Tiger girls earn fourth straight Middle Border cross country championshipThe New Richmond girls cross country runners will say they didn’t have their best day at the 2010 Middle Border Conference meet last Thursday. The rest of the runners in the conference are likely to argue that point.
By: Dave Newman, New Richmond News
The New Richmond girls cross country runners will say they didn’t have their best day at the 2010 Middle Border Conference meet last Thursday.
The rest of the runners in the conference are likely to argue that point.
The Tiger girls earned their fourth straight MBC championship, edging Somerset by 10 points to win the 2010 title.
New Richmond’s girls were able to win the championship despite not having a runner in the top eight finishers in the race. Once the Tigers started reaching the finish line, they came across in a wave.
Junior Morgan Kelly was the first Tiger finisher, placing ninth. She began a stretch where the Tigers had six runners among 10 finishers.
That depth proved to be the difference in the race. Somerset had three of the top seven runners in the race. But by the time Somerset’s fourth runner reached the finish line, all seven Tiger varsity runners and two Tiger junior varsity runners had completed the course.
Tiger coach Beth Kelly said her team is normally a pretty relaxed, easy-going group. She said that was different at the conference meet. Retaining the conference championship was clearly important to the girls and it showed in the focus they displayed.
Morgan Kelly was followed closely by Kat Keller in 10th place. Those two juniors have been part of three MBC championship teams. Next in was Maddie Kelly, then Bailey Matthys and Emily Bischof to complete the Tigers’ top five.
Coach Kelly said Matthys has been concentrating on closing the gap with the Tigers’ three lead runners and she shaved that margin down to two seconds in this meet. Bischof had just earned a spot in the varsity lineup for the first time with her performance at the Amery Invitational. She continued that ascent by placing 15th in the conference meet.
The Tigers placed sixth among the eight teams in the conference boys race. The beacon of success for the Tigers was sophomore Chaz Charbonneau.
Charbonneau ran in his first varsity race of the season after missing most of the season with a knee injury. He showed guts in maintaining the 14th spot down the home stretch, earning him second team all-conference honors.
“For Chaz to come back and make all conference was a big accomplishment,” Coach Kelly said. “He was running mainly on heart.”
Seniors Dylan Novitzke and Jason Staples placed 20th and 27th for the Tigers. They were followed by Casey Schuh in 29th and Alec Knox in 33rd.
“I felt they put together their best effort as a team,” Coach Kelly said about the boys.
The Tigers will be running in the Tomah Division 1 sectional meet this Saturday. The meet will be run at the Hiawatha Golf Course. The boys race begins at 11:15 a.m., with the girls race starting at noon.
The Tiger girls took eighth place in this tournament last year, showing the strength of the competition in Division 1. Coach Kelly said the girls are hoping to improve upon that placement this year. She said most of the goals for the meet will be based on individual performances, rather than on team finishes.