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NG-M overtakes Poynette, Albany
Albany senior Drew Mather took fifth in the small school division and he helped the Comets to a third place finish at the Baertschi Invite Saturday.
ALBANY - Albany senior Drew Mather described the 18th annual Baertschi Invitational the best way he could.

"It's always extreme at the Baertschi," Mather said after New-Glarus Monticello outdistanced Poynette 51-70 and the third-place Comets for the title.

Last year it snowed during the Baertschi Invite, but Saturday it was pushing 85 degrees. New Glarus-Monticello sophomore Ryan McCoy finished second with a time of 16 minutes, 56 seconds to lead the Knights.

"It's a tough course. It's not the best running weather," McCoy said. I've been working hard all year and dropping time. I'm getting ready to peak."

McCoy said several runners for the Knights are overcoming sickness the last couple of weeks.

"We would rather be sick a couple of weeks ago than the most important meets at conference and the sectional," McCoy said.

New Glarus-Monticello sophomore Alexander Yeiser finished 10th (18:04.90) and senior Reid Zanoya was 11th (18:13.70). Freshman Young Chul Vetterlie took 13th (18:32.50) and junior Evan Schultz was 15th (18:37.70).

Brodhead-Juda finished ninth as a team in the large school division and Monroe was 10th. Monroe coach Dave Hirsbrunner held out the Cheesemakers' top five runners to keep them healthy with the Badger South Conference meet and the Platteville sectional coming up.

"Our top five is established," Hirsbrunner said. "They have a big three weeks coming up. We have a bunch of people fighting for the sixth and seventh spots."

Albany had three of the top 12 runners in the small school division. Mather finished fifth (17:34.80) and junior Reece Whitehead took sixth (17:46.50). Albany sophomore Jose Ramirez took 12th (18:25.70), but the Comets had a big gap between their No. 3, No. 4 and No. 5 runners.

"Our goal was to win it," Albany coach Tony Brewer said. "We lost to two Division 2 teams. I know they will be disappointed. I don't think we ran as well as we wanted to. In the end, it's good competition leading up to conference."

Pecatonica-Argyle finished fifth as a team with three of the top 17 runners. Pecatonica-Argyle junior Cameron Colson took seventh with a time of 17:45.80. Junior Wyatt Massey finished 16th (18:49.70) and senior Chris James was 17th (18:52).

"I think we have some good competition here with Pecatonica," Mather said. "It's always important to win because we have so many Albany people who come out."

Mather said the Comets got off to a slow start this year.

"With the help of all of Tony's programs, we are ready to peak," Mather said. "I think we will be ready for the most important races coming up."

The Cheesemakers had two of the top 40 runners including Travis Lehnherr who finished 34th (19:22.50) and sophomore Brian Schneider who took 38th (19:29).

"There were a few guys battling for the final varsity spots," Hirsbrunner said. "I think we have a clearer picture of that now. Travis Lehnherr and Brian Schneider led the varsity. They both got out well and were competitive all the way through."

Monroe junior Cody Oudinot took 50th (19:59), junior Jacob Gassman took 53rd (20:06) and sophomore A.J. Cifuentes was 67th (20:51). Isiah Siemers and Trevor Blum ran personal best times for the Cheesemakers.

"Isiah and Trevor have both been steadily improving all season," Hirsbrunner said. "They are learning how to run and more importantly, race - the 5k distance. Isiah is very tough in the middle mile of his races and Trevor has a gutty running style with a terrific kick."

Brodhead-Juda senior Daniel Drewes finished 22nd (18:48.40) to lead the Cardinals. Junior Tate Harnack took 36th (19:24.80) and senior Kyle Lockhart was 43rd (19:41.30).

Brodhead-Juda senior Noah Trueblood finished 58th (20.22.70) and Dillon Larson was 64th (20:43.80).

Monroe will run in the Badger South Conference meet Saturday at Fort Atkinson.