XC teams stride confidently into new season and new successes

(Olivia Wycklendt) Members of the girls cross country team do quick hundred-meter strides. Boys and girls cross country teams have already swept one meet together.
(Olivia Wycklendt) Members of the girls cross country team do quick hundred-meter strides. Boys and girls cross country teams have already swept one meet together.

The boys and girls cross country teams have gained momentum after getting their feet wet with the first few meets of the season. Both teams competed in the West Allis Central Bulldog Invitational on September 5. Girls and boys on the JV and varsity sides came away with victories, sweeping the meet.

This meet was the JV girls’ first victory together.

“Out JV has never run that strongly, in school history. To see them perform that well was really motivating,” said Sarah Kopplin, girls coach.

Because the JV girls ran first, their varsity teammates were motivated to watch them run so strongly.

“There was this really electric atmosphere at the starting line of the varsity race. They were so relaxed and excited because of the way that their teammates ran,” Kopplin said.

Maya Lawnicki, freshman, won the JV girls race, with Meredith Oechler, sophomore, and Lydia Anshus, freshman, taking third and fourth respectfully.

The girls varsity race was extremely successful as well.

Morgan Florsheim, junior, took first. Michaela Gayner, sophomore, followed her, taking second, and Mari Kessenich, freshman, took seventh, rounding out Shorewood’s top three.

“I think you can’t ignore Morgan Florsheim’s performance,” Kopplin said. “She is kind of racing in a world of her own right now.”

Kopplin also noted Gayner’s race as a standout.

“She didn’t beat the Oak Creek runner until the last 200 meters,” Kopplin said. “To watch her, as a sophomore, have that mental toughness to compete head to head throughout the race was very impressive.”

Both boys JV and varsity came away with victories as well.

James Douglass, senior, ran for the individual victory in the boys JV race. Alex Luger, junior, and Leo Fowler, freshman, finished in fourth and fifth respectfully.

In the boys varsity race, the top three finishers were Sam Kuhlmann, senior, placed first. Joey Flegel-Mishlove, senior, was 11th, and Gus Wettstein, junior, was 13th.

“When winning we felt this confidence that boosted our morale and made us run faster,” said Henry Kuhlmann, freshman. “We felt a sense of pride while holding that trophy that brought us together.”

“The JV has never won a conference championship before,” said Caroline Fraser, freshman. “Placing really high at these last meets makes us really excited to see what the season holds.”

Kopplin echoes Fraser’s enthusiasm. “For JV Conference, and then at the varsity level, sectionals and state, we have a really good chance of being a podium level team,” Kopplin said.

by Maya Schneider

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