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Warhawks look to reload

Summer running program has team in good shape going into season

Aug. 30, 2010

Graduation losses are steep in the state-level Germantown cross country program this year, but expectations remain the same because the traditions remain firmly in place.

"We knew coming in that there would be a change," said girls coach Nancy Pietrowiak referring to the loss of all-state level talent like Liz Wendt, Andrea Sielicki and MacKenzie Erdmann, "but the senior class of two years ago, they were the ones who got the summer running program in place and because of that we've got kids who are coming out of their shells."

"The guys are in good shape," said boys coach Andy Bavlnka. "Everyone knows that we don't run fast early but that we taper pretty well. We have a few all-conference guys back. … We just have to convince a few others to run a little harder."

Germantown's girls were eighth in the WIAA state meet last fall while the boys, who were making their second straight appearance and are two-time North Shore champions, were 17th.

The two teams opened their seasons Aug. 26 at the Menomonee Falls Age Group Invitational at Rotary Park. There were two races for each of the boys and girls (junior/senior and freshmen/sophomore) and then the standings were based on where the runners finished in each of their grade level groups (freshmen, sophomore, etc.).

Dillon eyes school record

For the 40-plus member girls team, junior Caitlin Dillon, who was 25th at state last season, took third in her race in a time of 15 minutes, 20 seconds on the 4,000-meter course. It was precisely the goal time that she wanted to hit, said Pietrowiak.

"This is the year she wants to take down Kate Lydy's school record (14:42)," said Pietrowiak.

Other state meet veterans running this day included senior Amanda Brittain (12th, 17:16) and sophomore Andrea Brown (24th, 18:35). Senior Michelle Siegl was the alternate for the state team last fall.

Also expected to make some noise for the team this season include seniors Jessica DeVor (15th, 17:27) and Kaila Vento (16th, 17:28); juniors Tori Becker (12th, 16:51) and April Okruszynski (18th, 17:29); and sophomores Hannah Knapp (11th, 17:45) and Alyse Barelmann (25th, 18:35).

There were others who didn't run Aug. 26, who will also figure into the varsity mix, Pietrowiak said.

"We're very cautiously optimistic," said Pietrowiak, "We are where we want to be at this point. We start slow and finish strong. That's what we always do and if kids are lagging in practice, some of the frontrunners will drop back to help encourage that person.

"I think we're going to have tremendous competition for the fourth through eighth spots."

Trapp back to lead boys

The 50-some strong boys group will be led by senior Tim Trapp, who was Germantown's top man at state in 2009 with a 23rd place finish. He was battling a little illness Aug. 26, but still finished fifth on the 5,000-meter course in 16:52.

Other letter winners who ran this day included senior Tim Lydy (13th, 17:55) and Ben Baus (15th, 18:04) and junior Muzahir Badani (fifth, 17:29).

Also encouraging to Bavlnka were seniors Jake Scaduto (10th, 17:42) and Gary Hackney (19th, 18:16); juniors Zach Baus (eighth, 17:55) and Riley Kruger (17th, 18:50); sophomores Sam Marchewka (18th, 19:06) and Riley Shelton (25th, 19:34) and freshman Cory Rhind (sixth, 19:56).

Scaduto was a letter winner his sophomore year but went out for another sport last fall while Hackney was the junior varsity North Shore Conference champion in 2009.

"We're going to lay low a little bit," said Bavlnka, "take it a bit slow, because we enjoy the chase a bit more than the front-running."

Germantown will be at the West Allis Central Invitational at McCarty Park on Friday afternoon.

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