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Colfax cross country teams both head to state

FALL CREEK — It wasn’t much of a surprise when the Colfax boys won the 14 team sectional meet held in Fall Creek Oct. 20. With five of their seven runners all seniors who had run at state last year, the Vikings were the favorites to take the top spot, allowing them to make a return trip to Wisconsin Rapids.

The girls’ team however, was coming off a runner up finish to Spring Valley in the conference meet last week, and with those same Cardinals in the sectional, coach Joe Doucette knew they would most likely be battling for a second place finish. That’s exactly what came about as they finished seven points ahead of Stanley-Boyd and although the girls didn’t know it until it was announced at the ceremony after the race, they will be finishing the season at the state meet next week with the boys. It will be the eighth appearance at the big show for the boys and the seventh for the girls. The last time both teams were there together was in 2001.

All five point scorers for the Viking boys finished in the top 15 of 105 runners with Lachlan Hinwood placing fifth in a very strong field. Hinwood finished in 17:48 while the winner, Darin Lau of Immanuel Lutheran came in at 16:43. Following Hinwood was Michael Larson in eighth place at 18:00, Matthew Almquist in 11th and Jeremiah Harder in 12th, both at 18:05 and Hunter Lieffort in 15th at 18:08. Garrett Miller was the sixth runner in for Colfax in 23rd place at 18:55, and Tucker Hovde, who has been dealing with injuries as of late, crossed the finish line in 58th at 20:17.

“Lachlan has had a good year for us but our strength is with our other guys staying close behind him,” Doucette said. “For them to end their careers at the state meet representing Colfax is a tremendous honor. This is one of the strongest boys’ field in the history of the state meet and we are excited to see where we fit in. We feel like we have one more really great race left in us,” he added.

The top three places in the girls race were the same as the conference meet as Breanna Colbenson of Spring Valley cruised to the win at 15:11. But the Vikings took the second, third and eighth spots which were key in the team standings, as Dempsey Fogarty came in at 15:54 and Courtney Dressel was 14 seconds behind her at 16:08. Brittany Rothbauer finished in 17:10 and the fourth Colfax runner Heidi Lieffort took a 30th place at 18:18 and Kenna Breckner ran a tough race to place 38th in 18:44. Mallie Doucette was the sixth Viking to finish in 49th place at 19:36 and Mackenzie Anderson was 68th at 21:19.There were 91 individuals in the competition.

“We knew Spring Valley would be tough to beat but we ran very well today,” Doucette said. “Our strength was our top three finishers who were able to get us a lead over Stanley-Boyd, and we had a gutty performance from our fourth and fifth runners. We were hoping Dempsey and Courtney could take the 2-3 spots but we knew the race would be won with Brittany, Heidi and Kenna and they came through. This was our best race of the year and we know the competition at state will be tough and we will have to run as good or better to beat some teams. Stanley-Boyd is coached by former Colfax runner Travis Logslett who was a state champion for us and we feel bad that his team didn’t get through, but our girls were in that third spot last year and we know how that feels,” he concluded.

Three individual boys from the D-SC Conference qualified for state from this sectional including Ben Holzwarth from Elk Mound, Tanner Johnson-Hetchler of Boyceville and Ethan Brandt of Glenwood City. Conference champ Sasha Maro of Mondovi also qualified from the Arcadia sectional as did Britney Rud of Mondovi for the girls.

BOYS TEAM SCORES: Colfax 51, Chippewa Falls McDonell 69, Immanuel Lutheran 102, Elk Mound 131, Boyceville 140, Augusta 152, Glenwood City 207, Stanley-Boyd 218, Fall Creek 224, Spring Valley 236, Elmwood 243, Eau Claire regis 295, Cadott 298, New Auburn 423.

GIRLS TEAM SCORES: Spring Valley 33, Colfax 81, Stanley-Boyd 88, Fall Creek 130, Cornell-Lake Holcombe 147, Cadott 177, Glenwood City 216, Osseo-Fairchild 225, Elmwood 228, Eau Claire Regis 245, Augusta 251, Elk Mound 252, Boyceville 268.