|11/13/2017 10:19:00 AM|
DMP boys are state's second best
When the Dodgeville/Mineral Point boys cross country team started the 2017 season they had no problem working up a sweat.
With the unseasonable fall weather it stayed that way until a drop occurred several days ago. The drop was so drastic that by race time at the WIAA state meet Saturday the temps were hovering around the high 30s to low 40s.
It wasn't good when it comes to waiting to run and the DMP boys learned that when they had to wait until the last run of the day....almost three hours after their arrival.
"I was in the tent with a blanket around me just shivering," said Peyton Tranel. "I couldn't get warm."
That feeling was shared also by seniors Isaac Grunow, Jordan May and Gerrit Bakker along with Peyton and the other underclassmen Henry Keith and Dylan McGraw.
"It was cold," they said
But they knew that would be taken care of by their warm-ups and the fire up session with Hall of Fame coaches Denny McGraw and Joe Hanson.
"It is great to be coached by Hall of Fame coaches," Tranel said. "They give us a lot."
Isaac said the cold air made it easier to travel the course at Wisconsin Rapids. The boys had run there before and agreed this time around the familiarity with the procedures made it easier.
After the almost three hours of finding ways to stay warm the team started warm-ups about 2:15 p.m.
Enter McGraw and Hanson.
"The coaches got us fired up," Grunow said. "They know how to get us to the point we should be," Grunow added. "You don't want to be too hyped and waste it too early."
"None of us were real nervous," he said.
When the run started the team tried to get out together and stay that way. Henry Keith, as he has done all season, set the pace.
"We wanted to pace ourselves the first miles, lay it down the last miles and sprint the last 400 yards," Grunow said. "When people are dying the last mile they are easier to pass," he said.
When all was said and done the DMP boys were the second place team in the state after the run.
"It is a whole lot better than finishing third when you have so much time between second and third," May said.
This will probably be the last competitive cross country for the seniors. Isaac plans to go to either UW-Platteville or UW-Madison, May to UW-River Falls or UW-La Crosse and Bakker to UW-Whitewater. None plan to go out for cross country.
"It has been fun," they all agree. They remember the many trips they took as a team in the off season on foot. They remember the comradery and they remember the great turnout of fans at the state race.
"We are proud of our second place finish," Gerrit said. It is quite an accomplishment. We ran as hard as we could."
"It has been awesome," they agreed.
Peyton, who does not like the cold weather, said layers of clothing helped.
"It took awhile to get everything off," he said with a smile.
Keith said once the stretching and practice running was done they knew they were ready to take on the 150 or so runners all who would start at the same time.
There had been some rain during the week which created minor problems.
"The course was the same but it was a little muddy in places," Keith said.
After busting it over the course they knew they did well when they came across the finish line mostly in a pack.
Runners compete with a strap on their ankle and through technology the final scores are compiled. The runners waited with their many fans for the results.
"It was a great atmosphere with a lot of energy," they agreed. They also agreed with the seniors that having McGraw and Hanson as HOF coaches is a reason they learn to love running.
They also love the closeness of the team. Looking at Will Borne-Mumm, Dylan McGraw and Peyton Tranel, Henry Keith said, "We are like brothers. This is the best sports team I have ever been part of. It is just great."
Looking at next season and a full summer of running, the underclassmen feel they will be successful again. Until then they all play basketball and in the spring Tranel, McGraw and Keith will join the DMP track team while Borne-Mumm will play baseball.
All the runners agree they would like to see cross country become more popular as a spectator sport.
"Maybe with us winning more, it will," they agreed.
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