Coming off a win at the Baertschi Invitational, the Oregon girls cross country team put together another solid performance Saturday, Oct. 19, in the Badger South Conference meet at Fort Atkinson High School.
The Panthers finished second with 66 points. Talented freshman Dasha Vorontsov battled through an illness and slight irritation in her left patellar tendon to place second with a time of 19:10, earning her first-team all-conference honors.
“I was really nervous in the week leading up to the race,” she said. “Before the race, I told myself that I could do it. My hard work and belief in myself paid off.”
Senior Zoe Frank was a second-team all-conference honoree after finishing ninth with a time of 20:18.7. Junior Julia Hutchinson (20:48.4) edged classmate Clara Hughes (20:50.5) for 16th place and the final second-team all-conference spot. Hughes settled for 17th.
Freshman Libby Beirne rounded out the Panthers’ counting times in 22nd (21:14). Sophomore Grace Riedl (26th, 21:25.6) and senior Bryanna Salazar (29th, 21:35.2) also competed.
Monona Grove won the team title with 44 points with all five runners in the top 18. Stoughton senior Grace Jenny crossed the finish line first with a time of 19:06.3.
Oregon sophomore Yordanos Zelinski earned first-team all-conference honors with a sixth-place finish in the boys race. The Panthers took sixth out of eight teams with 140 points.
Zelinski stayed in a pack of several runners behind Madison Edgewood’s Leo Richardson and Jack Brolin for most of the race, but fell off the pack’s pace going up the course’s only hill and clocked in at 17:01.1.
“It was a good idea to stay behind them, but I wish I had stayed closer on the second lap,” he said. “I just didn’t have the energy at the end to kick.”
Juniors Brenden Dieter (18:09.8) and Raul Ramos (18:13.2) finished 30th and 32nd, respectively for Oregon. Freshman Leo Schleck (35th, 18:16.4) and sophomore Tanner Sieren (37th, 18:23.4) rounded out the Panthers’ counting times.
Freshman Quinton Bush (40th, 18:31.4) and senior Adam Hanke (52nd, 19:28.6) also competed.
“I’m really proud of Yordy achieving first-team all-conference as a sophomore,” Oregon boys coach Erik Haakenson said. “Overall, I’m proud of how the guys raced together and finished.”
Stoughton won its first conference title since 2000 with 50 points, edging Monona Grove (57). Richardson crossed the finish line first with a time of 16:05.
Both Oregon teams will compete in the Division 1 Kettle Moraine Sectional on Saturday at Naga-Waukee Park in Hartland. The top two teams and the next five individuals not on the top two teams advance to state.
The Oregon girls competed at Naga-Waukee Park on Saturday, Sept. 28, in the 52nd annual Pete Nielsen Kettle Moraine Laser Relays. The Panthers took fourth as a team, and Vorontsov finished ninth out of 134 runners.
“Our girls are so competitive and work so hard that they risk being great,” Oregon girls coach Doug Debroux said. “Their goal is to make it to state as a team. It’s a big mountain to climb, but that’s their mentality.”