Monona Grove cross country runner Mackenzie Babcock has had a pretty good freshman season so far.

On Saturday, Babcock won the girls varsity race at the Midwest Invitational—one of the largest and most prestigious cross country meets in the Midwest, second in Wisconsin only to the state meet.

Babcock covered the 5,000-meter course at Blackhawk Golf Course in 17 minutes, 55 seconds.

But Babcock has her eyes on an even bigger prize: the upcoming state meet.

Saturday’s time was a personal best for Babcock, who has been trying to break the 18-minute mark all season. Her effort helped lead the Monona Grove girls to a seventh-place team finish.

Monona Grove head girls coach Corey Livieri said steady trimming of times throughout the long season is what coaches look for.

“We’ve still got a few invites, and then conference and regionals,” Livieri said. “We’re right where we want to be.”

Cool conditions and brief rain showers that moved through the area Friday night made for a soft, fast course, and many runners reported new personal records (PRs).

One of the reasons teams come to the Midwest Invitational is because of its size—43 complete teams competed Saturday. Many coaches and runners describe it as very similar to the state meet.

That holds true for the atmosphere as well, according to coaches such as Madison Edgewood’s Joe LaMontagne.

“It’s good for our kids to compete in a big event like this,” LaMontagne said. “They learn how to break out of the pack safely, and get a taste of the atmosphere will be like at state.”

Luke Wiley of Gurnee (Illinois) Warren Township, won the boys race in 15 minutes, 5 seconds.

Lake Geneva Badger’s Demetrius Farmakis, a senior, turned in the best boys showing among area teams, finishing 13th in 15:46. Badger’s Molly Deering, also a freshman, had the best girls showing among area teams, coming in 12th in 19:17.

Among city teams, Parker’s Logan Risseeuw, a senior, had the best finish among the boys 17:26, good for 110th.

Risseeuw was pleased with his race Saturday. “I’ve been working on (improving) my third mile,” Risseeuw said.

Parker coach Paul Hartwig said the Blackhawk course is good preparation for meets further down the road, especially state.

Craig’s Rylee Coleman had the best effort among the Janesville girls, taking 39th in 19:58. The Cougars also had the best team finish in the area, finishing 14th with 404 points.

Coleman was pleased with her race and said she feels like she’s where she wants to be at this point.

“I’ve been trying to break 20 (minutes), and I was able to do that today,” Coleman said. “The course was pretty fast.”

MIDWEST INVITATIONALAt Blackhawk Golf Course, Janesville, 5,000 metersBOYSTEAM SCORESMequon Homestead 98; Gurnee (Ill.) Warren Township 120; Milwaukee Marquette 207; Kenosha Indian Trail 244; Hartland Arrowhead 249; Wisconsin Lutheran 266; Lake Geneva Badger 286; Verona 303; Madison La Follette 354; Madison West 354; Sun Prairie 367; Oconomowoc 376; Dodgeville/Mineral Point 384; Rockford (Ill.) Guilford 393; Madison Memorial 393; Neenah 416; Appleton North 449; Stoughton 456; Brookfield East 483; Green Bay Preble 509; Mount Horeb 578; Monroe 590; Monona Grove 611; Kimberly 612; Houston (Texas) Aldine MacArthur 637; Rockton (Ill.) Hononegah 654; Elkhorn 654; Madison East 680; Kenosha Bradford 774; Oregon 795; Janesville Craig 802; Waunakee 823; Belleville 916; Platteville 952; Middleton 976; Whitewater 987; Janesville Parker 1,091; Hales Corners Whitnall 1,096; Milton 1,125; Beloit Turner 1,153; South Milwaukee 1,172; Beloit Memorial 1,187; East Troy 1,217.

TOP FINISHERS1, Luke Wiley (GWT) 15:05; 2, Austin Henderson (NEE) 15:14.5, Owen Bosley (HOM) 15:23.2, Aidan Manning (VER) 15:27.6, Mateo Alvarado (SP) 15:25.5.

AREA TEAMSJanesville Craig—Mathew McBride 17:34, Damian Soto 17:54, Chris Wier 17:54, Jack Myre 18:19, Tyler Hegle 18:25, Jack Austin 18:49, Evan Gissendorf 18:55.

