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New Richmond runners continue to rise to challenges

Sophomore Willa Rogers (119) was New Richmond's top finisher in the girls half of the Hudson Invitational last Tuesday. Bob Burrows / RiverTown Multimedia

Wherever they go, the New Richmond cross country runners are running up against highly skilled opposition.

And it is making the Tigers better.

The Tigers ran last Tuesday at the Hudson Invitational. Facing some of the top Division 1 competition in the area, New Richmond's boys placed second and the Tiger girls were third in the nine-team field.

The competition escalated even higher on Saturday when the Tigers made their annual journey to compete in the Mega Meet. It seems like MEGA deserves all capital letters when you consider there are hundred of teams, meaning thousands of runners, competing at this meet.

The Mega Meet draws teams from all corners of Minnesota, plus several teams from Wisconsin and the Dakotas. The Tigers competed in Division 2, putting them up against Wisconsin schools like River Falls and Osceola. The Tiger girls placed seventh in Division 2, finishing ahead of both of their nearby Wisconsin foes. The Tiger boys placed 12th in their meet, one spot ahead of Osceola, but well behind the fourth place showing from River Falls.

The girls received a strong showing from their three sophomore lead runners. Willa Rogers was the top Tiger for the second time last week, placing 21st in the girls race. Kayla Harris and Barb Kling ran 28th and 29th. Junior Erika Emerson also had a quality showing, placing 48th. Sophomore Maggie Bau was the Tigers' fifth runner, placing 73rd.

In comparing times with the Division 3 race, the Tiger boys also would have defeated St. Croix Central on Saturday. Tyler Harris was New Richmond's top finisher in the boys D2 race, placing 44th. Max Blader and Max Fore were 10 seconds behind Harris, placing 48th and 49th. Cale Bishop was also close to that pack, placing 60th. Senior Caleb Anton was the Tigers' fifth runner, placing 93rd, 20 seconds behind Bishop.

Last Tuesday's meet in Hudson was a strong performance for the Tiger boys, though Hudson stole the show in that race. Hudson had the first six finishers in the boys race as the Raiders continue to be one of the elite teams in the area. Fore and Harris broke up the Hudson pack, placing seventh and eighth. Bishop ran 10th, Blader 14th and Anton 16th as the Tigers continue to show a strong top five forming.

New Richmond's girls ran up against fierce competition from Hudson and Menomonie, leaving them in third place. Rogers had a breakout race, placing sixth to lead the Tigers. Kling and Harris placed 12th and 13th. Emerson, Bau and Sophie Ballard ran in a pack, placing 21st, 22nd and 23rd, with Amanda Johnson a few steps behind them in 25th.

The Tigers now have two weeks between meets. The New Richmond Invitational is usually this weekend, but it was cancelled this year because the Roy Griak Invitational at the University of Minnesota was moved back to this weekend. The next meet for the Tigers will be on Saturday, Oct. 6, when they run in Eau Claire.

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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