Gillett cross-country teams dominate M&O Meet

Tigers’ Kaczmarek, Alex Peterson place 1st
Morgan Rode
Sports Editor

UPDATED: Oct. 15, 12:15 p.m.

The Gillett Secondary School cross-country teams each placed first at the Marinette & Oconto Conference Meet on Oct. 13 at Big Stone Golf Course in Three Lakes.

While the competition for the team titles wasn’t too contested, Gillett really proved its dominance with a number of strong individual finishes.

The top three finishers in the boys race were all Gillett runners. Alex Peterson continued his special senior season with a first-place finish in 16 minutes, 24.7 seconds.

While Alex Peterson was able to ease to the conference title, he did get a great test from Crandon’s Taylor Karcz. Crandon was competing in the Northern Lakes Conference Meet, which was run at the same time as the M&O Meet.

“I was pushed today by Taylor, so that helped me stay focused the whole race,” said Peterson. “Today I definitely felt that I raced a complete race. My focus was to push harder the third mile, and I accomplished that for sure.”

Gillett’s Evan Peterson was next across the finish line, completing the course in 17:29.6.

Bradyn Wendorff came in third for the Tigers, posting a time of 17:38.8. Six Tigers ended up placing in the top 11.

The Gillett boys scored 17 points to take first, comfortably ahead of Coleman (49) and Oneida Nation (71).

“Bradyn, Evan, and I finishing one, two, three is super awesome,” said Alex Peterson. “I’ve never seen that done at conference before, and to be a part of that my senior year is so special with the guys I get to run with. They have such great attitudes that whatever we put our minds to, we will accomplish. This time it meant winning a conference title.”

“These finishes definitely spark a fire for me and both teams because of what we know we’re able to accomplish,” said Evan Peterson. “With sectionals coming up, I and the team are ready to run our hearts out to make it to state. The state bid won’t be handed to us, so we’re prepared to face what it takes to make the dream of state come true.”

Gillett’s Carleigh Kaczmarek won the girls race in 20:32, and was one of six Tigers to place inside the top 10.

“I was able to place first by working hard all season and giving it my all no matter what,” said Kaczmarek. “Coach and I knew what I would have to do to get it done and I did that. It means a lot knowing all of the time and dedication through all of the years has finally paid off.

“It’s even better that our girls team has and boys team won it too. Especially our girls team winning four straight as a team feels so much better than just winning it by myself. I wouldn’t have wanted my last conference (meet) to go any other way. This was a great step forward for my team and I next week.”

The Gillett girls scored 20 points, with Suring (38) the only other team to score.

Sophia Limberg (22:16.6) and Cheyenne Krueger (22:24.5) placed third and fourth, respectively, in the girls race for Gillett. Laney DeBauch (23:05.3) finished sixth.

Lily Hansen (23:29.4) and Kasey Hansen (23:55.7) took eighth and ninth, respectively. Megan Wagner (40:59.4) was the team’s other runner in action and earned big praise from coach Bill De Jung after completing her second race of the season after dealing with health issues this fall.

Back in the boys race, Gillett’s Scott Herroux (19:45.6) and Nash Stange (19:59.2) capped the team score by placing eighth and 10th, respectively.

Chase Anderson (20:02.1) was the 11th-place finisher. Zander Davis (22:08.2) and Virgil Herzog (23:40.8) also ran for the Gillett boys.

The Suring girls finished second behind a second-place individual finish from Georgia Gerndt. She posted a time of 21:20.8.

“I have been working to start my races off faster and keep that pace until I settle in a good spot. I just keep my eyes on the girl in front of me and go for it,” said Gerndt. “When I turn around the last corner and see the timer, I know I can finish faster than I’m going and it also pushes me to keep beating my last PR (personal record).”

Ginger Gerndt came in seventh in 23:17.3. Hailey Thomson (24:40.8), Allyson Seibert (25:06.5) and Morgan Suring (25:28.1) placed 11th, 12th and 13th, respectively. Samantha Seibert (27:20.9) also ran for the Eagles.

The Lena/St. Thomas Aquinas Academy co-op just missed out on qualifying for team scores with four runners in the boys and girls races.

Dylan Comins led the boys team with a seventh-place finish in 19:19.6. Mason Belongia grabbed ninth in 19:48.4. Reed Hosking (20:04.6) and Erik Kosch (20:08.5) placed 12th and 14th, respectively.

For the girls co-op, Haley Van Ark led the team with a 16th-place finish in 26:00.7.

Miriam Alberts (27:42), Chaela Rabas (29:13.2) and Kali Fischer (32:05.3) took 18th, 19th and 20th, respectively.

Full results from the M&O Meet can be found at