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Tiger runners sweep titles at Prescott Invite

While the New Richmond cross country team didn't arrive early enough to learn every nuance of the course where the Middle Border Conference meet will be held, they did learn the most important thing. How to win on it.

The New Richmond runners swept the team titles at the Prescott Invitational run last Tuesday. The conference meet will be run at Prescott on Thursday, Oct. 12.

The Tigers were one of several teams that ran at this meet with the intent of learning more about the course. Despite the late arrival to the meet, the Tigers did get a chance to briefly see the course before running. Tiger coach Beth Kelly said her teams have run on the course in the past, so she is confident she can prepare the team well for the conference meet.

The team won at Prescott through the power of pack running, which has been carrying them forward in every meet this season. It was especially evident in the boys race. New Richmond senior Dylan Wachter broke away from the pack to finish second in the meet. The Tigers' second through sixth runners finished in a pack between the seventh and 12th finishers in the race, assuring New Richmond of the team victory. That pack included Max Fore, Caleb Anton, Chase Chiarle, John Haasch and Joe Smallidge.

Coach Kelly said she was happy to see Anton bounce back well after an off day in the team's previous race. She said Haasch has been gaining confidence and has delivered consistent finishes for the team.

"He's maintaining his spot and improving his mental toughness," Kelly said.

Kelly added the ability to produce consistently is a trait she's looking for in the boys team.

The Tiger girls didn't quite have the same pack togetherness, but there's no arguing with their success. The Tigers had six of the top 11 female finishers in the varsity race.

Coach Kelly gave freshman Kayla Harris the challenge of trying to stick with St. Croix Central senior Olivia Moll, one of the elite runners in the area. It wasn't until after the two-mile mark that Moll was able to pull ahead of Harris. Harris finished second, just 15 seconds after Moll, proving she's moving into that realm among the area runners.

Three more Tiger freshmen were the third, fifth and sixth finishers in the race. Willa Rogers placed third, Barb Kling fifth and Sophie Ballard sixth. This was a major move forward by Ballard, who cut approximately a minute off her time.

"Sophie had a breakout race. She's a grinder and she works hard," Kelly said of Ballard.

Maggie Bau and Amanda Johnson finished tenth and 11th to lock up the team victory for the Tigers.

The Tigers will get the chance to compete in one of the largest meets in the Midwest this weekend. On Saturday, the Tigers will be part of the Milaca (Minn.) Mega Meet. Roughly 150 teams will be competing in the meet.

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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