RECAP: 2022 Champs Sports Midwest Region XC Championships

(Tatum David crosses the finish of the Champs Sports Midwest Region Girls Championship Race)

On a beautiful morning in Kenosha, Wisconsin, athletes from the vast Midwestern region took on the Champs Midwest Regional, in hopes of qualifying for the Champs Sports XC Championships.

In most yearly editions of this storied postseason invitational, the weather has panned out rather poorly, so it was a refreshing change to see some crisp, warmer conditions for the athletes this year.

In the girl's race, one of the race favorites, Sophia Kennedy (Carmel, IN) set the pace early, passing through the two-mile mark in 11:05 with a slight gap ahead of Tatum David (Olney, IL).

Even though Kennedy has had some great positive momentum in this latter half of her season, David ultimately prevailed as the Midwest Champion, running 17:16 for the 5K distance, winning by eight seconds over Kennedy.

Rounding out the top five finishers were Paityn Noe (Huxley, IA), who finished 3rd place in 17:35; Jessica Jazwinski (Shelby, MI), who finished 4th place in 17:37; and Helen Sachs (Holland, MI), who finished 5th place in 17:44.

The top Wisconsin finisher was Sara Mlodik (Ringle, WI) who punched her ticket to the national meet by finishing 8th place, running 17:50. After her WIAA D1 State Championship, Mlodik has continued her fantastic season and will cap it off at the Champs Sports XC Championships in just two weeks.

In the boy's race, it was all Hunter Jones' (Thompsonville, MI) story to tell, as he dominated the race throughout its duration. He ultimately took home the Midwest Regional Championship, running 14:52 for the 5K distance and bringing home a second consecutive regional championship in a row, after dominating the Midwest Team Regional in Terre Haute.

Kole Mathison (Carmel, IN) finished as a strong runner-up, staying in 2nd place throughout a majority of the race, running 15:02 and punching his bid to the national meet.

Rounding out the top five finishers were Noah Breker (Plymouth, MN), finishing 3rd place in 15:04; Cameron Todd (Indianapolis, IN), finishing 4th place in 15:08; and Benne Anderson (Allendale, MI), finishing 5th place in 15:10.

Manny Putz (Onalaska, WI) was the top Wisconsin finisher, barely missing a bid to the national meet by finishing 11th, running 15:23 for the 5K distance. Considering he's only a sophomore and already the WIAA D1 State Champion, Putz has a lot of room to grow and many more opportunities to qualify for national meets in the future.