For the third race this season it was the field versus Three Lakes’ Kallie Volk. And for the third race in a row, Volk won.

Volk continues to lead the Bluejays through the early portion of the 2020 season schedule claiming a first-place medal with a time of 20:06 at the team’s meet in Lena last week.

“With the second-place runner more than a full minute behind her, Kallie was challenged last Thursday by her watch,” said head coach Laurie Levandoski. “Hoping to get under the 20 minute mark, she finished just shy of that. It is tough to race against yourself, but Kallie manages to keep pushing.”

Taking part on the afternoon were teams from Oconto, Coleman, Goodman-Pembine, Suring and host Lena. Three Lakes did not field enough runners to compete as a team.

Behind a solid outing from Volk was her teammate Margaret Mouw who according to Levandoski also had a strong race, finishing in 12th place with a time of 25:57.

“Margaret has been working very hard at practices so it’s nice to see her efforts beginning to pay off,” she said.

Karmyn Meixner crossed the finish line in 29:22, good for 26th place overall as she also raced well. 

Eli Nafziger ran a good race for the Three Lakes boys and was the first Bluejay to cross the finish in a time of 21:37 which was good for 18th place.

“Eli led his teammates off the line and was able to pass a number of other runners over the 5,000 meter course,” said Levandoski. 

Piersson Czaplinski hung onto Nafziger for the start of the race but was unable to stay with him for the last half, still finishing though in 21st place with a time of 23:10.

Rounding out the varsity boys’ team was Connor Hanneman who finished in 23rd place with a time of 25:47.

“With four weeks under his belt, Connor is hoping to see his times come down in the coming weeks as he learns to pace himself coming off the starting line,” said Levandoski.

After taking part in a meet at Crandon this week, the team will host their annual Three Lakes Invitational Thursday, Sept. 24, at the Big Stone Golf Course.

Pembine results

Volk navigated the course at Lake Lundgrin Bible Camp in Pembine in a time of 20:59, finishing a full 47-seconds ahead of second place finisher Sylvia Hansen of Gillett.

While neither the Three Lakes boys or girls had enough to score in the meet as a team, they competed against runners from Goodman-Pembine, Oconto, Cran­don, Laona-Wabeno, Lena / St. Thomas Academy, Gillett, Crivitz and Florence.

“ At the gun, Kallie took an early lead and never looked back,” head coach Laurie Levandoski said.

Volk wasn’t the only Three Lakes competitor to perform well as Margaret Mouw finished in 31st place with a time of 28:47. Karmyn Meixner finished in 31:22, good for 39th place overall.

On the boys’ side, Eli Nafziger, Connor Hanneman, and Piersson Czaplinski finished in 39th, 40th, and 41st positions with times of 24:23, 24:54, and 25:02, respectively.

Middle School results

For the second consecutive race seventh-grader Ethan Potrykus put together a solid race plan and after getting into the top five a week before, was able to capture his first race win, covering the 1,500 meter distance with a time of 10:41.

“He was more than twenty seconds ahead of the next middle school runner,” said Levandoski. 

“Ethan also plays middle school soccer so he definitely gets in a lot of mileage each day.”

Sophia Nafziger was able to earn her second middle school medal with a third-place finish in 12:01. 

“She is showing great patience at the start of her race, controlling her pace,” her coach said. “It is paying off in the second half of her races.”

Sixth-grader Garrett Mandli had a nice race as well according to Levandoski, finishing in 21st place with a time of 14:47.

Potrykus ran a very good race, according to his coach, crossing the line third place overall in the boys division.

“From the sound of the gun he jumped out with the early leaders and just continued to pass other runners,” said Levandoski.

Running in her first cross country race was Nafziger, who also drew praise from Levandoski afterwards.

“While Sophia got a nice start off the line, she wisely controlled her pace during the first mile and then began passing other runners during the second mile,” said Levandoski. “As she came out of the woods and headed for the finish line, she was in fifth place. Using everything she had left, she passed a Crandon runner at the line, beating her by 0.60 of a second.

Also running in his first race was Mandli, who finished in 27th place with a respectable time of 19:51.