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Hudson Invitational provides good running

Pack running continued to be the focus of the New Richmond cross country team as the Tigers ran in the Hudson Invitational last Tuesday.

The Tiger boys tied for fourth in the meet with Hastings in a highly competitive meet. The Tiger girls did not field a full varsity team, with one runner competing in the freshman race.

Coach Beth Kelly had all four of the Tiger girls run the first mile of the race together. Sophomores McKenzie Kelly and Hannah Utzman then steadily passed runners the rest of the race, to finish sixth and eighth respectively.

The Tiger boys again were solid, getting their first five boys across among the top 28 runners in the meet.

One of the highlights was the continued progress of junior Joe Sperling. He has now moved up to where he is running in a pack with Trey Brotzler and Jerrod Berget, giving the Tigers a strong 2-4 pack. Zach Johnson continues to be the lead runner for the Tiger boys.

Somerset's girls made a nice showing at Hudson, placing seventh among the 12 girls teams in the race.

The Spartans were led by junior Cambrya Belter, who placed 17th. Freshman Johanna Smith made a big step up in this meet, finishing as the Spartans' second runner by placing 33rd overall.

"Johanna is showing that she is coming around in the confidence area," said Somerset coach Diane Belter. "She definitely has the talent, she just needs a bit more experience."

Somerset only had three boys competing in the varsity race. Michael Meyers kept up a strong pace as Somerset's lead runner, placing 33rd.

Roy Griak Invitational

The New Richmond cross country team is making a tradition of running in the Roy Griak Invitational, one of the most prestigious cross country meets in the Midwest. The meet is held at the University of Minnesota on the Les Bolstad Golf Course. It attracts teams from all over the country.

Tiger coach Beth Kelly said she will likely pull out of the Griak meet in the future if it is the same weekend as Homecoming. She said much of the night before the meet she had to deal with team members trying to toilet paper the trees around her house.

"They were totally exhausted...wiped out," Kelly said.

The best story out of the Griak meet may be the circumstances around the race run by senior Jake Kleiner. By the time the high school boys ran, parts of the course were like a mud bog. Running through one of the bogs, Kleiner's shoe was sucked off his foot by the mud. He continued on and ran the course and was still able to beat the team he had in the meet last season.

Kelly said one of the bright spots was the race effort from Hannah Utzman, who moved up to be the top Tiger female in the race.

Up next

New Richmond runs this Thursday in the Chippewa Falls Invitational. New Richmond, Somerset and St. Croix Central will all be running in the Amery Invitational next Tuesday.

2006 Hudson Raider Cross Country Invitational

Boys Team Scores: Hudson 50, North Branch 69, Rice Lake 75, Hastings 100, New Richmond 100, River Falls 114, Ellsworth 186, Chisago Lakes 190

New Richmond placewinners

11. Zach Johnson 17:42; 21. Jerrod Berget 18:13; 22. Trey Brotzler 18:15; 23. Joe Sperling 18:19; 28. Charles Donaldson 18:42; 46. Jake Kleiner 19:38; 48. James Hartigan 19:58

Somerset placewinners

33. Michael Meyers 19:00; 60. Caleb Belter 21:36; 61. Trevor Mondor 21:45

Girls Team Scores: Hudson 48, Ellsworth 76, River Falls 91, North Branch 111, Rice Lake 122, Hastings 128, Somerset 188, Menomonie 189, Chippewa Falls 205, Chisago Lakes 226, Amery 325

New Richmond placewinners

6. McKenzie Kelly 16:33; 8. Hannah Utzman 16:34; 27. Maggie Demulling 17:36; 63. Joanna Ongstad 18:52

Somerset placewinners

17. Cambrya Belter 16:59; 33. Johanna Smith 17:45; 40. Megan Mitchell 18:01; 55. Greta Leemkuil 18:45; 57. Hanna Newman 18:46; 58. Taylor Thell 18:47; 74. Gina O'Connor 19:33

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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