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Bringgold brings home silver for St. Croix Central cross country team

St. Croix Central cross country coach Bill Emery (in stocking cap) receives a group hug from his team following the sectional meet held in Amery last Friday. 1 / 4
St. Croix Central’s Jordan Bringgold makes the turn to head into the final stretch of the boys race at the Amery Division 2 sectional meet last Friday. Bringgold placed second in the race to earn a spot in this Saturday’s WIAA state championships. 2 / 4
Logan Nelson (669) was the only senior in the lineup for the St. Croix Central boys at the sectional meet.3 / 4
Senior Courtney Kramer (661) ran a strong final race for the Panthers, placing 22nd in the sectional meet.4 / 4

Jordan Bringgold brought home the silver.

Maybe he can bring home the gold this Saturday.

Bringgold was the only St. Croix Central runner to qualify for the 2013 WIAA State Cross Country Championships, advancing by placing second in the Amery Division 2 sectional meet on Friday.

The Panther boys placed fifth among 14 teams competing at the sectional meet, while the Central girls placed eighth in their half of the meet.

Bringgold is scheduled to run at 1:50 p.m. on Saturday at The Ridges Golf Course in Wisconsin Rapids, the annual home of the state cross country championships.

Bringgold has made an impressive push to the front of the pack in recent meets, staying there as the competition grew tougher. He took second place in the Dunn-St. Croix Conference meet the previous week.

Central coach Bill Emery said Bringgold’s goal was to take second place at the sectional race. It was pretty much a given that Spooner sophomore Daniel Pederson would run away with the sectional title and he lived up to that billing, winning with a 27-second margin.

Bringgold had several challengers for the second spot early in the race, among them Northwestern’s Tim Heikkila and St. Croix Falls’ Henry Klein. Bringgold built a cushion in the second half of the race. When Heikkila tried a charge in the final stretch, Bringgold was able to hold him off, finishing three seconds ahead of Heikkila.

Northwestern was the clear favorite to win the boys team title and the Tigers achieved that success. Central was hoping it could be a dark horse to be the second place team. Unity-Luck was the clear surprise of the boys race, taking second place, getting its seventh runner across the finish line before Central could get its fifth runner in.

Emery said he felt one of the best performances from the Panther boys came from freshman Hunter Anderson, the team’s seventh runner.

“I truly believe Hunter is one to watch in the future,” Emery said.

Bringgold has climbed to the elite rank by pushing his physical limits, but that’s half of the reason for his success, according to Emery.

“He runs real calm; nice and relaxed. He runs with real consistent pacing,” Emery said.

Emery said a safe goal for Bringgold would to finish among the top third of the Division 2 runners at the state meet.

“If he makes the top 20, I’d be really excited,” Emery said. “If he makes the top 10, I’d probably faint.”

The entire team will accompany Bringgold to the state meet to give him an exuberant cheering section for the meet.

The Panther girls were led by their two Courtneys. Senior Courtney Kramer concluded her Panther career by running extremely competitively, placing 22nd. Freshman Courtney Carlson ended her promising first season by placing 34th. She ranked sixth among freshmen in the sectional race.

Finishing third for the Panthers at the sectional was junior Lauren Moll, who made a huge improvement over her finish at the conference meet.

“I thought the entire (girls) team ran well. I was proud of them,” Emery said.

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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