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New Richmond runners second, fourth at Husky Invite

If there was any doubt about the strength of the New Richmond cross country teams, the Tigers answered them with a resounding "Roar" at the 2013 Eau Claire North Husky Invite on Saturday.

New Richmond's girls took second place among seven full varsity teams while the Tiger boys ranked fourth among 10 teams in the meet.

The Tiger girls finished second behind a dynamic Eau Claire Memorial team which had seven of the top 11 runners in the race. New Richmond was led by senior Maddie Kelly, who placed fourth overall. Her time of 20:18 was a personal record for the 5K distance.

Freshman Mallory Kelly, the youngest of the Kelly sisters, was the Tigers' second finisher, placing 16th. Just behind her was senior Audrey DeKock, who took 17th. The Tigers' top seven runners all finished within the top 25 girls in the race. Harley Leavens was 20th, Andrea Meisner 22nd, Lexi Brown 24th and Kennedy Kling 25th.

Tiger coach Beth Kelly, whose daughters were the team leaders, said Mallory's goal was to be able to run a varsity race this season with her sister.

"She's surprised everybody," her mom said.

The girls found they have stronger depth than they expected. First-time runners Allison Hamholm, Kanya Dwire and Mikayla Gefeke were the eighth, ninth and 10th runners for the team.

In the boys race the Tigers ran up against fierce competition from Eau Claire Memorial, Eau Claire North and La Crosse Logan. Junior Jack Utzman led the Tigers, placing 10th overall. Next up were two newcomers to the team, Brennan Roby and Nate Mortensen, who ran 20th and 25th.

The Tigers had seven runners complete the course in 19 minutes or less. Also accomplishing that feat was Austin Haseleu, Bailey Wilson, Sam Charbonneau and Jack Schoepke. It's the first time the Tiger boys had all seven runners finish in under 20 minutes at Eau Claire.

The Tigers now have some extensive time for training. They don't compete again until they run in their home meet on Thursday, Sept. 12.

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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