The 2019 Grasshopper Invitational, held locally at Gale Woods, proved to be one of the toughest cross-country meets of the year so far as the White Hawk runners faced some of their best competition in some of the most grueling weather conditions. But the heat didn’t slow down Westonka with full teams competing in all six categories – boys and girls Junior High, boys and girls Junior Varsity, and boys and girls Varsity.
In the Varsity boys race, Gregoire Laboulet led the way for Westonka with an 18th place finish in 19:02.5. He was followed closely by Lance Nemecek who finished 21st in 19:06.5. Charlie Herder and Beckett James finished next, with Herder coming in 25th (19:21.5) and James placing 27th (19:24.4). Rounding out the scoring for Westonka was Josh Engesser, who finished 35th in 20:10.3. As a team, the Varsity runners finished fifth in the meet.
Laura Sunnarborg continued to pace Westonka for the girls Varsity squad. She finished third overall in 21:05.02. Behind Sunnarborg was Allison Soule, who finished 13th in 23:36.5. Rounding out the scoring for the White Hawks were Emily Wendorf (18th; 23:52.8), Kate McGown (24th; 24:12.4) and Sarah Malchow (28th; 24:40.7). The Westonka Varsity girls finished fourth overall.
The Westonka Junior Varsity boys team finished third overall with contributions from Roman Fenzl and Derek Lloyd, who finished eighth and ninth respectively (21:37.9; 21:38.6). Max Epsky finished 14th (22:16.1), while Robby Brustad (27th; 23:03.7) and Connor Prok (45th; 23:54.3) rounded out the scoring for the White Hawks.
In the Junior Varsity girls race Jenna Brustad led the way for Westonka with a fourth place finish in 25:30.06. Maya Henslin finished 25th in 30:24.1. The final three runners that scored for the JV girls were separated by only four places. Jadyn Rice and Carly McGown finished 35th and 36th respectively (34:52.2; 35:26.1), and Olivia Duggan finished 38th (36:30.4). The JV girls finished third overall.
The Junior High races featured 10 runners who finished in the top-10 overall – six boys and four girls. In the boys’ race, Miles Dumbauld and Jack Markstrom finished within seconds of each other as Dumbauld placed second (13:30.9) and Markstrom placed third (13:37.3). Other top-10 finishers included Lucas Markstrom (fifth; 13:46.1), Charlie Paul (sixth; 14:10.4), Matthew Van Edeskuty (seventh; 14:19.3) and Eric Wendorf (eighth; 14:19.5). On the girls’ side, Brooke Garlock led the White Hawks with a third place finish in 15:13.7. The other top-10 finishers in the girls’ race were Sara Sipprell (sixth; 16:29.1), Gabby Callahan (seventh; 16:45.2) and Stella Johnson (ninth; 16:50.8).