Stoughton sophomores Jayden Zywicki and Colton Hansen push each other to become stronger runners every day in practice.

Zywicki and Hansen’s competitive drive helped spark them down the stretch Saturday, Oct. 5, at the Stoughton Invitational. After running neck-and-neck for most of the 5,000-meter race, Zywicki turned on the burners over the final 1,000 meters to finish 25th with a time of 17:19.7 and earn a medal.

“We always kind of stick together so we can pace off each other,” Zywicki said. “We try to beat each other at the sprint. I was just trying to medal. I was thinking more about place than time.”

Stoughton finished sixth as a team with 203 points, one point ahead of Badger South Conference rival Monona Grove.

Hansen took 27th (17:25), two spots away from a medal. Junior Christian Smith placed 46th (17:54.8), and senior Gavin Model was 50th (18:02.1). Junior Cade Millam rounded out the Vikings’ counting times in 55th (18:22.6).

SPASH won the team title with 36 points, while Oconomowoc senior Alex Vance won the individual title with a time of 15:58.