Cross-country: Hansen, Hanson lead Gillett at Shawano Invitational

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Schindel, Canavera pace Oconto Falls teams
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Gillett’s Sylvia Hansen, left, runs stride-for-stride with Kaukauna’s Anna Fauske at the Shawano Invitational on Saturday. (Times Herald photo by Morgan Rode)

For the second consecutive meet, the Oconto Falls and Gillett cross-country teams competed in an invite filled with strong team and individual talent. The added competition helped fuel local runners from both schools to strong finishes at the Shawano Invitational on Saturday.

Gillett sophomores Sylvia Hansen and Derek Hanson led the way, placing first and second among the girls and boys Division 3 runners, respectively. Hansen earned a time of 19 minutes, 0.69 seconds, just a couple of ticks behind Kaukauna’s Anna Fauske (18:58.13), the top girls overall finisher.

“I was excited because I was close to being under 19 (minutes) and this was probably one of the biggest PRs (personal records) I’ve ever had,” Hansen said. “I definitely ran my first mile a lot better than my last race,” which was the Irish Cross Country Invitational at Freedom on Aug. 31. “I learned to use my energy at different times of the race.”

Hanson completed the course in 16:50.09. Green Bay Preble’s Khalid Mohamed (16:15.09) was the top overall boys finisher.

“I thought the race went smooth. There were a lot of turns, but the air was so light so I could actually breathe,” Hanson said while chuckling. “The last race, Freedom, the air was pretty heavy, so I had trouble in that second mile that day. Today, I was focused in on the race, trusted my training and ran a confident race.”

Oconto Falls junior Autumn Canavera placed fifth among the Division 2 girls runners after posting a time of 20:39.82. Brody Schindel led the Oconto Falls boys with an eighth place finish in 17:53.49.

“This was a perfect day. I thought I did really well considering the circumstances,” Canavera said. “I like the bigger meets because there is more runners for me to compete against and pass, so I really liked this one with all the runners.”

The Oconto Falls girls placed sixth with 141 points while the boys came in seventh with 127 points in Division 2.

Breanna Sadowski (22:04.33) placed 14th, while Grace Williams (24:02.32) took 38th for the girls. Morgan Van Haren (25:49.80), Alyson Fabry (25:53.68), Aspen Canavera (26:08.40), Ericka Havemeier (26:16.43) and Katie Kurth (27:17.84) also competed for the Panthers.

For the boys, freshman Joe Adams (18:36.59) finished 25th, while Brendan Konitzer (18:41.39) and Evan Roberts (18:54.99) came in 28th and 31st, respectively. Matt Adams (19:24.49), Brent Wolf (19:33.49), Isaac Raddatz (19:46.89) and Dylan Nelson (19:50.89) helped round out the team.

The five Gillett girls had just enough runners to qualify for a team score of 77 points and place fourth among Division 3 teams. Alaina Herzog (24:11.01) placed 10th, while Amber Brehmer (24:54.29) took 14th. Angela Mosconi (27:14.13) and Itty Ciancio (29:49.29) filled out the team.

The Gillett boys finished a runner shy of posting a team score. Riley Engebretson (18:57.69) took 10th, Connor Hansen (19:01.29) was 11th and Alex Gellin (19:16.69) placed 17th.