Sports

Here they come

Lutheran boys win Big East
in cross country

THE LUTHERAN BOYS warm up for the Big East Conference championship on Thursday. – Photo by Jenni Pickel

Thanks to having five of the top 11 runners, the Sheboygan Luthearn boys cross country team won a conference championship Wednesday for the first time since 2013.

Lutheran, which hosted the race, finished 21 points ahead of second-place Kohler to claim the South Division title. Last year, the Crusaders took second but returned their top five runners, including four seniors.

“It was definitely our goal, and our goal last year already,” coach Jeff Jurss said. “After that conference meet, they already were: ‘next year. Let’s go. Let’s get this.’”

Senior Dominic Willadsen finished in second with a time of 16 minutes 58.95 seconds after placing sixth a year ago. Kohler sophomore Davis Behler won the race in 16:45.67.

“I ran hard, I don’t know if I would’ve done anything different that I would’ve been able to beat him,” Willadsen said. “He’s a really good runner.”

Senior Jonah Jurss ended fourth in 17:21.97 after taking 16th in 2019.

“I think he nudged one guy out right at the end and one guy was fractions of a second in front of him,” his coach said. “There was a group of three or four guys coming down the final sprint all together, and I think Jonah at about a mile was in 10th place. So he had a great second half of the race.”

Senior Hans Gruben took ninth (17:48.22), junior Logan Zak was 10th (17:48.97) and senior Matthew Witte came in 11th (17:55.02).

“They know that you’ve got to group tight to win meets and I think they look for each other,” Jurss said. “I don’t necessarily care what order they finish, I just want them to be competitive. So they race each other toward the end. I think that’s what helps them get better times throughout the year, but also to finish tight and close like that, too.”

Sophomore Zach Glewen finished 14th and freshman Travis Tock took 17th, although their times did not count toward the team’s point total.

GIRLS RESULTS: Lutheran turned in a fifth-place showing and was led by junior Ellie Fredericks’ 19th-place time of 24:04.86.

Junior Ambryn Diener came in 22nd, sophomore Maddie Hackbarth placed 25th, senior Kirsten Solle took 26th and sophomore Audrey Schmideler ended 27th.

Sophomore Alyssa Binsfield was the team’s sixth runner and came in 30th.

The girls have just one senior and had to replace their top-three runners from last season.

“They’re still growing and learning, and I think COVID summer hurt them,” Jurss said. “They didn’t do a lot of training throughout spring – not having a track season – and in the summer they didn’t do a ton of running. I appreciate their hard effort every week and every meet. They need to do the offseason running to put the pressure on some of the top girls in our conference.”

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