Parker cross country teams kick off seasons
OCONOMOWOC--After watching Dane Tyler advance to the WIAA state cross country meet twice, and knowing that junior Keegan McCluskey would be at the front of most races, the Janesville Parker boys cross country team took its offseason seriously.
The Vikings proved that much in their 2013 debut on Thursday, finishing third at the Oconomowoc Invite.
“We had a really good day,” Parker coach Dan Bouska said. “Last year we took eighth place here. My varsity runners averaged times nearly two minutes faster. They all got serious over the summer.”
McCluskey finished third in the nine-team meet, running the course in 17 minutes, 55 seconds.
Sophomore Colton Ellis and juniors David Green and Trey Hauger placed 17th through 19th, respectively.
“McCluskey is already running faster than Dane did as a senior,” Bouska said. “He’s pretty consistent. He’s going to be at the top of every race we run this year.
“And then the next five or six guys said, ‘We’re going to have a horse next year. If we get our act together behind him, we could do well.’”
Mitch Koller is the only senior for the Vikings, so the team feels good about the direction it’s headed now and into the future.
On the girls side, Parker is looking to build off its first trip to state as a team in program history.
The Vikings were seventh on Thursday, with Mandy Slaback and Paiton Foster both medaling in the top 25.
“We had a really good team race,” coach Mike Bieber said. “On our varsity group, seven of eight girls were significantly faster than last year.”
Slaback finished 13th with a time of 17:22, while Foster was 17th at 17:34.
Like the boys team, the girls side is relatively young. Foster is a senior, as is Jenna Cavey, who was seventh on the team on Thursday, but the rest of the varsity runners were sophomores and juniors.
“The group that qualified for state was made up of only one senior, so we return a lot of young talent,” Bieber said. “Mandy and Paiton are our leaders. Bree Porter has stepped up. The Cooks (junior Victoria and sophomore Aleigh) put in a lot of work over the summer.”
“We’ve got some goals in mind, building on the success we had last season. Hopefully we can make our postseason as good as last year. It’s early though.”
Parker’s teams return to action Sept. 14 at the Rocket Invite hosted by South Milwaukee.
Oconomowoc 82, Germantown 85, Mukwonago 85, New Berlin West 95, West Bend East 98, Lake Country Lutheran 113, Janesville Parker 130, Madison East 188, Watertown 216
1. Isabel Seidel (University Lake), 15:13.81; 2. Marlie Houston (Oco), 15:20.10; 3. Riley Frieler (Oco), 16:02.03; 4. Alyssa Goesch (Ger), 16:18.59; 5. Courtney Lloyd (Muk) 16:35.94.
LOCAL TEAM SCORES
Parker (130)—13. Mandy Slaback, 17:22; 20. Paiton Foster, 17:34; 29. Bree Porter, 17:56; 32. Victoria Cook, 18:12; 36. Aleigh Cook, 18:16.
Oconomowoc 49, Madison East 64, Janesville Parker 90, Watertown 109, Kettle Moraine 109, Mukwonago 111, New Berlin West 171, West Bend East 173.
1. Paul Timm (Oco), 16:57.78; 2. Keegan McCluskey (JP), 17:04.26; 3. Mac Doherty (ME), 17:12.25; 4. Sam Pausha (KM), 17:55.47; 5. Sam Boyle (Muk), 18:02.95.
LOCAL TEAM SCORES
Parker (90)—2. Keegan McCluskey, 17:05; 17. Colton Ellis, 18:57; 18. David Green, 18:59; 19. Trey Hauger, 19:01; 34. Ian Brown, 19:40.