Courtesy of several runners, the Wilmot Union High School boys country team notched its first Southern Lakes Conference title in more than 30 years on Oct. 13, when the Panthers hit the Burlington High School woods course (Mike Ramczyk/The Report).

On a muddy course last October at the Burlington School Forest, the Wilmot Union High School boys cross country team snapped a 36-year drought to win the Southern Lakes Conference championship, courtesy of five runners who finished in the top 15.

Before the Oct. 13, 2018 meet, the last time Wilmot boys cross country captured a conference title was in 1982, according to Panthers coach William Dinegan.

The Panthers, who accounted for 55 points, finished 14 points ahead of second place Union Grove.

“Winning conference is the greatest accomplishment for myself, the boys and the program,” Dinegan said.

“I feel good for our senior guys, especially our four-year letter winners (Kyle Diedrich, Jordan Paulsen, Alex Wank and Shawn Davis), who finished near the bottom of the conference as freshmen and gradually worked their way up in the standings and get to finish on top as seniors.”

Paulsen’s senior leadership led the Panthers to the title. He finished sixth overall with a time of 17 minutes, 35.44 seconds.

Junior Blake Zager (9, 17:41.22), Wank (11, 17:51.80), Diedrich (14, 18:09.01) and sophomore Kody Molitor (15, 18:09.01) rounded out the Panthers top five.

Senior Leif Triller (17th, 18:11.68) and junior James Raymond (18th, 18:20.19) also finished in the top 20.


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