Spartans will impact MBC cross country meetThe Somerset girls won’t go into Thursday’s 2010 Middle Border Conference Cross Country Meet as favorites.
By: Dave Newman, New Richmond News
The Somerset girls won’t go into Thursday’s 2010 Middle Border Conference Cross Country Meet as favorites.
But they will go into the meet as a team reaching peak form. On Saturday the Spartans ran in the Old Abe Invitational in Eau Claire, taking sixth among 16 teams. The Spartans were declared small schools champion in the meet.
Saturday’s meet was at a 5K distance for the girls, but that didn’t seem to bother the Spartans in the least. Nearly every one of the Somerset girls set personal best times for that distance.
The Spartans’ trio of lead runners put in another forceful effort. Junior Tia Belter ran ninth, with senior Monica Emerson 14th and junior Sara Henry 21st among the 109 runners.
Freshman Cassie Schmidt ran one of her best races of the season, placing 48th. Seniors Shelby Peterson and Krista Berger placed 76th and 77th.
“I was extremely pleased with every one of the girls on the varsity,” said Somerset coach Diane Belter.
The Spartans set a goal of beating Rice Lake in this meet and they were able to accomplish that goal, finishing three points in front of the Warriors.
Belter said this meet and last Tuesday’s Amery Invitational proved the team is peaking at the right time.
“We look to be right on target for where we want to be the next two weeks,” Belter said.
At Amery the Spartans finished fourth in the girls meet, just 15 points behind New Richmond, the meet champion.
With Belter, Emerson and Henry all placing among the top 10 runners at Amery, the Spartans were the first team to get three runners finished.
As these two meets lead into Thursday’s Middle Border Conference meet, the Spartans are one of several teams that believe they have a shot at winning the girls title.
“It’s going to come down to who wants it more and who is mentally tough,” Coach Belter predicted. “It’ll be a fun race: nerve wracking for sure.”
The Spartan boys didn’t field a full team on Saturday, as Coach Belter elected to rest Jake Wishard and Dakota Belter. The highlight of the meet for the boys was Emmitt Foster, who made a huge improvement to nearly catch teammate Josh Verdeja.
In the Amery Invite, Wishard led the Spartan boys by placing 26th among the 135 runners.
Coach Belter said Amery is a clear-cut favorite in the boys half of Thursday’s conference meet. She said the big goal for the Spartans is to get Wishard all-conference honors. He would need to finish in the top 14 runners to achieve that goal and finishing among the top seven would earn him first team all-conference status.