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Somerset leaps, splashes through meet

The members of the Somerset cross country know well ahead of time when the River Falls Invitational is scheduled.

They don't want to miss it.

The River Falls Invitational is a true cross country meet. Runners leap over logs and bales of hay on the course. They churn their legs through deep weeds. The course winds around through many different types of terrain, including two places where runners wade across a stream.

"It's one of the meets the kids look forward to every year," said Somerset coach Diane Belter.

This is the first meet of the season for the Spartan runners. Belter said the fun atmosphere is a good indoctrination for the beginning runners.

Belter said this meet contained one of the most memorable scenes she's seen at a race. The early finishers in the race went back to splash around in the creek. Somerset freshman runner Trevor Mondor was one of the last runners coming through the course. The runners from all the teams who were at the creek cheered Mondor across the stream and he was charged up from their kindness that he caught a runner that had a substantial lead on him.

"It was just unreal, it was the neatest thing," Belter said after witnessing the efforts of the runners from the opposing teams.

While this was a fun format to run in, as a first meet it also gave an early indication of where the Spartans stand in their progress for the season. The girls team made a promising showing, with Cambrya Belter and Hanna Newman as a pair of lead runners. The top five girls for Somerset all finished in less than 20 minutes, and the girls team placed fifth in a strong field of runners, just behind Eau Claire North.

The Spartan boys were led by Josh Torrey and Matt Hanzlik, who were 33rd and 34th. The boys team was ninth among the nine teams in the meet.

This will be a busy week for the Somerset runners. This Thursday they will run at the New Richmond Invitational. They will be back in action next Tuesday, when they run in the Rice Lake Invitational.

River Falls Cross Country Invitational

Girls Team Scores: River Falls 35, Ellsworth 88, Menomonie 120, Eau Claire North 157, Somerset 169, Anoka 175, Prescott 203, Rice Lake 280

Somerset placewinners

14. Cambrya Belter 17:52; 15. Hanna Newman 17:53; ?? Gina Hanzlik 19:11; ?? Megan Mitchell 19:40; ?? Christi Schmitt 19:47; 89. Beth Baillargeon 20:55; 104. Michelle Johnson 22:03; 120. Shay Ottman 24:30; 132. Nicole Donohoe 26:16

Boys Team Scores: Menomonie 55, River Falls 59, Eau Claire North 62, Anoka 106, Chippewa Falls 120, Prescott 160, Rice Lake 178, Ellsworth 231, Somerset 251

Somerset placewinners

33. Josh Torrey 19:45; 34. Matt Hanzlik 19:52; 37. Michael Meyer 19:55; 57. Josh Hecht 20:51; 84. Caleb Belter 22:13; 90. David Wenzel 22:23; 124. Ryan Wiederin 25:23; 143. Trevor Mondor 30:36

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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