Burlington junior top Demon finisher

Kyle DeRosier continues to improve his times this season, and he plans to run cross county in college. (Mike Ramczyk/SLN)


By Mike Ramczyk


According to Burlington cross country coach Matt Nie, it’s the stuff that runners dream of – dirt, hills and cool temperatures.

Mix in a bright sunshine with ideal fall colors, and the first Chocolate City Invite held at Richard Bong state recreation area was a smashing success Sept. 30.

Running lovers from all over the area descended on the hilly course, with Burlington, Lake Geneva Badger and Wilmot the lone area teams participating in the exclusive 12-team event.

While three Badger girls landed in the top 20, and Gustavo Gordillo, a Badger senior who’s been dominant all fall, took the top spot, a Burlington junior who has aspirations of running in college stole the show for the Demons.

Kyle DeRosier earned a career-best 17:08 on the 5K course, good for third overall in the boys division.

Declan Kipp took 27th with an 18:31, Ben McDermit placed 35th (19:12) and Quinn Adamek was 40th for the Demons, who took a solid fifth place with an average of 18:46, behind first-place Janesville Craig, second-place Badger and third-place Wilmot.

“It was a beautiful day at Richard Bong,” Nie said. “This was the kind of meet that cross country runners love. It was dirt, hills and temperatures under 70. Kelsey Gelden and Kyle Derosier led the Burlington pack for the girls and boys, respectively.”

Gelden was 40th for the girls, running in 23:11.

Rebecca Ehlen placed 46th with a 24:17.

Janesville Craig also won the girls race. The Demons didn’t finish in the top 10.


Perfecting his craft

All season, DeRosier has stood out as the Demons’ top performer.

An offseason highlighted by a personal trainer and the implementation of a new diet has worked wonders for the junior, who plans to wrestle in the winter.

“This summer, I did a lot of hill training, and there were three big hills,” he said of the Bong course. “I passed a lot of people on those. It was easy to take advantage of the situation, as everyone was spread out.”

DeRosier would embark on five-mile runs over the summer, and he thinks it has given him more endurance.

He said he sprints at the beginning of a race to build a lead. After a mile, he slows down and continues to sprint at the end.

“I’ve never really trained like that before,” he said of his offseason. “It was intense. It’s helped because three miles is less than five.”

DeRosier has future goals with cross country, and he believes he has a great opportunity.

“This year, I want to see if I can make it to state,” he said. “After that, I want to go for a scholarship.”

DeRosier’s dreams of the state tournament will resume at the Southern Lakes Conference meet, Saturday, Oct. 14 at 9 a.m. at Badger High School.