Tiger runners show the future is bright
The future became the present for the New Richmond cross country teams at the Osceola Invitational on Saturday.
With six veteran runners being held out of the race with a variety of minor injuries, this became a race where the younger Tigers got a chance to show what they could do.
The future looks bright indeed. For the Tiger girls, none of the three varsity seniors ran in Saturday's race. With the younger lineup, the Tiger girls were still able to finish second in the large school division of the meet. The Tiger boys also had three varsity runners out of the lineup, resulting in a fourth place finish.
Tiger coach Beth Kelly was especially pleased with the performance of the pack that developed for the girls team. The top six Tiger girls finished within a 26-second cluster and the top eight girls were within 73 seconds of each other.
Sophomore Anna Zietlow and freshman Katelyn Walker stepped in as the leaders for the Tigers. They were followed closely by the group of Morgan Kelly, Bailey Matthys, Kat Keller and Mary Balow. These girls, along with Anna Buresh and Maggie Evans, steadily moved up through the pack during the race.
New Richmond's boys were led by Nick Stenske, who placed second among the big school runners and fifth overall. Senior Andy Steffen put together his second straight meet with a large cut in his time to finish as the second Tiger runner.
Coach Kelly said some of the best efforts for the boys came from younger runners, like Tyler Wilson and Leonard Hedlund, who moved up to be the fifth and sixth varsity runners on Saturday.
St. Croix Central
This was another big day for the Panther runners, with the boys winning the small school title and the girls taking second place.
Central coach Bill Emery did the computations and found that the Panther boys would have taken second overall if the team scores were combined, finishing only behind Minnesota powerhouse Mahtomedi.
The Panther boys were led by sophomore Brett Johnson, who placed second overall. Emery said Johnson is still learning the finer points of racing and should continue to get better. Central had four of the top nine finisher in the boys small school standings. One of the biggest improvements for the Panthers was by David Butler. He shaved a large chunk of time to finish as the team's sixth runner, a second behind teammate Alex Halvorson.
Central's girls had three of the top four finishers, with Michelle Brunshidle, Abby Delander and Anna Langer taking second, third and fourth place. A bright spot for the Panthers was the continued improvement of Janel Jacobson, who was the Panthers' fifth runner.
Central's girls also saw a full-strength Colfax team for the first time. Colfax edged Central by seven points for the small school title, and this looks like it will be a grand battle when the two teams clash for the Dunn-St. Croix Conference title in October.
Somerset also had runners out of its lineup in both halves of the meet. The Spartan girls were eighth overall and the boys were ninth overall.
Somerset's top finishers took seventh place in both races. Senior Michael Meyer took that position in the boys race and freshman Tia Belter was seventh in the girls race.
Spartan coach Diane Belter said the boys team performed well shorthanded. Dakota Belter made the biggest move forward, becoming the third Spartan runner in this meet.
Coach Belter wasn't as pleased with the Spartan girls' effort.
"We are improving, but we need more heart," Coach Belter said, as if sending a message to the team. "If you want to be competitive in the conference meet, you've got to have a competitive spirit."
There was one bright spot for the girls team. Senior Kaylee Roettger, in her first year of cross country, was able to run her first race on Saturday. She competed just over two weeks after appendectomy surgery.
2008 Osceola Cross Country Invitational on Sept. 20
Boys Large School Team Scores: Mahtomedi 35, Osceola 59, Rice Lake 64, New Richmond 98, Ellsworth 102, Baldwin-Woodville 185
Boys Small School Team Scores: St. Croix Central 34, Prescott 66, Somerset 96, Colfax 96, St. Croix Falls 107, Boyceville 114
St. Croix Central finishes
2. Brett Johnson 17:18; 4. Derrek Pedersen 18:34; 6. Ryan Hansen 18:35; 9. Stephen Brunshidle 19:04; 15. Alex Halvorson 19:39; 16. David Butler 19:40; 19. Ethan Hofland 19:56; 20. Jonathan Mielke 19:59; 34. Shaun Feyereisen 21:52; 53. Taylor Butler 26:06; 55. Luke DeGross 26:20
New Richmond finishes
2. Nick Stenske 17:42; 12. Andy Steffen 18:52; 19. Jason Staples 19:28; 38. Dylan Novitzke 20:23; 40. Tyler Wilson 20:39; 42. Leonard Hedlund 20:43; 45. Ben Matthys 21:01; 52. Charlie Kleiner 12:34; 53. Josh Green 21:38; 61. Walter DeKock 22:09; 69. Luke Mason 23:36; 70. Matt Lindberg 24:02
7. Michael Meyer 18:42; 11. Caleb Belter 19:20; 22. Dakota Belter 20:19; 27. Cole Cloutier 20:47; 44. Tye Lyons 24:39; 45. Trevor Mondor 25:00; 46. Tyler Lindquist 25:04; 49. T.J. Pauley 25:23
Girls Large School Team Scores: Mahtomedi 66, New Richmond 75, Ellsworth 76, Rice Lake 88, Osceola 88, Baldwin-Woodville 115
Girls Small School Team Scores: Colfax 33, St. Croix Central 40, Somerset 82, Prescott 98, Glenwood City 123, St. Croix Falls 130
New Richmond finishes
10. Anna Zietlow 17:03; 13. Katelyn Walker 17:07; 15. Morgan Kelly 17:12; 18. Bailey Matthys 17:14; 19. Kat Keller 17:15; 23. Mary Balow 17:29; 27. Anna Buresh 18:13; 31. Maggie Evans 18:16; 38. Ariel Berres-Green 18:54; 39. Laura Troftgruben 18:59; 49. Sonia Utzman 19:36; 54. Emily Osterbauer 20:01; 62. Ellen Junko 21:04; 65. Graycee Lindell 21:07; 72. Sarah L'Allier 22:00; 73. Nicolette Mason 22:44; 74. Ashlie Orr 22:45; 75. Miranda Schoestein 22:46
St. Croix Central finishes
2. Michelle Brunshidle 16:26; 3. Abby Delander 16:35; 4. Anna Langer 17:01; 16. Martha Landry 18:26; 17. Janel Jacobson 18:27; 34. Maddie Skaalrud 20:33
7. Tia Belter 17:13; 11. Johanna Smith 17:48; 21. Megan Mitchell 18:44; 22. Sara Henry 18:52; 24. Taylor Thell 19:38; 25. Lauren DeGeer 19:47; 26. Stephanie Kelsey 20:00; 31. Emily Parent 20:25; 32. Nicole Donohoe 20:26; 37. Krissy McIntyre 21:08; 39. Kaylee Roettger 21:35; 41. Torie Land 21:59; 43. Jessie Nosbish 22:25; 45. Jenna Green 22:56; 47. Rylie Dietrich 23:02