Weary Somerset cross country team continues to improveThe race schedule for the Somerset cross country team has been pretty demanding in recent weeks, but the Spartans still found ways to improve when they ran in the Barron Invitational last Tuesday.
The race schedule for the Somerset cross country team has been pretty demanding in recent weeks, but the Spartans still found ways to improve when they ran in the Barron Invitational last Tuesday.
Somerset’s boys finished fifth at Barron, which will be the site for the Division 2 sectional meet next month. The Spartan girls also gave their best showing of the season, defeating three teams.
Spartan coach Julie Mocadlo said getting the opportunity to run on the sectional course will be a big benefit for the team. She said the team now has a feel for the course and can be prepared for its challenging stretches.
The Spartan boys were able to place three runners among the top 20 finishers at Barron. Freshman Brandon Mondor led the Spartans by placing 15th, with Andrew Thurmes in 17th and Josh Verdeja in 20th.
Seniors Keenan Strom and Emmitt Foster were the fourth and fifth runners for the Spartans. Freshman Ethan Baillargeon usually holds one of those spots, but with him ill, Foster was asked to take on that role.
“Emmitt did a nice job, knowing that we needed him to take on a bigger role,” Mocadlo said.
The Spartan girls are working hard to make themselves into a relevant team in their races after starting the season as one of the least experienced teams in the area. Senior Grace Becher and junior Yosselyn Moncada have been steady as the top two runners for the Spartans. Kat Ryther, Maggie Becher and Laura Smith all made significant improvement in their times as the 3-5 runners and the team was competing without Carrie Kulibert, who is usually in their top five.
“Kat had a great day. She stepped up to the challenge,” Mocadlo said. “We’re trying to challenge Yosselyn too. She’s putting a little more fight into her race.”
The Spartans now have 11 days between races. They don’t compete until this Saturday’s Roy Griak Invitational at the University of Minnesota. Mocadlo said the time between races will be used for training and letting the runners’ legs refresh after a busy first month of the season. She said it will also be a good chance to review what the team has done during the first half of the season and to set strategies for the second half of the season and the conference and WIAA tournament races.
Barron Cross Country Invitational
Boys team scores: Unity 81, Ashland 89, Chetek-Weyerhaeuser 116, Hayward 134, Somerset 138, St. Croix Falls 152, Rice Lake 184, Cameron 189, Barron 202, Baldwin-Woodville 221, Bloomer 221, Spooner 264, New Auburn 365
15. Brandon Mondor 18:09; 17. Andrew Thurmes 18:15; 20. Josh Verdeja 18:24; 37. Keenan Strom 19:04; 49. Emmitt Foster 19:48; 53. Austin Headlee 19:58; 55. Billy Schmitt 20:04
Girls team scores: Rice Lake 68, Flambeau 89, Bloomer 108, Cameron 125, St. Croix Falls 130, Baldwin-Woodville 135, Hayward 150, Ashland 168, Spooner 249, Chetek-Weyerhaeuser 306, Somerset 308, Barron 312, Shell Lake 337, Unity 353
29. Grace Becher 17:35; 56. Yosselyn Moncada 18:55; 66. Kat Ryther 19:27; 74. Maggie Becher 20:08; 83. Laura Smith 21:20; 92. Bella Vader 25:33