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Comets run to title
Monroe junior Chelsea Haffele led the Cheesemakers at the 18th annual Baertschi Invitational Saturday taking 55th place in the large school division.
ALBANY - Albany freshman Bailey Hlavachek relishes the chance to run in the Baertschi Invitational.

"Our whole community comes out to support us," Hlavachek said. "Everyone knows about this and it's getting bigger and bigger."

It's no secret that Albany could contend for a conference championship and a state berth. Hlavachek finished second place in the small school 4,000-meters to lead the Comets to a 64-68 Baertschi Invite title over Poynette Saturday.

"This will just help us at the conference and the sectional," Hlavachek said. "We just want to get better as a team."

The Comets had five runners in the top 21. Albany senior Rosy Bauman finished seventh (17:06) and junior Ciara Kubesh was 13th (17:33). Senior Ingrid Kallgren took 20th (18:04) and junior Jessica Mauerman was 21st (18:06).

"We won it because we had a team race," Albany coach Tony Brewer said. "Our No. 3, 4 and 5 runners did what they had to do to win."

Monroe rested its top five runners and the Cheesemakers finished 13th out of 14 teams in the large school division.

Monroe girls cross country coach said the two goals were to have the girls compete at a high level for individual improvement and keep everyone healthy for the Badger South Conference meet Oct. 16.

"Every single girl that competed on Saturday went out and ran a very strong two mile portion of the race and then gave all that was left in that last half mile," Jefferson said. "The course at the Baertschi Invite is one of the tougher ones that we see yet many of the girls ran their strongest, most competitive race."

Pecatonica-Argyle junior Kendra Sigg took second in the small school division with a time of 16:36.20, which was about 20 seconds behind Poynette's Katie Wasserburger. Sigg has missed qualifying for state by one spot the last two years. That has served as motivation.

"I have to focus on what I eat and getting to bed early," Sigg said. "It's all about the preparation. I set a New Year's resolution to get to state in track. I'm going to get to state in cross country. That's my biggest goal."

New Glarus-Monticello took fourth as a team, which was six points behind Pardeeville. New Glarus-Monticello junior LouAnn Judd finished 10th (17:21) to lead the Knights. Junior Amanda Kaiser took 15th (17:41) and freshman Natalie Kolasa was 17th (17:53). Sophomore Madeline Brunner finished 25th (18:29) and junior Jessie Pratt was 26th (18:31).

Monroe junior Chelsea Haffele finished 55th (18:30 and freshman Therese Hughes took 60th (18:43) in the large school division.

"I tried to push the hills and use the down hills as much as I could because there were a lot of them," Haffele said. "I feel like I am at my best to push up on them."

Haffele said she was expecting a faster time.

"I took into consideration the hills and it was so hot," she said.

Jefferson was proud of how Haffele finished.

"I really liked the way Chelsea got after the second mile," he said. "A lot of times runners tend to get complacent in that 2nd mile. A lot of focus is placed on getting out strong in the first mile and then finishing strong. We had a few targets that we wanted to go after and to see Chelsea push the pace was good heading into conference week."

Monroe sophomore Kortney Pippenger took 65th (18:51) and junior Molly Wyss was 66th (18:52). Senior Cheyenne Foster finished 74th (19:26).

Brodhead-Juda finished 10th as a team. The Cardinals had three of the top 50 runners led by freshman Camilla Klar who was 35th with a time of 17:34. Fellow freshman Meg Duffield took 47th (18:12) and freshman Jenna Klein was 49th (18:15).