Sophomores Colton Hanson and Jayden Zywicki paced the Stoughton boys cross country team to a ninth-place finish at the 43rd Annual Verona Invitational on Saturday, Sept. 7.

The Vikings finished with 277 points, third out of nine Division 2 teams.

Hanson ran to 31st place with a time of 17 minutes, 26.6 seconds on the 5,000-meter course.

“This was a big improvement from last year here,” Hanson said. “I wanted to medal in this race, and it took a lot of hard work to do that.”

Hanson finished eighth out of all Division 2 runners, while Zywicki was ninth among all Division 2 runners with a 36th-place time of 17:35.9.

Senior Gavin Model (18:09.7) and junior Christian Smith (18:12.5) finished 60th and 62nd, respectively for the Vikings. Sophomore Kai Sorenson was 88th (18:40.8).

Senior Jack Albert (89th, 18:41.5) and junior Cade Milliam (99th, 18:57.8) also competed for Stoughton.

Top-five runner Alex Wicks sat out the race due to a week-long cold, but coach Patrick Schneider was still pleased with his team’s performance.

“I think we ran really well,” Schneider said. “We got to see how we stacked up with Monona Grove, who is probably the team to beat in the conference. I’d at least like us to be in the mix.”

Monona Grove finished seventh overall with 202 points and took second in Division 2.

Madison La Follette won the team title with 61 points, thanks in large part to senior Chris Wolfe’s individual victory in 16:20.1.

The Lancers also had two other runners in the top 10, and their fourth and fifth runners took 23rd and 24th, respectively.

Stoughton and 15 other teams will compete at the West Invitational on Saturday at Madison’s Lake Farm County Park.

Sports editor Adam Feiner can be contacted at ungsportseditor@wcinet.com.