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Tigers sweep titles at Osceola Invite

The Osceola Invitational couldn't have gone any sweeter for the New Richmond cross country teams on Saturday.

Both Tiger teams were meet champions and New Richmond senior Alec Slocum was the meet champion in Saturday's races.

The Tiger boys won by six points over Rice Lake and seven points over Osceola, which is even more impressive with the fact that the Tigers were missing two of their varsity runners for the meet.

New Richmond's girls also pulled off a narrow win, with a nine-point margin over second place Mahtomedi.

Slocum was the meet champion, winning by nine seconds over his nearest competitor. Still, Tiger coach Beth Kelly said Slocum wasn't overly pleased with his race and thought that he could have run better.

Slocum led a strong top four, with sophomores Zach Johnson, Trey Brotzler and Jerrod Berget all placed in the top 12 in the boys race. The boys were without their usual fifth and sixth runners. They needed Charles Donaldson to move up to be the fifth runner and he came through in a big way. By finishing 40th overall, he was able to assure the Tiger boys of the team victory.

New Richmond's girls had three of the top five runners in their race. Senior Natalie Johnson finished third. Freshmen McKenzie Kelly and Hannah Utzman ran personal best times to finish fourth and fifth in the race.

Senior Hannah Zimmerman ran well to finish 26th and the success just kept coming. Freshman Tess Zietlow was 32nd and sophomore Maggie Demulling was 35th. The best race of the day for the girls may have been run by Joanna Ongstad. She cut nearly a minute off her previous best time, moving up to finish 39th as the Tigers' seventh runner. No other team in the race was able to match the depth that the Tigers showed.

Somerset runners

It seems that in every meet there is a Spartan runner who is making a big step in their progress. In this meet it was Ali Butler.

The Spartans were missing three varsity runners for this race, so they needed other runners to fill that void. Butler was a runner who did that. She was Somerset's fourth runner in the meet. When the team is back at full strength, she should be pushing to be among the team's top five runners.

"She proved she can be a varsity runner, all the girls believe she can," said Somerset coach Diane Belter.

The leader for the Spartans on Saturday was Cambrya Belter, who placed eighth. She ran a time of 16:10, on a more difficult course than last Tuesday's meet at Rice Lake, where she had a time of 16:43.

The Spartan boys had a trio of runners who were in the top 48 boys in the meet, and they were without senior Matt Hanzlik, who is usually among the top four runners. Coach Belter said the need for the Spartan boys is for the pack of fifth through seventh runners to narrow the margin between themselves and the first four runners.

Leading Somerset's boys was Josh Torrey, who finished 23rd in the meet. Josh Hecht took 35th and Michael Meyer was 48th.

Upcoming schedule

New Richmond will run next at the Roy Griak Invitational, hosted by the University of Minnesota, this Saturday. Two New Richmond alumni, Ayla Mitchell and Abby Demulling, are also expected to be running in the college division of the Griak Invitational.

The next race for Somerset will be the Ellsworth Invitational next Tuesday. St. Croix Central will also be running in that meet.

2005 Osceola Cross Country Invitational

Boys Team Scores: New Richmond 71, Rice Lake 77, Osceola 78, Mahtomedi 91, Minnehaha Academy 123, Fall Creek 183, Baldwin-Woodville 194, Grantsburg 206, Prescott 221, Glenwood City 227, Somerset 266, St. Croix Falls 323, Boyceville 369

New Richmond placewinners

1. Alec Slocum 17:17; 8. Zach Johnson 17:53; 10. Trey Brotzler 18:07; 12. Jerrod Berget 18:15; 40. Charles Donaldson 19:26; 55. James Hartigan 19:52; 82. Rob Gharrity 21:00; 131. Cody Green 23:32; 134. Kai Abrahamson 24:00

Somerset placewinners

23. Josh Torrey 18:49; 35. Josh Hecht 19:17; 48. Michael Meyer 19:42; 103. David Wenzel 21:45; 105. Caleb Belter 21:53; 107. Matt Plourde 22:15; 137. Ryan Wiederin 24:13; 150. Trevor Mondor 26:14

Girls Team Scores: New Richmond 65, Mahtomedi 74, Osceola 97, Rice Lake 122, Fall Creek 126, Glenwood City 133, Minnehaha Academy 141, Prescott 198, Boyceville 224, Somerset 233, St. Croix Falls 292

New Richmond placewinners

3. Natalie Johnson 15:53; 4. McKenzie Kelly 15:57; 5. Hannah Utzman 15:59; 26. Hannah Zimmerman 17:16; 32. Tess Zietlow 17:24; 35. Maggie Demulling 17:32; 39. Joanna Ongstad 17:38; 84. Maria Soderquist 19:01

Somerset placewinners

8. Cambrya Belter 16:09; 33. Gina Hanzlik 17:26; 68. Christi Schmitt 18:22; 73. Ali Butler 19:01; 103. Beth Baillargeon 19:49; 129. Jessie Pray 21:22; 136. Nicole Donohoe 22:24; 144. Haisley Bordynoski 23:39

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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