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EM boys fourth, girls sixth at conference meet

COLFAX — Although Elk Mound senior Ben Holzwarth led from start to finish to win the Dunn-St. Croix cross country championship, the Mounder boys placed fourth in the eight team division, while the girls, running without their number two runner again, came in sixth out of the six full teams. The meet was held Oct. 17 at the Whitetail Golf Course and both races were won by Colfax.

Holzwarth is the first conference champion for the Mounders since they started an actual team through the WIAA, but technically he is the second champion in the school’s history. Back in 1997, Elk Mound did not have an official team but Mike Knutson was allowed to compete in a few meets and was invited by conference officials to run at the conference meet. Knutson won the meet in Mondovi at 17:28.06, defeating Travis Logslett of Colfax who ran 17:28.09. Knutson was not allowed to run in the sectional meet, however.

Holzwarth looked relaxed and in control when he crossed the finish line with a time of 16:48, eight seconds ahead of the runner up from St. Croix Central. Caleb Kruger moved up a place for the Mounders as he was their second runner in at 18:05 for ninth place and Justin Fedie, took the final spot for second team All Conference by placing 14th at 18:20. Next in for the Mounders was Lucas Winter at 18:30 for 18th place followed by Hayden Kohls in 37th place at 19:43, Josh Hall in 48th at 20:29 and Drew Sternecker was 53rd at 22:17. There were 54 individuals in the race.

“I felt pretty strong coming into the race today,” Holzwarth said after his big win. “I worked really hard all year for this. It’s a nice payoff for all that work. But I’m not done yet,” he added.

Elizabeth Fasbender led the Mounder girls, missing a first team All Conference spot by one place,with an eighth place finish, coming in at 17:03, Kami King, a fellow freshman who started the season off as the number two runner, missed the last several races with a concussion, as Nevada LaPoint moved into the number two spot, coming in at 18:59 for 31st individually. Sam Jain came in for 34th place at 19:13, next for the Mounders was Waive Melgaard in 39th at 19:49, Jaimie Solem in 41st at 19:56, Corrine Zimmer in 43rd at 20:25 and Danae Sternecker 45th at 20:56. Elayna Gutsch, Sarah Winchester and Kassie Jain also competed and their times were used for junior varsity scores.Dempsey Fogarty of Colfax was the individual winner with a time of 16:17.

“It turned out to be a great competition for us,” Elk Mound coach Jeremiah Fredrickson said. “Six out of seven guys ran personal best times and four of our 11 girls did, too, And Ben winning was just amazing. He and the rest of the team have been working really hard and they all have a few more goals they want to accomplish before the season ends. Having three All Conference runners on the boy’s team and one on the girls is another highlight of the race. Our boys team was only 12 points out of first and if a couple of runners flip flop spots, we would be right in it. It was a great performance for the Colfax  teams to win it. Not sure how coach Doucette continues to find runners. There must be something in the water over there,” he added.

Up next is the sectional meet Saturday, Oct. 26 at Boyceville.