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Team building is the early focus of Tiger runners

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New Richmond, 54017

New Richmond Wisconsin 127 South Knowles Avenue 54017

A two-day journey through northern Wisconsin was made by the New Richmond cross country teams last week.

They tubed down the Namekagon River, did team-building activities at Telemark Lodge, and visited Copper Falls State Park.

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Oh yes, and the teams ran in the Ashland Cross Country Invitational.

The cross country meet wasn't an after-thought, but it is clear that New Richmond coach Brent Aukema felt that the cross country meet was no more important than the other activities in the two-day journey last Wednesday and Thursday.

With no parents on the trip, this was truly a team event. Aukema and assistant coach Dave Schleh were hoping this event would bring the team closer.

"The older kids really took the younger kids under their wings," Aukema said. "This gave the chance for the seniors to take a lead role, they helped with the planning, while we were traveling they helped with the decisions."

The unity developed during the two days showed when the Tigers arrived at Ashland High School, the site of the meet. The Tigers worked together in their race preparations, then the teams cheered for each other as they ran their races.

Once they got into the race, the positive experience continued for the Tigers. The New Richmond girls placed second among nine teams and the Tiger boys ranked third among nine teams.

The Tiger girls have five experienced runners returning and they all came through with strong efforts. The five juniors and seniors in the varsity lineup finished among the top 22 runners in the girls race.

New Richmond's boys had a sprinkling of runners from all experience levels. The seven varsity runners included runners from all four classes, including three freshmen.

In each of the races, the Tigers had the second place finisher. Ayla Mitchell placed second in the girls race and Alec Slocum was second in the boys race.

The Tigers will be back in action this Thursday, when they run in the Spooner Invitational.

Ashland Cross Country Invitational

Girls Team Scores: Hayward 40, New Richmond 71, Medford 76, Ironwood 124, Hurley 129, Park Falls 135, Drummond 176, Washburn 197, Ashland 201

New Richmond varsity runners

2. Ayla Mitchell 16:39; 10. Natalie Johnson 17:43; 17. Hannah Demulling 18:32; 20. Rachael Olson 18:48; 22. Hannah Zimmerman 18:55; 29. Maggie Demulling 19:26; 30. Lindsey Novitzke 19:28

Boys Team Scores: Hayward 41, Park Falls 71, New Richmond 87, Ironwood 120, Washburn 139, Hurley 154, Drummond 158, Medford 162, Ashland 229

New Richmond varsity runners

2. Alec Slocum 17:55; 14. Brian Wojan 19:36; 16. Zach Johnson 19:42; 26. Trey Brotzler 20:12; 29. Charles Donaldson 20:23; 36. Jordan Ornstad 20:52; 38. Joey Sperling 20:54

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