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Elk Mound runners fifth in sectional as Holzwarth returns to state, girls finish ninth

BOYCEVILLE — Elk Mound senior Ben Holzwarth continues to make school history as he is now the first runner to make back to back appearances at the WIAA State Cross Country meet for the team.

 Holzwarth was the sixth runner in at the Boyceville sectional held Oct. 26 but was the second individual to qualify for the big show. (Top two teams qualify along with the top five individuals not on one of those teams). Holzwarth finished with a time of 17:13 with Darin Lau of Immanual Lutheran winning the race at 16:01. Mounder teammate Caleb Kruger ran his best race of the season and was oh-so-close to qualifying himself as he placed 11th overall at 17:56 and was the sixth individual to cross the line, just two seconds out of that fifth spot. Justin Fedie was 26th for the team at 18:50, followed by Lucas Winter in 39th place at 9:08, Hayden Kohls in 90th at 21:31 and close behind Josh Hall in 91st in 21:43. Their were 111 individuals in the race and 15 teams with the Mounders finishing fifth in the team standings.

“It was a pleasant surprise for our team to place as high as we did,” coach Jeremiah Fredrickson said. “We trained Ben for this high level all season and he just let the top three guys go ahead and he ran his race. And having Caleb get so close shows how hard this team has worked to improve all year.”

On the girls’ side, two Mounder freshmen led the team to a ninth place out of 14 teams, up from 12th place last year. And yet another Elk Mound runner just missed a state berth as Elizabeth Fasbender was in the sixth individual slot, one second behind the runner from Cornell/Lake Holcombe. Fasbender was 12th overall with a time of 16:45 with Dempsey Fogarty of Colfax taking the top spot in 16:06. Kami King returned to the second position for the Mounders after missing a few meets and was 42nd at 18:04 and Sam Jain was 64th at 19:27 followed by Nevada LaPointe in 72nd at 19:54, Waive Melgaard in 75th at 20:09, Jamie Solem in 77th at 20:19 and Corrine Zimmer in 80th at 20:42. There were 99 individuals in the competition.

“We had some very strong races by our girls today,” Fredrickson said. “Elizabeth was just a couple of seconds away from getting to state. We have some very good young runners who I think are good leaders and will help build some tradition for our cross country program in the next few years,” he added.