Sophomore McIntyre aims at State return

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Josh Flickinger/Beloit Daily News Members of the Beloit Turner cross country team begin the race at Tuesday's Rock Valley Classic in Edgerton.

EDGERTON, Wis. - Madelyn McIntyre doesn't have the luxury of state-contending teammates to run with every day in practice.

But the Brodhead-Juda sophomore doesn't seem to be bothered by that at all.

McIntyre, who finished 18th in the WIAA State Cross Country meet as a freshman last year, won the sophomore girls race at Tuesday's Rock Valley Classic held at Silverwood Park.

She finished with a time of 20:04, the second-fastest time of the meet behind Jefferson's Mariah Linse's 19:42.

Madee Harding and Cora Purdue are gone as McIntyre's running mates, so she's had to improvise.

"I've been able to find some runners on the boys team that are able to push me in practice," McIntyre said. "I feel good about where I'm at. I want to break 20 minutes, and I almost got there today."

Brodhead-Juda coach Curt Gratz said McIntyre has improved as the season has progressed.

"At the start of the season, she was actually a little behind where she was at the same time her freshman year," Gratz said. "Now she's running times that are 30 or 40 seconds faster than last year. We're pretty happy with the progress. She's a really humble kid, but state is definitely her goal again, and hopefully she can make it to the podium."

Gratz said his boys team is making strides as well.

"We don't really have a super fast guy like (state qualifier) Michael Hatter last year," Gratz said. "So it's just a matter of how close my pack can be. It'll be an interesting year to see if we can find some kids to step up. I had a sophomore, Trent Condon, set his 'PR' today and finish third in his age group, and Jacob Staffon ran well today, too."

Clinton's Charlotte Mueller had the strongest showing of any Cougar, placing second among senior girls behind Linse with a 21:00 time that was good for the fifth-best time in the girls race.

Parkview's Lexy Olson was the fourth-fastest senior girl with a 21:54, while her Viking teammate Noah Lutzow was the sixth-fastest senior boy with a 17:54.

Beloit Turner was led by sophomore David Heldt, who recorded the second-fastest sophomore time with an 18:27. Turner coach Nicole Bakke said the boys team is making progress.

"David ran a really good race, and (sophomore) Cooper Moran was less than 20 seconds behind him (18:44)," Bakke said. "I'm really proud of him for closing that gap on David, because that's what we've been trying to do. We do a spirit animal before every meet, and today was the raptor Blue from Jurassic World, so we were trying to close fast. The boys did that, and Sophie Fulk (fourth in junior girls) and Kyra Puleo (sixth, junior girls) finish really strong, too."

The teams will compete in Saturday's Belleville Invitational.

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