Amery Invite is final chance to shine before conference CC meets
The Middle Border Conference Cross Country Meet will be run this Thursday.
Most of the MBC teams had their final tune-up race last Tuesday, competing in the annual Amery Invitational.
There had to be some improvising done at the Amery Golf Club for this race to be held. Torrential rains had hit the area that day and there was standing water all over the course, including several bunkers that were filled with water. The race path was rerouted to avoid major damage to the golf course.
Once the races were started, there was plenty of action. The New Richmond girls ran an outstanding race, pulling away from Amery to win the meet championship. The New Richmond boys locked into a battle with several outstanding small school teams. The Tiger boys took second among 20 teams, finishing behind Frederic.
New Richmond had the second place individual in each race. In fact, in the girls race, the Tigers had three of the top five finishers. McKenzie Kelly took second, Natalie Johnson took fourth and Hannah Utzman took fifth as the Tigers had an unmatched trio at the front of the pack.
In the boys race, New Richmond's Alec Slocum locked into an individual battle with Grantsburg's Sean Kutz for the top spot in the race. They pulled away from the pack early and ran stride for stride the rest of the race. Kutz was able to edge Slocum at the finish line, winning by less than a second over the Tiger senior.
"Alec ran probably his best effort of the season," Tiger coach Beth Kelly said of the race.
These team efforts at Amery put the Tigers in good shape for the conference meet.
"At the beginning of the year, the girls and boys were hoping to sweep conference," Kelly said. "I think that's attainable. We've been gearing toward that all season."
If anything, the Amery meet was one of the brightest performances of the season. In addition to the standout efforts of the top three girls, Hannah Zimmerman moved well up in the pack as the Tigers' fourth runner, placing 16th. The Tigers had six runners among the top 30 girls in the meet.
Kelly said the Tigers also have to be wary of their main competitors. The Amery girls were without Meredith Satterlund at last week's meet and Osceola's boys were also missing a key runner during the meet.
The Tiger boys finished well ahead of Osceola last week. The Tigers have had a strong top four, and they were bolstered by the effort of junior Charles Donaldson at Amery. Donaldson moved up to be the Tigers' fifth runner, placing 37th overall.
The Somerset girls grabbed seventh place and the Spartan boys finished 14th at Amery.
The Spartan girls were led by a tenth place finish from Cambrya Belter. Somerset coach Diane Belter said a noteworthy effort came from Ali Butler, who moved up to be Somerset's third runner in this race.
Leading the way for the Spartan boys again were the two Joshes. Josh Hecht placed 36th and Josh Torrey placed 40th. Ryan Weiderin also made a big move up to finish as Somerset's fourth runner.
The Spartans should be stronger at the conference meet. Both Hanna Newman and Matt Hanzlik ran at Amery, but were in the initial stages of recovering from injury. The girls team was also without Megan Mitchell for this meet.
St. Croix Central runners
Central's boys placed 17th at the Amery meet, led by Steve Zerwas, who placed 28th. Natalie Hansen was the top finisher among the Panther girls, ending up in 38th place.
"Considering the conditions, many of the runners ran extremely well," said Central coach Missy Brown. "Some of the kids really hit it hard to fight for position."
Amery Cross Country Invitational Meet
Girls Team Scores: New Richmond 50, Amery 75, Glenwood City 116, Bruce 131, Osceola 161, Prescott 179, Somerset 191, Baldwin-Woodville 235, Eau Claire North 279, Rush City 286, Webster 293, St. Croix Falls 306, Unity 313, Cameron 325, Spring Valley 394, Hinckley-Finlayson 417
New Richmond finishers
2. McKenzie Kelly 16:22; 4. Natalie Johnson 16:25; 5. Hannah Utzman 16:35; 16. Hannah Zimmerman 17:45; 23. Tess Zietlow 17:56; 30. Maggie Demulling 18:13; 41. Courtney Nyberg 18:25; 50. Joanna Ongstad 18:46; 78. Maria Soderquist 19:23; 92. Liz Scheder 19:51; 96. Bethany Morris 20:07
10. Cambrya Belter 17:12; 25. Gina Hanzlik 17:58; 57. Ali Butler 18:57; 58. Hanna Newman 18:58; 67. Christi Schmitt 19:07; 91. Michelle Johnson 19:46; 118. Beth Baillargeon 21:13; 123. Nicole Donohoe 21:39; 134. Jessie Pary 22:15; 151. Haisley Bordynoski 24:32
St. Croix Central finishers
38. Natalie Hansen 18:24; 70. Kailey Haas 19:12; 103. Katelyn Forsythe 20:19
Boys Team Scores: Frederic 69, New Richmond 93, Osceola 136, Eau Claire North 162, Baldwin-Woodville 167, Hinckley-Finlayson 190, Glenwood City 217, Rush City 232, Amery 256, Unity 263, Hudson 277, Grantsburg 286, Prescott 309, Somerset 384, Webster 396, Cameron 408, St. Croix Central 420, Bruce 423, St. Croix Falls 424, Spring Valley 531
New Richmond finishers
2. Alec Slocum 17:15; 10. Zach Johnson 18:21; 20. Trey Brotzler 18:48; 26. Jerrod Berget 19:03; 37. Charles Donaldson 19:28; 55. Nate Hartigan 19:54; 77. James Hartigan 20:23; 93. Jake Kleiner 20:43; 149. Kai Abrahamson 22:36; 187. Cody Green 26:13
36. Josh Hecht 19:26; 40. Josh Torrey 19:32; 75. Michael Meyer 20:19; 131. Ryan Weiderin 22:20; 132. Matt Plourde 22:14; 153. Caleb Belter 22:39; 156. Matt Hanzlik 22:42; 158. David Wenzel 22:46; 190. Trevor Mondor 27:00
St. Croix Central finishers
28. Steve Zerwas 19:04; 90. Josh Manore 20:41; 103. Chris Platson 21:00; 119. Erik Halverson 21:27; 126. Mike Langer 21:56; 135. Brenton Hartung 22:17; 136. Jordan Montpetit 22:17; 154. Curtis Hinkel 22:40; 165. Martin Pretzel 23:25; 168. Dan Mataczynski 23:47; 184. Phil Heimel 26:00