Janesville Parker—Logan Risseeuw 17:26, Carter Herbst 18:39, Yavyne Schnuck 19:03, Addison Fennick 19:26, Noah Herbst 19:59, Zak Koller 21:18.

Milton—Jonathan Flowers 17:34, Tyler Rateike 18:45, Josiah Raby 19:07, Brady Case 19:52, Brandon Phillipps 20:05, Tim Wallace 20:06, Rowan Jauch 20:16.

Beloit Turner—Clayton Coldren 18:24, Mekhi Ott 18:27, Alex Aquino 19:18, Darren Niefeldt 19:25, Donovan Niefeldt 19:39, Layne Summer 20:36, Zack Ries 22:04.

Beloit Memorial—Evan James 17:29, Anthony Ferrara 18:56, Ben Johnson 19:58, David Froeber III 21:49, Eli Miller 22:04, Jaidyn Cox 22:24, David Peck 22:45.

Lake Geneva Badger—Demetrius Farmakis 15:46, Brody Kluge 16:34, Angel Toribio 16:57, Evan Wruk 17:01, Nolan Cassidy 17:24, Dominic Alonzo 17:24, Zachary Blasiman 18:04.

Elkhorn—Drew Davey 16:55, Riley Bucheit 17:09, Sam Manak 17:52, Erik Johnson 18:14, Blake Sterken 18:24, Mitch Falcon 20:41, Atley Rasmussen 20:55.

Whitewater—Jack Hefty 17:05, Cooper Hammond 18:20, Nate Holden 18:29, C.J. Tomomitsu 19:19, Miles Nickelsburg 21:09, Ben McCulloch 21:38, Andrew Rollette 22:58.

GIRLSTEAM SCORESHinsdale (Ill.) Central 63; Madison West 190; Appleton North 190; Neenah 203; Dodgeville/Mineral Point 227; Kimberly 255; Monona Grove 271; Rockton (Ill.) Hononegah 285; Sun Prairie 301; Waunakee 326; Madison Memorial 335; Hartland Arrowhead 347, Milwaukee Divine Savior Holy Angels 348; Janesville Craig 404; Kenosha Indian Trail 406; Mequon Homestead 434, Lake Geneva Badger 445; Mount Horeb 458; Beaver Dam 484; Verona 525; Waukesha South 565; Gurnee (Ill.) Warren Township 585; Oconomowoc 589; Madison East 597; Milton 637; Wisconsin Dells 642; Stoughton 655; Platteville 675; Middleton 705; Rockford (Ill.) Guilford 777; Monroe 788; Elkhorn 884; Madison La Follette 967; Whitewater 1,026; Houston (Texas) Aldine MacArthur 1,064.

TOP FINISHERS1, Mackenzie Babcock (MG) 17:55; 2, Cate McCabe (HIN) 18:00; 3, Mia Pasha (GWT) 18:23; 4, Ellie Robinson (DMP) 18:25; 5, Annika Cutforth (MM) 18:36.9.

AREA TEAMSJanesville Craig—Riley Coleman 19:58, Caitlyn Dickman 20:34, Addison Fagan 20:53, Kera Riley 20:55, Abigayl Anderson 21:01, Janelly Soto 21:09, Julianna Moran 22:36.

Milton—Mara Talabac 19:31, Alayna Borgwardt 20:02, Samantha Benson 21:46, Emma Beutin 22:07, Allison Johnson 22:42.

Beloit Turner—Lydia Selfarth 20:29.

Lake Geneva Badger—Molly Deering 19:17, Mya Lenz 20:35, Brooklyn Flies 20:43, Kate Hoover 21:27, Delaney Deering 21:32, Skye Genrich 21:57, Vivian Ford 22:50.

Elkhorn—Grace Woyak 21:43, Paige Jacobs 21:52, Aubrey Schreiber 22:25, Ila Flath 22:29, Kaylee Anzalone 24:29, Jazmine Camarena 25:04, Hayley Vogl 25:42.

Whitewater—Caelyn Caputo 23:10, Emma Weigel 23:18, Gwen Truesdale 23:23, Nola Coburn 23:47, Sophie Walton 25:01, Jenny Villarreal 27:40, Evie Troxel 27:52.


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