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Viking runners top field at Rice Lake Invite

RICE LAKE — Both the Colfax boys and girls cross country teams showed their dominance among area schools when they placed first out of 16 teams in the Small School Division of the Rice Lake Invitational Sept. 11. The boys have now won three of the four meets they have competed in this fall while the girls have won two of four meets.

It was in all likelyhood (thankfully) the last day of 90 degree heat for a race this season.

“It was pretty hot for this time of year which made for tough conditions to run in,” coach Joe Doucette said. “Timewise we did not run great but we hung in there and finished pretty well.”
The top six runners for the Viking boys all finished under the 20 minute mark and in the top 30 spots in a field of 127 individuals as Lachlan Hinwood set the tone, completing the course at 17:42 in fifth place. He ended up 34 seconds behind the leader Henry Klein of St. Croix Falls. Michael Larson was hot in pursuit, just two places behind Hinwood at 18:09 while Matthew Almquist just missed a top ten finish, placing 11th at 18:24. Hunter Lieffort took the fourth spot, coming in at 19:08 in 17th place, Jeremiah Harder and Tucker Hovde were less then a second apart with a McDonell Central runner in between them as Harder was 26th at 19:20.3 and Hovde was 28th at 19:20.9.The seventh runner for Colfax, Garrett Miller, was just six seconds over the 20 minute mark, placing 40th.

“I was impressed with the way the boys battled the tough conditions,” Doucette said. “Even though we have been successful, winning three meets and placing second in another, the boys are humble. They understand winning is nice but it’s the end of the year that matters. We are pretty deep and our top seven have been very consistent. The key is for our 3-7 runners to get as close to Lachlan and Michael as they can.”

The girls ran a 5K race like the boys, rather then their normal 4K, but that didn’t seem to bother them much as Dempsey Fogarty took the runner up spot, finishing behind Andrea Ostenso of Ladysmith for the second time this year. She did however beat Tori Winters of Flambeau for the second time after finishing behind her at the Bruce meet a couple of weeks ago. Ostenso ran the course in 19:13 while Fogarty finished over a minute behind at 20:29. Teammate Courtney Dressel was fourth for the second meet in a row at 21:10 while consistent running shone through again for Brittany Rothbauer as she finished a lucky 13th for the second meet in a row at 22:48. Heidi Lieffort had a top 20 finish, coming in 19th place at 23:40 while Kenna Breckner was 33rd at 24:56 and Mallie Doucette finished in 39th place at 25:33. McKenzie Anderson was the seventh varsity runner for the girls and placed 52nd at 26:34. There were 116 individual runners in the competition.

“It was nice for the girls to win a big meet,” Doucette said. “They are really focused and are getting better each meet. We believe our best races are still to come. Dempsey and Courtney give us a nice 1-2 punch up front but we have a great group behind them that really support them.”

Besides varsity races for large and small schools, a junior varsity and middle school race was held for both divisions as well. The Colfax girls team won the middle school race as eighth grader Abbagail Schotter placed second, while the boys team was third with seventh grader Andrew Schneider taking seventh individually.

VARSITY BOYS SMALL DIVISION TEAM: Colfax 61, Grantsburg 90, McDonell Central 106, Unity 125, Chetek-Weyerhaeuser 150, St. Croix Falls 169, St. Croix Central 186, Boyceville 199, Elk Mound 218, Barron 258, Cameron 280, Glenwood City 299, Bloomer 314, Hurley 345, Cumberland 417, Bruce 459.

VARSITY GIRLS SMALL DIVISION TEAM: Colfax 68, Bloomer 113, Glenwood City 123, Flambeau 123, St. Croix Falls 138, Cameron 152, Hurley 181, Ladysmith 223, St. Croix Central 225, Webster 245, Elk Mound 277, Cumberland 307, Grantsburg 311, Shell Lake 329, Chetek-Weyerhaeuser 338, Unity 367.