Tiger runners host invitational on Saturday

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Fans of high school cross country will want to attend the New Richmond Invitational on Saturday, Sept. 30.

Six of the eight Middle Border Conference teams will be competing, so this will provide an excellent preview for the upcoming MBC meet. Add in strong programs from Hudson, Menomonie and Rice Lake and Saturday's meets will offer some of the best runners in the area. The boys JV race starts the action at 11 a.m., followed by the girls JV race at 11:30. The varsity girls race begins at noon, with the boys varsity race starting at 12:30.

The Tigers are coming off a two-meet week where they saw hundreds of runners competing.

The first race of the week was the Hudson Raider Invitational last Tuesday. One of the intriguing questions of the meet was how Tiger coach Beth Kelly would use her outstanding group of freshmen. She had them run in the freshman race, which they won handily. Kelly had the girls running in a pack for the first two miles, then allowed them to run as hard as they could for the final mile of the race.

Without the freshmen, the Tiger girls took seventh place among the eight teams in the varsity race. Sophomore Colette Harrold was the top finisher, placing 27th, with junior Amanda Johnson seconds behind her.

The New Richmond boys placed seventh among the 12 teams competing in their varsity race. Senior Dylan Wachter placed 17th as the Tigers' top finisher. Juniors Max Fore and Caleb Anton placed 30th and 31st with senior John Haasch in 36th. Sophomore Chase Chiarle was the team's fifth runner, ranking 50th.

No race is more aptly named the Mega Meet, where the Tigers competed Saturday at Milaca, Minn. With hundreds of high school and junior high runners competing, the runners counted into the thousands.

The schools are placed in races based on enrollment so the Tigers were competing against similar sized teams in the 3A races. The Tiger girls ranked fourth among the 20 teams in their race and the boys placed sixth among 21 teams in their race.

Runners in the top 25 of each race were honored and the Tigers had two runners recognized from each race. In the boys race, Wachter received a trophy for placing seventh and Chase Chiarle was recognized for his 24th-place finish. The Tiger girls also had the seventh place finisher, freshman Kayla Harris. Taking 15th in the girls race was freshman Barb Kling.

Kelly said the runners dealt with the extraordinary heat well on Saturday.

"Conditions weren't ideal but the top two in each race put in a really solid effort and raced with an edge. We need all seven to race like that," Kelly said.