Spartan girls take second place in MBC meetTia Belter, Monica Emerson and Sara Henry all placed among the top seven runners in the 2010 Middle Border Conference Cross Country Meet on Thursday, helping the Spartan girls place second in the meet behind New Richmond.
By: Dave Newman, New Richmond News
Tia Belter, Monica Emerson and Sara Henry all placed among the top seven runners in the 2010 Middle Border Conference Cross Country Meet on Thursday, helping the Spartan girls place second in the meet behind New Richmond.
All three of the Spartan girls earned first team all-conference honors with their performance. Despite having three of the top seven runners, the Spartans couldn’t catch the New Richmond girls. The Tigers had six of the top 18 finishers, though none finished ahead of the Spartan trio.
Somerset’s top five runners had better combined times and better average times than New Richmond’s girls. That left Somerset coach Diane Belter somewhat frustrated with the opportunity that got away.
“You can have three really strong runners, but if you don’t have depth, you aren’t going to win,” she said.
Tia Belter finished second this year after winning the conference championship a year ago. Prescott’s Victoria Simones won the title this year. Simones had a lead of more than 20 seconds in the last mile of the race. Belter took off like a streak in that last mile in trying to catch Simones, but finished seven seconds behind her.
Emerson put on a strong charge in the second half of the race too, moving up to take fourth place.
Henry was one of the surprises of the meet. She’s been coming on rapidly. In this meet she passed several runners she’s never beaten before to take seventh place.
“Sara ran a beautiful race,” Coach Belter said. “They all ran patient races. In the end that helped them.”
Cassie Schmidt placed 25th as Somerset’s fourth runner and Grace Becher ended 30th as the fifth runner. Krista Berger, who placed 41st, made one of the biggest improvements in terms of time, cutting more than a minute from her time at the Amery Invitational.
Somerset junior Jake Wishard earned second team all-conference honors by placing 11th in the MBC meet.
The Spartan boys ranked seventh out of the eight teams in the meet. Ellsworth won the boys championship.
Coach Belter scouted the runners and predicted Wishard would finish 11th.
“Overall it’s his best race, but I think he’s got more in him,” Belter said of Wishard, who is in his second year of distance running.
Dakota Belter and Josh Verdeja were the second and third Spartans to finish, with Emmitt Foster and Tyler Lindquist as the fourth and fifth runners. Lindquist made a big cut in his time, finishing within four seconds of Foster.
The Spartans will run in the Division 2 Amery sectional meet on Friday. The boys race begins at 3:30 p.m. with the girls starting at 4:15 p.m.
Coach Belter said the Spartan girls will be one of a handful of teams vying for the two state berths from this sectional meet. She said Northwestern is a clear favorite to win the girls sectional race.
“Hayward, Rice Lake, Spooner, Osceola, Amery, us, that’s six teams vying for that second spot,” Belter said. “We’ve got as good a shot as any of those teams.”
She said there are also at least 10 girls who have solid chances to be among the five individual state qualifiers from the sectional meet.