35), freshman Trevor Cho in 19th (17:43) and Brandon Beschta in 22nd (17:48).
Claussen said it's good that Vielmetti is emerging as a front-runner for the team and noted that Cho is improving by leaps and bounds.
Other runners included Conner Knuth in 23rd (17:55) and Alex Greeley in 35th (18:46).
Shorewood's one-two punch
Shorewood coach Dominic Newman was also pleased with his team's effort in the tightly packed field.
"As the first two races have shown, every point counts so a few places can make the difference in any given meet," he said.
Peter Morris topped the Greyhounds effort, taking fourth (16:48), while Jacob Goldberg was 11th (17:26), Charlie Stahl 12th (17:28), John Papke 20th (17:44), and freshman Sam Kuhlmann was 25th (17:59).
Also running were John Traudt in 28th (18:10) and Michael Dellutri in 32nd (18:25).
Newman was also happy with the one-two effort of junior Dan Vrobel (18:26) and freshman Mayan Essak (18:34).
Claussen was also happy to have had seventh place Franklin in the field as the Sabers are coached by former Highlanders all-stater Tyler Fyock.
On the girls side, Vilar was impressed with how his fourth-place team ran, scoring 80 points, as Wauwatosa East won again with 53, while Franklin, behind returning individual state champion Alex Fons' 4,000-meter course record of 14:20, was second with 67 and Shorewood third with 74.
Holtz takes second
The Highlanders' Lauren Holtz was second to Fons in 15:43.
"She's a little disappointed right now, but we've told her to go out and trust the plan, it's still early," said Vilar of Holtz.
Other scoring runners for the Highlanders included Elisabeth Balistreri in 18th (17:12), Meredith Frank in 19th (17:13), Alex Holtz in 20th (17:30) and Kate Berman in 21st (17:30).
Also running were Lindsay Berman in 24th (17:31) and Helen Lewis in 25th (17:34).
"We told our second through eighth runners to go out together to the 1K mark, then break into groups at 2K and then go hard the final 2,000 meters," Vilar said. "They did what I told them, they just went out a little too slow."
But he was still impressed with Balistreri's effort.
"Tosa East had a point to make, they wanted to be the tough team," he said. "We'll see if we can reach that level. We have a good corps right now who are learning how to run.
Shorewood was competitive in this meet as the all-underclassmen Greyhounds put two in the top 10.
Haley Holan was third (16:00) while Abby Pech was sixth (16:10). Other scoring runners included Haley Florsheim in 12th (16:51), Lyndsey Morris 22nd (17:30) and Laura Gould in 31st (17:53).
Other runners included Angela Sperry in 36th (18:10) and Haley Woyak 39th (18:30). Holan and Sperry are juniors, while the remainder of the team is made up of sophomores.
Vilar said it was a fun day overall. He thought Fons' effort was astounding and was a great addition to the meet.
"To run that way and break that course record was really something," he said. "She blew the doors off of it. She can just run tough courses so well."
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