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Tigers show they can compete in Dog Fight

The Eau Claire North Invitational cross country meet has the unique name of the Dog Fight in the Wells. The New Richmond cross country teams showed they can compete in the Dog Fight.

Both of the New Richmond varsity teams took sixth place among 14 top running programs in the meet that was held in Eau Claire on Saturday.

The Tigers' performances in the two varsity races were quite similar. The Tigers had two top finishers in both races. In the girls race, Hannah Utzman placed second and McKenzie Kelly placed seventh. For the Tiger boys, Jake Wickham ran fourth and Nick Stenske ran 12th.

Both of the Tiger teams showed significant progress in this meet. Seven of the top 10 Tiger boys ran personal best times in the meet and several made substantial improvements. Among them was senior Andy Steffen, who cut more than 70 seconds off his best time to finish as the Tigers' third runner at Eau Claire.

For the girls, the advancements were led by Katelyn Walker and Mary Balow. Walker is a freshman who moved up to run right with third runner Anna Zietlow. Balow is a converted sprinter who went from being the Tigers' tenth runner at River Falls to being the fifth runner at Eau Claire.

One important feature is the depth in the girls lineup. Because the girls are so closely bunched, there is competition for the final varsity spots in every meet. Coach Beth Kelly said that Balow, Bailey Matthys, Maggie Evans, Maria Soderquist, Morgan Kelly, Anna Buresh and Kat Keller all have shown the ability to run in the varsity lineup this season.

The Tigers will be hosting their home invitational meet this Thursday. One of the new features of the meet will be a staff appreciation recognition. The top 10 Tiger runners will introduce a school staff member who has made a difference in their lives during the ceremony.

2008 Dog Fight in the Wells Cross Country Meet at Eau Claire North

Boys Team Scores: La Crosse Logan 67, Hudson 71, Eau Claire Memorial 75, Anoka 97, Holmen 131, New Richmond 190, Menomonie 213, Rice Lake 231, Sparta 233, Edgar 267, Chippewa Falls 275, Eau Claire North 304, Cadott 307, Amery 368

New Richmond finishes

4. Jake Wickham 16:51; 12. Nick Stenske 17:21; 41. Andy Steffen 18:27; 66. Sam Skatrud 19:20; 67. Jason Staples 19:22; 72. Colton Simpson 19:36; 84. Ben Matthys 20:26

Girls Team Scores: Hudson 67, Holmen 81, Eau Claire Memorial 115, La Crosse Logan 123, Anoka 138, New Richmond 142, Menomonie 160, Edgar 182, Amery 225, Chippewa Falls 228, Eau Claire North 229, Rice Lake 324, Cadott 422

New Richmond finishes

2. Hannah Utzman 15:41; 7. McKenzie Kelly 15:59; 33. Anna Zietlow 16:55; 34. Katelyn Walker 16:55; 66. Mary Balow 17:47; 71. Bailey Matthys 18:07; 73. Maggie Evans 18:16

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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