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New Richmond's Zeb Johnson splashes through one of the many puddles along the Amery race course.

Tiger girls, Panther boys win Amery CC Invitational

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It's become a tradition that the Amery Invitational is run in weather better suited for duck hunting, but the wet weather didn't seem to bother many of the local runners.

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New Richmond's girls team and St. Croix Central's boys team earned the championships in the 2009 Amery Invitational last Tuesday.

New Richmond's girls were the model of pack running perfection in this meet. There were seven Tiger runners who finished between 17:11 and 17:49 and there were several more Tigers not far behind those times.

Sophomores Morgan Kelly and Kat Keller were at the front of the Tiger pack. Both were top 10 finishers, with Kelly finishing seventh overall and Keller placing 10th.

The Tiger girls are being viewed as favorites in the Middle Border Conference Meet, which will be run in Prescott this Thursday. The meet will be run at Prescott High School, with races beginning at 4:15 p.m.

While the Tiger girls are favorites in Thursday's MBC meet, it appears the Tiger boys are hoping to reach second place in the meet. The Tigers were well behind Osceola and Amery in Tuesday's meet. Tiger coach Beth Kelly said the efforts of some of the younger runners, particularly "Chaz Charbonneau, Casey Schuh and Josh Manske," were the highlights of the boys race.

St. Croix Central

The Panthers were able to edge Osceola in a very close battle for the boys team championship on Tuesday. The Panthers were able to edge Osceola by four points for the team title. Central's Brett Johnson took second place in the meet, as he was edged in the home stretch by Osceola's Andrew Rohlman.

The Panthers will be running in the Dunn-St. Croix Conference meet this Thursday at Colfax. The Panther boys are considered prohibitive favorites in the meet. The Colfax girls are likely favorites in their race, but Central's girls have been progressing rapidly, with hopes of battling Colfax for the title on Thursday.

Central's girls didn't have their strongest day of the season at Amery, placing fifth among the large school teams in the meet.

Somerset

Somerset's girls were able to take fourth place in the highly competitive girls race at Amery last Tuesday. The Spartans were led by Tia Belter and Monica Emerson. Belter put on a nice kick in the final quarter of the race to earn second place. Emerson was close behind, finishing sixth.

The Spartans are hoping they can have an outstanding day at Thursday's Middle Border Conference Meet and threaten New Richmond for the conference title.

Somerset's boys had only four boys running at Amery. Jake Wishard showed more progress in this race, leading the Spartans by placing 50th overall.

The Spartans also ran in the Old Abe Invitational in the wintery conditions on Saturday.

The weather didn't bother the Spartan girls, who won the small school championship in the meet. They placed eighth overall among the 16 schools in the meet.

Emerson led the Spartans by placing eighth among 110 runners in the varsity race. Belter was close behind, placing 15th. Rounding out the top five for Somerset was Sara Henry at 59th, Grace Becher at 66th and Stephanie Kelsey at 79th.

Kelsey is making a strong late-season push to be take over the fifth runner spot for the Spartans.

"Stephanie ran out of her mind," Coach Belter said. "She's got goals in her mind on where she wants to be."

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Dave Newman
Dave Newman has been the sports editor at the New Richmond News since 1988. He has covered the action in the Middle Border Conference, Dunn-St. Croix Conference and Big Rivers Conference for nearly 30 years.
(715) 243-7767 x242
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