Cross country teams return experienced runners

By Dan Truttschel


Opponents facing the East Troy boys and girls cross country teams this fall may feel like they’re on the set for “Groundhog Day.”

The season may have changed, but many of the names on both sides remain the same.

East Troy’s boys squad returns 10 runners from a year ago, while the girls have their full lineup back, including five runners from the 2016 Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association Division 2 State Championship squad.

First on the to-do list for both teams is to make a run at the Rock Valley Conference championship, coach Michael Rajsich said. The girls were second a year ago, while the boys were fourth.

“The boys team hasn’t won a conference championship since 1998,” he said. “Each year, this is the first goal on their minds. They want to bring a conference championship back to East Troy. The girls also want to be in the hunt for a conference title.”

For that goal to be reached, Rajsich added that several factors have to come into play.

“For both our teams, our focus is on staying healthy, working together and keeping focused on our goals,” he said. “They’ve worked hard over the summer to prepare, and we want to see their hard work pay off as the season unfolds.”

Leading the East Troy girls into the season should be seniors Morgan Bartlett, Rachel Bottum and Kaylee McFarland, coach Laurie Crandall said.

On the boys’ side, Nathan Fox returns as the top runner, along with senior Jake Smith and junior Tommy Larson. Senior Henry Chapman, who had a stellar spring track season, also is on the roster.

“They have worked very hard to prepare themselves and their teammates for a successful season,” Rajsich said.

The leaders on both teams have to do just that, lead, coach Laurie Crandall said.

“On both sides, we are looking for our leaders to set the tone each day in practice, to help hold their teammate accountable to each other and to keep the overall focus on our team goals,” she said.

The girls roster also includes seniors Sophia Calcaterra, Emma Harris, Olivia Marsh, Rachel Bottum and Kaylee McFarland; juniors Alexis Olson, Madison Desing, Christina Nolting, Ella Rondeau and Madeline Otto; sophomores Julie Chase and Addy Lomen; and freshmen Brietta Coen and Riley Pluess.

Also on the boys roster are seniors Miles McCarthy, Andrew Gross, Jacob Smith, Jack Harris, Patryk Wawro, Roman Evans and John Veselka; juniors Sam Tuttle, Calvin Collins, Michael Rosin, Callaghan Zusan and Kellen Woods; sophomores Jack Lehocky, Andy Kerr, Connor McFarland, Aidan Coen, Zach Rongstad, Austin DePuydt, Nathan Gross, Sam Friemoth, Lucas Rasmussen, Brandon Rintelman, Ben Friedl, Connor Charland; and freshmen Ben Aleckson, Anthony Barney, Jonah Edwards, Liam Herrell, Heath Houston, Adam Jurgilanis, Noah Lehnert and Jake O’Leary.

RVC outlook

Both coaches said they expect Jefferson and McFarland to both be among the teams to beat in the RVC. Jefferson enters 2018 as the defending girls champion, while McFarland won the boys title last year.

Assisting Rajsich and Crandall, who are entering their fifth year with the program, are Alyssa Massman and volunteer Mary Harding.

East Troy began its season Thursday when it traveled to the Palmyra-Eagle Invitational.

2018 schedule

Aug. 23, at Palmyra-Eagle Invitational

Aug. 27, at Monroe Invitational, 4 p.m.

Aug. 30, at Cam-Rock Invitational, 4 p.m.

Sept. 6, East Troy Invitational (Timber-lee), 4:30 p.m.

Sept. 11, at Marshall Invitational, 4:30 p.m.

Sept. 15, at Ripon Invitational, 9:30 a.m.

Sept. 22, at Midwest Cross Country Invitational (Janesville), 9 a.m.

Sept. 27, at Mukwonago Invitational, 4 p.m.

Oct. 4, at Westosha Central Invitational, 4:15 p.m.

Oct. 11, at Rock Valley Conference Meet (UW-Whitewater), 3:30 p.m.

Oct. 19, WIAA sectional (UW-Whitewater), TBA



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