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Mounder runners leave mark on cross country courses

ELK MOUND — Seven runners from from Elk Mound High School ended their high school careers either at the conference or sectional meet recently, while one culminated his running days with a second straight trip to the state meet. In just the team’s fourth year of competing, both the boys and girls teams continue to show progress at both the conference and sectional levels of competition.

Ben Holzwarth leaves the program with the school record of 16:48 which was accomplished at the conference meet held in Boyceville this season. A four year varsity runner, Holzwarth competed at the state meet the past two seasons, making him the first runner from Elk Mound to accomplish such a feat. He improved from 109th place and a time of 18:28 his junior year to 24th place in 17:09 this year. After winning the conference meet this year, he was named First Team All Conference, and was also First Team as a junior and Second Team his sophomore year. He continued to drop his times in the conference and sectional meets by almost two minutes from his freshman to senior year.

Head coach Jeremiah Fredrickson commented on Ben’s final race and career with the Mounders:

“Ben was awesome,” he said. “I think he ran his race at state and he was fun to watch. I could not be happier about his season and his career with us.”

Justin Fedie was a late comer to the team and made the best of his one year of varsity running. He finished 14th at the conference meet to earn Second Team honors with a time of 18:20 which was his personal best. He finished 26th at the sectional meet in 18:50 and was more often then not the second runner in for the Mounders at every meet.

Drew Sternecker ran two years at the varsity level and had a personal best time of 21:11 in those two years. As a junior, he was 57th at the conference meet with a time of 21:36 and was 53rd this season in 22:17. He competed in sectionals his junior year and finished 80th in 21:51.

Josh Hall competed for three years for the Mounders but was a varsity runner for just this season. His fastest time came at the conference meet at 20:39 for 48th place. He placed 91st at sectionals with a time of 21:43. Josh obviously enjoyed running since he always had a smile on his face during the race.

Running varsity all four seasons for the girls, Jamie Solem ran in all four conference and sectional meets. Her fastest time came oddly enough her freshman year when she finished the sectional meet at 19:03 for 70th place. Her best place in a sectional meet was 63rd her junior year at 20:25 and her fastest time at a conference meet was 19:28 for 38th place as a sophomore.

Three year varsity runner Samantha Jain ran a personal best time of 18:25 for 28th place which occurred at the conference meet her sophomore season. She was also 28th her junior year and was 34th this year at 19:13. Her best sectional time came her senior year at 19:27 for 64th place but her highest placement was 51st at 19:32 her sophomore year.

Danae Sternecker, (competing in the same sport as twin brother Drew making things a lot easier for family members to watch), ran two years for the varsity.  Her personal best time was 19:34 which came in a race her junior year. Her best conference time also came last year at 20:08 for 48th place but she moved up to 45th place this year at 20:56. She finished 66th at the sectional meet as a junior at 20:58.

After this years conference meet, coach Fredrickson commented on this years team:

“I can’t stress enough how proud of our kids coach Hoover and I are,” he said. “I think we are building something special here with our cross country program and these seniors have had a lot to do with it. They are a special group of kids.”