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Tiger girls repeat as MBC track champs

The New Richmond girls and the Osceola boys are the 2006 Middle Border Conference track champions.

The 2006 MBC Track Meet was run Tuesday at New Richmond High School.

New Richmond's girls won their title in a close battle with Somerset and Ellsworth. New Richmond finished strong to roll up 129 points. Somerset, the surprise leader for much of the meet, finished second with 110 points. Ellsworth took third place with 109 points.

Osceola led the boys race through the entire meet, though the Chieftains withstood a late charge from New Richmond. Osceola finished with 178 points, with New Richmond ending with 162 points. Amery's boys put together one of their best showings of the year to take third place, with 116 points.

New Richmond and Osceola are both repeat champions. This was the second straight MBC title for the New Richmond girls and the third straight title for the Osceola boys.

New Richmond's girls

The Tiger girls repeated as conference champions, taking an outstanding overall team performance to achieve the championship.

The Tiger girls were champions in four events. Seniors Krista Mitchell and Kelsie Abramson each won a title, Mitchell in the triple jump and Abramson in the 100 hurdles. New Richmond was also champion in the 800 and 1600 meter relays.

With 15 events completed, it was announced that the Tigers were in third place. But a strong finish, led by the triple jump, propelled the Tigers up to first place. In the triple jump Mitchell took first place and Brier Schneider took second place, giving the Tigers 18 team points in the event.

Tiger coach Judy Weiss, winning the conference title in her first season since returning from retirement, said every girl performed up to expectations.

"Being conference champions was certainly a main goal this season and they worked very hard for that," said Weiss.

The depth that has been a strength all season for the Tigers was a huge factor in their conference championship. It allowed Weiss to pull girls out of relays to run them in more open events. She pulled Breanna Bohmke and Maggie Demulling out of the 400 relay. Freshmen Abbie Anderson and Billie Jo Germain stepped in, and the relay was still able to take second place.

New Richmond's boys

The Tigers knew they faced an uphill battle in trying to catch the two-time MBC champs from Osceola. But the Tiger boys kept the pressure on the Chieftains until the very end of the meet.

"You score 162 points, you'll win a lot of meets," said Tiger boys coach Roger Reuvers. "Osceola is a good team, they've got good depth."

New Richmond was the conference champion in three events. Dan Powers repeated as conference champion in the long jump, with a leap of 19 feet, 7 inches. Alec Slocum was also a repeat champion, with his time of 10:23 winning the 3200 meter run.

The Tiger 400 meter relay team also repeated as conference champions. This was a tight race between New Richmond and Osceola, with the large crowd coming alive as the two anchor runners raced down the final stretch. New Richmond anchor runner Jake Miller was able to finish the win for the Tigers.

"Jake pops out in that four-by-one, he just flies," Reuvers said. "You could just hear the crowd roar when they came down the straightaway."

The boys had a number of second place finishes. They did their best to balance out the scoring of Osceola senior Brett Madlon, who won the 100, 200 and 400 dashes. Miller took second place in the 100 and 200 and Matt Knutson was the second place finisher in the 400.

The Tigers finished second to Somerset in the 800 relay and second to Osceola in the 3200 relay. Griffin Jameson had a career-best throw to take second place in the discus event. The Tigers also had a number of third place efforts. The only event they didn't score in was the pole vault.

"I thought everyone did an outstanding job," Reuvers said. "I think we did about as well as we could do."

Somerset girls

Somerset's girls were one of the main surprises of the conference meet, holding the lead for much of evening.

"Our goal was to score 100 points and see where it took us," said Somerset girls coach Dave Praschak. "The girls were excited throughout the meet just to have been announced as leaders periodically during the meet."

Praschak said the girls weren't disappointed that New Richmond finally overtook them. Instead, they saw this as a step in their progress and they are closer to their goal of a conference championship than they'd planned.

"Somerset girls have yet to win a Middle Border Championship in any sport. Our girls realize it's only a matter of time before it happens whether in track or another sport," said Praschak.

Somerset's girls had three conference champions, two of them setting MBC records in the process. Defending state high jump champion Megan Plourde set a conference record in the high jump, when she cleared 5-6.

Freshman Christina Flandrick was the champion in the pole vault, clearing 9-6. Three other girls had held the conference record of 9-3.

Somerset's third champion was junior Brianna Johnson. Johnson ran a powerful race to win the 300s in 49.1 seconds. She was edged out by inches for the win in the 100 hurdles, finishing in 16.2 seconds.

There were several other strong showings for the Spartans. Freshman Gina Hanzlik is becoming healthy and it showed in her second place finish in the long jump. The Spartan 800 meter relay team also ran extremely well, finishing in second place.

Somerset boys

Somerset's boys have been grooming their season toward success late in the season in the relay events. That came to fruition Tuesday as the Spartans were conference champions in the 800 and 1600 meter relays. Team members in both relays were Jake Asp, Evan Kowalski, Jay Martell, Nick Wiederin in the 800 and Asp, Martell, Kowalski and Garret Germain in the 1600 relay.

The Spartans also took third place in the 400 and 3200 relays.

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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