New Richmond cross country thrives in low-pressure meet
Running in a low-pressure meet turned out to be a good experience for the New Richmond cross country teams last Tuesday.
While competing at the Prescott Invitational, the Tigers put together a nearly perfect score. The girls varsity team was perfect, taking the top five spots in the race for a 15 score, the best possible score. The Tiger boys had the top four finishers in their race, winning with a team score of 22.
Willa Rogers, Barb Kling, Maggie Bau, Amanda Johnson and Erika Emerson were the top five finishers in the girls race. Topping the boys field for the Tigers were Tyler Harris, Max Fore, Cale Bishop and Max Blader. Andrew Kilibarda was the Tigers' fifth runner, placing 12th in the race.
This meet was sandwiched between two high-intensity meets at Menomonie and Hudson. Hudson's invitational is scheduled for this Tuesday. Having a meet where they weren't facing a large crowd of Division 1 schools might have allowed the Tigers to relax, suggested Coach Beth Kelly. Prescott hosted last year's Middle Border Conference meet and the meet was kept on the schedule for this year. Kelly said she wasn't sure the meet will stay on the schedule next year, because Prescott is developing a new course at its newly constructed high school.
Though there was less pressure in this meet, Kelly said the coaches still wanted the Tigers to benefit from the race. So both teams were given the task of running in a pack. The top boys ran together for the first two miles and the top girls ran together for the first mile. Kelly said this benefitted the runners who usually don't run at the higher pace.
"They got the feel of running at that pace. Now maybe they'll have the confidence to run at that pace deeper into future races," she said.
This was also a successful meet for the Tigers at the junior high level. The Tigers won the boys junior high race with 46 points, with eighth graders Charlie Gess and Noah Herron taking the top two spots in the race. The Tiger girls placed second behind St. Croix Central in the junior high meet. Ceana Dietz placed second and Anna Fitzgerald placed fourth to lead the Tigers. Both are eighth graders.