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Spartans among leaders at Amery Invite

The advancements made this season by Somerset fifth runner Alex DeGeest have helped the Spartans be more competitive in the team results this season. Dave Newman / RiverTown Multimedia

There's a pattern developing with the results for the Somerset cross country teams that they hope will carry into this Thursday's Middle Border Conference meet.

The Spartans have shown the ability this season to finish in the top half of teams competing in meets. That was continued last Tuesday at the Amery Invitational. Somerset's boys placed third among 15 teams at the Amery meet, while the Spartan girls were fourth among the 12 teams competing in the meet.

Somerset coach Abby Christensen said the goal for the Spartans in Thursday's MBC meet is to finish in the top half of each race. She said that would be a big step, because Osceola, New Richmond and Somerset all have excellent teams in both races. Christensen said there are really two races within each MBC race, with the top three battling for the title in each race; there will be several improved teams battling for fourth place.

"It should be another great conference race," Christensen said.

The Spartan boys finished nine points ahead of Amery at Amery's meet last week; beating the Warriors has become the challenge for the team.

"We're going to have to run our best race," Christensen said.

At Amery, senior Ben Schmitt led the Spartans by placing tenth. Sophomore Zach Maitrejean ran 14th and sophomore Thor Sanders was 19th. Juniors Tyler Hantsbarger and Alex DeGeest ran together, placing 43rd and 44th.

Christensen said Maitrejean and Sanders made nice moves to narrow the space between them and their teammates in front of them at Amery.

In the girls race, the coaches sent lead runner Erin Huerta out with the top pack of runners. Huerta stood up to the challenge, placing sixth.

"Erin learned a lot about racing and the pace she needs to keep," Christensen said.

Junior Kristen Vensland made another big advancement, moving up to 15th. Junior Liv Hoff placed 29th, with freshmen Anna Bartig and Megan Larse in 32nd and 33rd.

The Spartans also got to be part of the SHS Homecoming activities last Friday. The Spartans divided into groups and ran the football that was used in Friday's Homecoming game from Baldwin to Somerset. The run was handled relay-style.

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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