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Amery Invite last chance before MBC meet

The Middle Border Conference Cross Country Meet is this Thursday in Durand.

The last chance for most of the MBC teams to get an idea of where they stand was in the Amery Invitational, held last Tuesday.

The results were encouraging for both New Richmond teams. The Tiger girls were second in the meet and the Tiger boys were fourth, but second among the MBC schools running in the meet.

Somerset's girls finished fifth in the meet, while the Spartan boys placed eighth.

For New Richmond girls, the meet showed them that they can compete for the MBC title. They were nine points behind Amery. The Tigers were reassured over the health of lead runner Ayla Mitchell. She missed the previous meet due to illness, but bounced back to blow away the competition at Amery, winning the meet by 28 seconds.

Coach Brent Aukema was encouraged with the efforts of all the girls. Rachael Olson made a strong step forward in this meet and Liz Scheder gave her best effort of the season to move up to seventh among the Tiger girls. Senior Meredith Neumann also ran one the best races of her career.

New Richmond's boys were eight points behind Osceola, meaning both Tiger teams are within striking distance of the MBC favorites.

"All the work on their part and the worrying on my part, they're right where I hoped they'd be," Aukema said.

The Tiger boys were led by Alec Slocum, who finished fourth.

"Alec said he's never pushed himself that hard in a race," Aukema said.

The boys were running without Brian Wojan and with Mike Tarman under the weather, so they feel they can improve on their performance.

Amery also gives out a combined meet trophy. New Richmond earned the combined meet championship for the first time.

Aukema said the goal for both teams is to place "one or two" in their conference meet, with his emphasis on the first.

"It's attainable for both teams. It's all the factors, how they race, the motivation. It's the goal for both teams," he said.

Somerset runners

Somerset's teams also want to make a big impact in the MBC meet. The girls were five points behind Osceola at Amery and they've made beating Osceola a goal.

"Obviously Amery and New Richmond will be really tough to get, but we can get Osceola and we can't overlook Prescott and Ellsworth," said Somerset coach Diane Belter.

The Spartans had two runners in the top seven at Amery, with Whitney Langer taking fourth and Emily Witzmann seventh. Belter was pleased with the advancements made by Britany Haukom and Amanda Plourde in the meet. Belter said the 1-5 split is still far too wide and the pack needs to move up toward the leaders.

The pack moving up is what happened for the Spartan boys in this race. Matt Hanzlik took a big step up to finish as Somerset's second runner.

Belter said the Spartan boys want to aim at third or fourth in the conference meet, meaning they are going to need to come up with a big effort to overtake Ellsworth.

MBC Meet

The Middle Border Conference Meet will be held at the Rolling Greens golf Course outside of Durand on Thursday, with competition scheduled to start at 4 p.m.

2003 Amery Cross Country Invitational

Boys Team Scores: Frederic 30, Osceola 111, Grantsburg 115, New Richmond 119, Amery 143, Ellsworth 162, Rush City 222, Somerset 244, Hinckley-Finlayson 247, Glenwood City 257, Bruce 307, Unity 322, Hudson 328, St. Croix Falls 346, Luck 364, Prescott 375, St. Croix Central 378, Baldwin-Woodville 453

New Richmond placewinners

4. Alec Slocum 17:50; 19. Erik Anderson 18:45; 34. Mike Tarman 19:29; 21. Zach Wolff 18:46; 41. Nate Hartigan 19:45; 82. Chris Parker 20:51; 90. Jeremy Hseuh 21:08; 104. Kai Abrahamson 21:33; 115. Rob Gharitty 22:06; 132. Chase Weaver 22:42; 147. Bryan Tschudy 23:29; 148. Jake Kleiner 23:29

Somerset placewinners

17. Lon Reyer 18:43; 40. Matt Hanzlik 19:44; 55. David Baillargeon 20:06; 64. Tim Wenzel 20:28; 72. John Mitchell 20:35; 76. Tyler LeRoy 20:39; 85. Will Collins 20:55; 100. Josh Hecht 21:26; 105. Casey Colbeth 21:33; 109. Matt Plourde 21:38; 140. David Wenzel 23:05

St. Croix Central placewinners

26. Scott Ramberg 19:02; 42. Mark Sanders 19:46; 111. Josh Manore 21:45; 114. Tom Redmon 22:04; 151. Andrew Cahill 23:45

Girls Team Scores: Amery 73, New Richmond 82, Bruce 90, Osceola 139, Somerset 144, Glenwood City 167, Rush City 170, Prescott 177, Ellsworth 234, Onamia 278, Hudson 283, Grantsburg 350, St. Croix Falls 355, Frederic 368, Unity 430

New Richmond placewinners

1. Ayla Mitchell 15:45; 11. Natalie Johnson 16:47; 21. Hannah Demulling 17:27; 24. Hannah Zimmerman 17:35; 25. Rachael Olson 17:37; 54. Liz Scheder 18:41; 55. Ericka Leahy 18:46; 60. Meredith Neumann 19:02; 82. Meghan Moening 20:00

Somerset placewinners

4. Whitney Langer 16:22; 7. Emily Witzmann 16:42; 26. Britany Haukom 17:37; 52. Katie Rivard 18:35; 67. Amanda Plourde 19:10; 71. Beth Baillargeon 19:16; 77. Christi Schmitt 19:40

St. Croix Central placewinners

108. Rachel Phillips 21:23; 115. Shelley Woll 22:02

Dave Newman
Dave Newman has been the sports editor at the New Richmond News since 1988. He has covered the action in the Middle Border Conference, Dunn-St. Croix Conference and Big Rivers Conference for nearly 30 years.
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