New Richmond girls add to their pack of MBC cross country championshipsPack running has won the New Richmond cross country girls a pack of Middle Border Conference championships.
By: Dave Newman, New Richmond News
Pack running has won the New Richmond cross country girls a pack of Middle Border Conference championships.
The Tiger girls made pack running an artform as they locked up their fifth straight MBC championship in the 2011 conference races, held last Thursday in Amery.
New Richmond’s boys also put together an uplifting effort at the conference meet, taking fourth place despite missing their top runner with an injury.
Tiger coach Beth Kelly said the string of conference girls championships shows the level of effort the athletes put into their sport.
“The kids’ commitment and dedication is year-long,” Kelly said.
Both Tiger teams have battled injury and illness. The boys were without junior Alex Charbonneau, their leader on and off the course. He was sidelined by a foot injury.
One of the leaders for the Tiger girls, senior Kat Keller, hadn’t been able to run much for the past few weeks due to illness. The rest of the girls stepped up with outstanding performances.
Keller and classmate Morgan Kelly became four-time conference champions with the team’s victory on Thursday. Kelly was there as the leader of the Tigers, placing fifth overall. Running right with her was her younger sister, Maddie, who finished three seconds behind her to place sixth. They are both daughters of Coach Kelly and both earned first team all-conference honors.
The next Tiger pack sealed the victory. Emily Bischof, Bailey Matthys and Ellen Meisner finished 10th, 12th and 13th respectively, finishing within four seconds of each other. All three are second team All-MBC runners with those efforts.
Coach Kelly said she emphasized the pack-running aspect in the days leading into the race when it was clear neither Tiger team was going to be at full strength.
“You only get one day for it all to come together. We bunched up the kids so they could help each other out to make sure we’d win the race,” Kelly said.
The Tiger boys also followed the pack-running mantra and it helped them get two all-conference runners. Freshman Jack Utzman placed 10th and junior Ben Norman took 11th to finish as second team All-MBC runners. They both took off 45 seconds from their previous best time on the Amery course.
Matt Lindberg finished 20th as the Tigers’ third runner. Luke Miller took off more than a minute from his previous best time at Amery to place 31st. Freshman Zach Schoepke was the team’s fifth runner, placing 33rd.
Without Charbonneau, there were doubts whether the Tiger boys would finish in the top half of the eight-team field. The Tigers ran so well that they nearly captured third place, finishing two points behind Osceola.
The Tigers return to action this Saturday when they run in the WIAA Division 1 sectional meet in Tomah. The girls race will start at 12:15 p.m., followed by the boys race at 12:55 p.m.
This is one of the stronger sectional meets around the state. Coach Kelly said she is looking for improvement over past team performances. The Tiger girls have been eighth in each of the past two years and the Tiger boys were 12th.
2011 Middle Border Conference Cross Country Meet
Girls Team Scores: New Richmond 46, Osceola 88, Baldwin-Woodville 89, Amery 115, Ellsworth 117, Durand 138, Prescott 160, Somerset 167
New Richmond finishes
5. Morgan Kelly 17:16; 6. Maddie Kelly 17:19; 10. Emily Bischof 17:31; 12. Bailey Matthys 17:33; 13. Ellen Meisner 17:35; 17. Kat Keller 18:03; 22. Anne Frank 18:17
3. Tia Belter 17:03; 20. Grace Becher 18:16; 45. Carrie Kulibert 19:30; 48. Josselyn Moncada 20:41; 51. Laura Smith 21:27
Boys Team Scores: Ellsworth 30, Prescott 66, Osceola 103, New Richmond 105, Amery 114, Somerset 125, Baldwin-Woodville 184, Durand 187
New Richmond finishes
10. Jack Utzman 18:32; 11. Ben Norman 18:41; 20. Matt Lindberg 19:22; 31. Luke Miller 19:59; 33. Zach Schoepke 20:12; 34. Alex Anderson 20:25; 38. Walter DeKock 20:46
8. Jake Wishard 18:18; 16. Tyler Kampsula 19:03; 28. Alex Meyer 19:53; 29. Emmitt Foster 19:53; 44. Austin Headlee 21:15; 48. Tyler Lindquist 21:39