Consistency was evident for the Elk Mound cross country teams as the boys placed fourth in both the Mondovi Invite Tuesday, Sept. 18 and the Durand Invite two days later, while the girl’s team was eighth in both races.
With 12 teams and 122 individuals, Ben Holzwarth led the Mounder boys with a seventh place in a time of 18:34 which was 1:27 behind the winner Sasha Maro of conference rival Mondovi. A pack of Elk Mound runners came in more then a minute behind Holzwarth including Mitch Zimmer (26th, 19:55), Shawn Lane (28th, 20:00), Caleb Kruger (29th, 20:09), Andrew Zabel (31st, 20:15) and Lucas Winter (37th, 20:40). Hunter Henning was the seventh runner to finish for the team (61st, 21:56). Also competing for the varsity were RJ Cheek (83rd, 22:45), Hunter Hermes (85th, 22:54), Dan Bachman (86th, 22:56), Seth Kruger (88th, 23:04), Alec Winter (94th, 23:50), Josh Hall (97th, 24:31), Chris Jaenke (100th, 24:37) and Gabe Larock (118th, 27:48).
The Mounder girls had just enough runners to have a team score as Emma Hayes led the five with a 22nd place at 18:12 with the winner Dempsey Fogarty of Colfax finishing at 15:46. Following Hayes was Waive Melgaard (37th, 19:28), Sam Jain (40th, 19:35), Danae Sternecker (56th, 21:13) and Josie Hayes 63rd, 23:11). There were 69 competitors in the race and eight teams.
“We really wanted to look at this course and try some different things,” Elk Mound coach Jeremiah Fredrickson said. “We tried to pack the boys up a little and pull our 5-8 runners along. This worked pretty well as we had nine of them run personal best times. I thought they ran smart and I think we picked up some things for when we run the conference meet here next month. We tried the same thing for the girls. Emma was coming off a rough meet at Rice Lake and we wanted her to run and pull our 2-3-4 runners along. Three of our five girls also had personal best times,” he added.
With temperatures in the low 60s and a little windy, it was a pretty decent day to run the hilly course at the Rolling Green Golf Course. With 123 competitors in a field of 11 teams, Holzwarth again led the Mounder boys with a sixth place finish in a time of 18:28 as Darin Lau of Immanuel Lutheran won the contest in 17:05. Zimmer moved closer to Holzwarth coming in 22nd at 19:34, followed by Lane (25th, 19:39), Zabel (31st, 20:01), Caleb Kruger (34th, 20:05), Winter (45th, 20:44), Hermes (81st, 22:49), Seth Kruger (89th, 23:10), Bachman (92nd, 23:24), Jaenke 100th, 24:14), Dakota Peters (101st, 24:18), Larock (119th, 27:54) and Jon Baggs (122nd, 30:24).
Emma Hayes earned a top 10 finish, coming in eighth overall for the girls, in 17:30. Breanna Colbenson, the defending conference champion from Spring Valley was first at 15:00. Melgaard was the second runner again for the team in 35th at 19:46 followed by Jain (37th, 20:04), Jamie Solum (43rd, 20:27), Sternecker (55th, 21:17), Josie Hayes (66th, 22:22) and Alex Hagberg (69th, 22:55). There were 80 individuals and nine teams in the race.
“We had a hard week of training and we saw it in their legs, especially in the finish,” Fredrickson said. “Emma returned to the times we want to see her running at this point which is nice to see. Alex and Josie both ran season best times. For the boys, Shawn ran a season best time as our third runner and Caleb just missed the 20 minute mark as our number five runner. Lucas dropped his time in both meets this week and Ben is just having a wonderful season for us,” he added.