New Richmond girls, St. Croix Central boys earn Amery Invite titlesThe New Richmond girls and St. Croix Central boys sent messages with their championships in last Tuesday’s Amery Cross Country Invitational.
By: Dave Newman, New Richmond News
The New Richmond girls and St. Croix Central boys sent messages with their championships in last Tuesday’s Amery Cross Country Invitational.
Both teams view themselves as favorites heading into this Thursday’s conference cross country meets. The Middle Border Conference meet will be run at Amery on Thursday, while Central hosts the Dunn-St. Croix Conference meet.
The New Richmond girls were able to win the Amery title despite not having either of their seniors in the lineup. Seniors Morgan Kelly and Kat Keller were both held out for health reasons.
The Tiger girls have incredible depth and that depth shone brightly in the team’s championship. It seems that in every race another Tiger steps forward to lead the team. At Amery, it was junior Emily Bischof. Bischof and sophomore Maddie Kelly went out strong at the start and stayed among the top 10 runners. Bischof finished sixth in the race, with Kelly two spots behind her.
Coach Beth Kelly said the Tigers have been locked in a stretch of sickness with head colds and strep throat that have sidelined 10 athletes in recent weeks.
“We just hope to be on the upside of it by Thursday,” Kelly said.
The illness of the seniors meant possibilities for other runners. Bischof stepping to the forefront was one example. Amanda Anez was another. She ran a personal best time on a difficult Amery course to finish as the Tigers’ sixth runner.
Kelly said the girls hope to continue their string of Middle Border Conference championships when they run in the MBC meet this Thursday. The Tigers are aiming for their fifth straight championship.
The Amery meet also showcased the recent progress made by the Tiger boys. They finished second in the large school division and they were first among the five MBC teams in the race. New Richmond junior Alex Charbonneau was the top finisher among the MBC boys in the meet.
“He’s done everything right this season,” Coach Kelly said of Charbonneau, praising his leadership in working with the less experienced runners on the team.
The Tigers had four runners finish in less than 20 minutes at Amery. That’s a big change compared to last year, when no Tiger finished that quickly. Charbonneau was joined by Jack Utzman, Ben Norman and Matt Lindberg in getting under 20 minutes. With the improvement of those three runners, Coach Kelly has revised her goals for the boys at the conference meet. She is now thinking the Tigers may have a shot at third or fourth place, which seemed like a long shot a month ago.
New Richmond’s girls were also the junior varsity champions. Anne Frank was the individual winner in the JV race by more than 50 seconds. She was joined on the winning team by Tina Montpetit, Alyssa Johnson, Sydney Simpson and Ellen Junko.
New Richmond’s boys were the champions in the middle school race. They were led by Sam Charbonneau, Bailey Wilson and Austin Haseleu, who all finished among the top five runners. Somerset was led by Brandon Mondor, who placed sixth.
St. Croix Central
The Panther boys are approaching Thursday’s conference meet with the attitude that the D-SC title should be theirs. After their showing at Amery, it’s easy to see why the Panthers have that attitude. The Panthers won the large school title at Amery.
Senior Alex Halvorson led the Panthers by placing 11th at Amery. The Panther hopes were bolstered by an 18th place finish from senior Stephen Brunshidle, who is regaining his strength after an appendectomy. With the efforts of Brett Briggs, Logan Nelson and Andrew Skala the Panthers were able to get their top runners in at 20:05 or less.
Panther coach Bill Emery was pleased his boys could beat St. Croix Falls in this meet, which the Panthers weren’t able to do in their home meet.
Central’s girls weren’t high in the pack at Amery. Emery said the girls team has been focusing its efforts on performing at a peak level in the conference meet. He said the girls are hoping to make a strong run at taking second place in Thursday’s D-SC meet.
That effort is led by Courtney Kramer and Lauren Moll, who have become a solid 1-2 tandem for the girls.
The senior leaders ran well for the Spartans at Amery last week. Senior Tia Belter placed fifth among the varsity girls while Jake Wishard was 15th in the boys race.
“Jake is showing more determination and more confidence,” said Spartan coach Diane Belter. “He’s a first team all-conference caliber runner.”
Coach Belter said while the Spartans might not be a threat to win either conference race, they could be one of the surprise teams. She said if all the team members run well on the same day, they could move up in the pack.
The Spartans got more training for big meets by running in the Old Abe Invitational on Saturday at Eau Claire Memorial. The Spartans weren’t able to compete with the top Division 1 teams in the meet, but they did have definite highlights. Junior Josh Verdeja ran one of his best races, finishing in 17:57. Coach Belter said Austin Headlee and Tyler Lindquist did well at moving up in the pack in the second half of the race.
For the girls, Belter said Grace Becher, Carrie Kulibert and Josselyn Moncada all ran outside their comfort zones to get better results for the team.
2011 Amery Cross
Boys large school team scores: St. Croix Central 69, New Richmond 78, St. Croix Falls 79, Menomonie 91, Osceola 123, Amery 126, Somerset 136, Unity 202, Baldwin-Woodville 207
St. Croix Central
11. Alex Halvorson 18:28; 18. Stephen Brunshidle 19:10; 29. Brett Briggs 19:45; 31. Logan Nelson 19:47; 44. Andrew Skala 20:05; 51. Max Kaul 20:17; 67. Nathan Bringgold 20:51
13. Alex Charbonneau 18:45; 19. Jack Utzman 19:13; 23. Ben Norman 19:29; 38. Matt Lindberg 19:59; 54. Luke Miller 20:27; 64. Walter DeKock 20:42; 69. Alex Anderson 20:55
15. Jake Wishard 18:46; 40. Josh Verdeja 20:00; 46. Tyler Kampsula 20:07; 66. Emmitt Foster 20:45; 87. Austin Headlee 21:56; 104. Alex Meyer 24:14
Girls large school team scores: New Richmond 32, Osceola 79, Baldwin-Woodville 87, Amery 102, St. Croix Falls 127, Menomonie 149, St. Croix Central 151, Luck 242
6. Emily Bischof 17.16; 8. Maddie Kelly 17:22; 14. Bailey Matthys 17:41; 18. Ellen Meisner 17:53; 21. Ari Ziemer 18:05; 23. Amanda Anez 18:10; 27. Audrey DeKock 18:23
St. Croix Central
11. Courtney Kramer 17:30; 31. Lauren Moll 18:32; 71. Hope Hoolihan 19:53; 72. Ella Scott 19:55; 87. McKenzy Johnson 20:40; 97. Emily Talapa 21:20
5. Tia Belter 17:09; 34. Grace Becher 18:37; 57. Sarah Brown 19:15; 91. Josselyn Moncada 20:51