Yordanos Zelinski set the Oregon boys’ 5K school record by nearly 22 seconds during the Midwest Invitational Saturday, Sept. 25, at Blackhawk Golf Course in Janesville.
Over in Delafield, junior Dasha Vorontsov reset her program record in the 5K by nearly 20 seconds during the Pete Nielsen Laser Relays on Saturday, Sept. 25, at Naga-Waukee Park.
Zelinski clocked in with a time of 15 minutes, 35.3 seconds.
“I had to trust my training,” Zelinski said. “I knew I was capable of getting the record. Last year at that course my time was 15:57, so I tied it. This year I wanted it more. I’ve been putting in the time and effort. I didn’t see a reason why I couldn't get it.”
The Panthers’ previous program record was set at 15:57.
“It’s a big deal because that record was set 33 years ago,” Zelinski said. “Me and my coach (Erik Haakenson) have been talking about it since the offseason. I told my coach I was going to get the record and I was going to work for it.”
Zelinski helped Oregon finish 30th overall at the 44-team invitational. The senior finished seventh out of 299 varsity runners.
A big competitive field on a fast course seemed to be Zelinski’s recipe for success on Saturday.
“A lot of people usually PR on that course,” he said. “You just have to stay in it. Having good competition definitely helps. You’re going to want to stay with packs, especially the top pack. They push you. That’s what I did.”
The first 800 meters, Zelinski stayed with the top group, but avoided an early push by some of the runners.
“None of them were going to keep that time, it was 2:22,” Zelinski said. “I thought there was no way anyone was keeping that pace.”
Zelinski said the one person he was looking for in the race was Verona’s Aidan Manning. The Wildcat senior proved to be a good runner to try and keep pace with as Manning finished fourth overall with a time of 15:27.6.
Zelinski noted it was as much of a mental battle, as it was a physical one.
Warren (Illinois) senior Luke Wiley won the invitational with a time of 15:05. Wiley helped Warren to a runner-up finish with 120 points, while Homestead won the team title with 98 points.
Junior Wil Cram finished second on the Oregon roster with a time of 18:16.6. Fellow juniors Quinton Bush and Leo Schleck clocked in with times of 18:30.3 and 18:32.7, respectively. Senior Odin Beck rounded out the Panther five with a time of 18:35.3.
Pete Nielsen Laser Relays
Vorontsov finished second overall to lead the Oregon girls cross country team to a third-place finish.
Vorontsov clocked in with a time of 18:33.6, just a half second behind Slinger’s Summer Schuster’s 18:33.1. The junior’s time broke the program record in the 5K, which was previously set at 18:53 by Vorontsov.
Whitefish Bay won the meet with 70 points, followed by Waukesha West’s 117. Oregon took third with 132 points, ahead of host Kettle Moraine’s 147.
The Panthers had runners finish 22nd, 23rd and 24th. Junior Libby Beirne finished with a time of 21:04, with seniors Amelia Hermanson (21:07.5) and Grace Riedl (21:08.6) right behind. Oregon was rounded out by sophomore Mari Ceaca-Villa’s 22:36.9.