Brunshidle guts it out; St. Croix Central senior qualifies for stateStephen Brunshidle took the term “gutting it out” to a whole new level.
By: Dave Newman, New Richmond News
Stephen Brunshidle took the term “gutting it out” to a whole new level.
A month after undergoing an appendectomy, Brunshidle qualified to run in the 2011 WIAA State Cross Country Championships by placing eighth in the Barron Division 2 sectional meet on Friday.
Central senior Alex Halvorson experienced his own gut-wrenching experience at the sectional meet. Halvorson missed being the second Panther to qualify for state by one place. Halvorson finished 10th in the sectional meet. When the final results were listed, only the top nine runners were able to qualify for state.
The Central boys were hoping to be one of the top two teams in the sectional meet and qualify for state as a team, but they couldn’t keep pace with Northwestern and Ashland. Those two boys teams were the sectional representatives for the third straight year. Central placed fourth in the team scoring.
Brunshidle began suffering pain from his appendix after running in the New Richmond Invitational on Sept. 8 and surgery was done shortly after. After taking nearly a full month off he’s gradually worked back into running shape.
He still is experiencing pain from the surgery. After the sectional race, Brunshidle was in obvious pain, lying on the ground for several minutes with ice on his abdomen.
Brunshidle ran an excellent tactical race. He maintained a place in the top five for much of the race before finishing eighth. This will be Brunshidle’s second chance to run at state. He was part of the Panther team that qualified in his freshman season. Brunshidle will be running at 1:40 p.m. on Saturday in the boys Division 2 state race.
The success of Brunshidle and Halvorson is closely intertwined this season. Panther coach Bill Emery said that when Brunshidle had his surgery, Halvorson stepped up, both as a runner and as a leader for the team.
“It was good to have him take on that challenge, because he grew as a runner,” Emery said.
The other five Panther boys all ran in a pack, finishing within 36 seconds of each other. Andrew Skala led that group by placing 34th. Brett Briggs and Max Kaul finished with the same time, taking 43rd and 44th.
The Panther girls showed a good deal of promise in this meet, led by sophomore Courtney Kramer, who placed 19th overall. Lauren Moll, Ella Scott, Hope Hoolihan and Abbie Webb rounded out the Panthers’ top five runners in the race.
Emery said the girls team made substantial progress this season. He’s hoping they can put in a good summer of work next year. He said if they do, he thinks they can catapult themselves into the upper level of girls teams in the area, similar to what the Spring Valley girls accomplished this year.
WIAA Division 2 Barron Cross Country Sectional Meet
Boys team scores: Northwestern 65, Ashland 66, St. Croix Falls 136, St. Croix Central 139, Rice Lake 142, Bloomer 166, Osceola 180, Hayward 196, Barron 227, Amery 257, Chetek-Weyerhaeuser 265, Unity-Luck 279, Somerset 289, Baldwin-Woodville 377
St. Croix Central finishes
8. Stephen Brunshidle 16:57; 10. Alex Halvorson 17:10; 34. Andrew Skala 18:21; 43. Brett Briggs 18:32; 44. Max Kaul 18:32; 50. Logan Nelson 18:47; 57. Nathan Bringgold 18:57
18. Jake Wishard 17:36; 63. Emmitt Foster 19:15; 64. Tyler Kampsula 19:20; 66. Alex Meyer 19:28; 78. Austin Headlee 20:04; 86. Tyler Lindquist 20:54; 92. Ethan Pike 22:12
Girls team scores: Rice Lake 54, Bloomer 64, Northwestern 99, Hayward 123, Baldwin-Woodville 150, Osceola 155, Amery 214, St. Croix Falls 221, Spooner 261, Ashland 262, Cumberland 291, St. Croix Central 307, Somerset 317, Chetek-Weyerhaeuser 382, Barron 426, Unity-Luck 431
St. Croix Central finishes
19. Courtney Kramer 16:13; 59. Lauren Moll 17:32; 69. Ella Scott 18:05; 70. Hope Hoolihan 18:09; 90. Abbie Webb 19:14; 92. Emily Talapa 19:21; 99. McKenzy Johnson 20:23
13. Tia Belter 15:59; 45. Grace Becher 17:14; 76. Carrie Kulibert 18:17; 87. Josselyn Moncada 19:07; 96. Laura Smith 20:11; 104. Hailey Meyer 21:59