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Elk Mound boys runners up, girls seventh at conference meet

MONDOVI—On a hilly and  winding course at The Valley Golf Course in Mondovi, the Elk Mound boys, in just their third year of fielding a cross country team, came up with their best finish ever in the Dunn-St. Croix Conference meet as they placed second behind a strong Colfax team Oct. 11. The Mounder girls finished seventh in the eight team meet.

Ben Holzwarth led the Mounders as he cracked the top ten with a sixth place finish in a time of 17:52 which was 50 seconds behind the defending champ Sasha Maro of Mondovi. Mitch Zimmer solidified the second spot for Elk Mound with a 13th place at 18:28, followed by Shawn Lane close behind in 16th at 18:54 and Caleb Kruger in 21st at 19:05. Also completing the 5K course in under 20 minutes were Lucas Winter  in 27th place at 19:37 and Andrew Zabel in 31st at 19:58.

A pack of Mounders followed including Drew Sternecker (56th, 21:36), Hunter Henning (60th, 21:53), RJ Cheek (64th, 22:17) Hunter Hermes (65th, 22:18), Dakota Peters (68th, 22:26), Dan Bachman (69th, 22:30), Josh Hall (70th, 22:45), Seth Kruger (74th, 23:10), Alec Winter (75th, 23:12), Chris Jaenke (84th, 23:54), Gabe LaRock (95th, 26:06) and Jon Baggs (97th 26:52). There were 98 individuals in the race.

“We are pretty happy with the second place finish,” Elk Mound coach Jeremiah Fredrickson said. “We knew coming in Colfax was the cream of the crop and they showed it. Ben Holzwarth had to set the pace for his teammates and he did just that on the tough course. Seniors Mitch Zimmer and Shawn Lane set a good example for the team by running a solid race and Lucas Winter and Caleb Kruger stepped up to get those important team points. We hope we can sneak someone through the sectional next week and get to state,” he added.

Senior Emma Hayes was battling a problem with dehydration for the second time this season, but still managed to finish 14th for the girls after collapsing and crawling across the finish line in a time of 17:52. Defending conference champion and state runner up Breanna Colbenson soundly beat all 70 runners with a time of 15:19.

Claiming the second spot for the Mounders was Sam Jain in 28th at 18:52 followed by Waive Melgaard in 35th at 19:14. Jamie Solum was 43rd in 19:41, Danae Sternecker was 48th in 20:08, Josie Hayes placed 53rd at 21:12 and Alex Hagberg claimed a 61st spot in 22:44.

“Emma Hayes had a tough time again but she managed to finish the race,” Fredrickson said “Our girls did O. K. but we didn’t drop our times any from the last few weeks because this was a lot harder course then what we have been running on.”

Elk Mound will compete in the sectional meet this Saturday, Oct. 20 at Fall Creek.