Taking advantage of some beautiful weather, the Elk Mound cross country teams competed at Mondovi Sept. 24 and at Durand two days later during a week filled with homecoming festivities.
Ben Holzwarth led the Mounders by placing second behind reigning Dunn-St. Croix Conference champion Sasha Maro, who ran the course in 17:48. Holzwarth was 29 seconds behind him at 18:17 but is closing the gap as last year during the conference meet he was 50 seconds behind Maro.Teamwise, the Elk Mound boys were also the runner up, behind Blair-Taylor as Justin Fedie also cracked the top ten for Elk Mound with an eighth place at 19:39 and Caleb Kruger and Lucas Winter just missed with Kruger finishing 11th at 20:04 and Winter on his heels for 12th at 20:06. In a field of 75 individual runners, Hayden Kohls came in for 31st at 22:19 followed by Drew Sternecker in 40th at 23:06, Josh Hall in 45th at 23:46 and Jon Baggs was 73rd at 29:50.
With 58 individual competitors in the girls’ race, Kami King filled the number one spot for the Mounders, placing seventh in a time of 23:28. And just like in the boys’ division, the race was won by a Mondovi runner, Amanda Rud in 22:39. Following King was Sam Jain for 22nd place in 27:06 and running in a pack, Jamie Solem was 29th at 27:51, Corrine Zimmer crossed the line at 28:07 in 31st place, Danae Sternecker was three spots back in 34th at 28:22, Elayna Gutsch and Sarah Winchester were neck and neck, both with a time of 30:26 for 36th and 37th place and Kathleen Simmons was 58th at 45:29.
In the Middle School race, Ryan Mohr was third out of 38 runners as the Mounder boys finished third of four teams, while Hannah Cedarblade was fourth of 56 competitors as the girl’s team was fourth out of five teams.
BOYS VARSITY TEAM SCORES: Blair-Taylor 52, Elk Mound 64, Cochrane-Fountain City 71, Mondovi 93, Spring Valley 116, Independence 134, Melrose-Mindoro 138
GIRLS VARSITY TEAM SCORES: Melrose-Mindoro 54, Spring Valley 58, Mondovi 63, Blair-Taylor 70, Elk Mound 123, Independence 146, Whitehall 189
Running at the Rolling Greens Golf Course, the boys were seventh in the 16 team competition while the girls finished tenth out of 14 teams.
Competing against 153 athletes, Holzwarth finished third behind a pair of Immanuel Lutheran runners, whom he will see in the sectional later this month. Darin Lau won the race at 16:45 while Caleb Oster was second at 17:27 with Holzwarth coming in at 17:43. Kruger took the second spot for the Mounders in 19th place at 18:58, followed by Fedie in 27th at 19:38, Kohls in 70th at 21:22, Hall was 127th with a time of 24:00 and Baggs claimed the 151st spot at 28:11.
After missing the Mondovi meet due to a virus, Elizabeth Fasbender returned to lead the Mounder girls by placing 14th in a field of 130 individuals. Fasbender ran a time of 17:54 while McKenzie Fortier of Osceola won the race at 16:17. King came in 14 spots behind Fasbender at 18:43 and Jain was 74th at 20:32 while the final four Mounder runners all stayed within 33 seconds of each other as Waive Melgaard was 91st at 21:10, Sternecker 95th at 21:29, Gutsch placed 96th at 21:31 and Zimmer was 97th at 21:43.
The future continues to look bright for the Mounders as the boys won the middle school race against five other teams and with 82 individual runners, eighth grader Jake Johnson took the top spot. The girls were also first in a field of seven teams with Cederblade taking fourth out of 86 total runners.
BOYS VARSITY TEAM SCORES: Immanuel Lutheran 68, Lake City 99, Boyceville 118, Altoona 120, St. Croix Central 124, Amery 189, Elk Mound 214, Elmwood 233, Durand 250, Osceola 265, Prescott 277, Independence 295, Spring Valley 299, Baldwin-Woodville 333, Ellsworth 417, Eleva-Strum 420
GIRLS VARSITY TEAM SCORES: Lake City 31, Osceola 104, Amery 123, Prescott 130, Spring Valley 134, Baldwin-Woodville 135, St. Croix Central 209, Durand 222, Immanuel Lutheran 240, Elk Mound 261, Elmwood 261, Ellsworth 285, Independence 361, Altoona 383