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Topper team finishes 12th at State Cross County appearance

By Kelsie Hoitomt

WISCONSIN RAPIDS — This past weekend seven athletes from the Glenwood City girls’ cross county team made the trek to Wisconsin Rapids for the 2014 State Championships.

The team made up of one senior, two juniors, one sophomore and three freshman was the first in school history to make it to State.

The Toppers competed in the Division 3 race that started last Saturday, November 1 at 1:30 p.m. at the Ridges Golf Course.

Out of 16 teams, the Toppers finished 12th with a score of 256, which was a tie with St. Mary’s Springs. First place went to Lourdes Academy in Oshkosh with a score of 68.

“I am very proud of the girls,” shared coach Matthew Schutz. “It was a great experience and it sets the bar even higher for next season with all the girls returning, but Kaitlin.”

On the course, sophomore Taylor Drinkman was out in front for the Topper team. She crossed the finish line at 20:41.12, which was 13 seconds faster than her Sectional time.

Taylor’s time put her at 19th place overall against 149 other runners; first went to Jennifer Lichter of Aquinas with a 19:11.76.

Junior Morgan Kadinger followed in her number two position for the team at 28th place overall with a time of 20:58.98. This was ten seconds faster than her Sectional time.

Makayla O’Brien didn’t quite run her typical race with nearly a 38 second difference in her Sectional versus State time.

However, as a freshman taking in her first State run, she did well with a 55th place finish overall with a time of 21:59.66.

Next was lone senior Kaitlin Konder and she finished three places down from Makayla in 58th with a time of 22:08.99. This was eight seconds faster than her Sectional time.

“I had an amazing season with the best teammates I could ask for, including all the middle school, boys and girls teams,” expressed senior Kaitlin Konder. “Not a lot of people are lucky enough to end their senior year at state. I hope next year they can be even more of a powerhouse than this year and keep doing the best they can do.”

The final three behind Konder were freshman Elizabeth Wink, junior Macie Rasmussen and freshman Emma Scholler.

The girls struggled some on the hilly course compared to their Sectional times the previous week in Boyceville.

Wink ran a 23:37.58, which put her in 96th overall. Then it was Rasmussen in 98th just under ten seconds behind with a 23:47.33.

Scholler rounded out the Topper team with a time of 25:02.32, which put her in 107th for her first State meet and final race as a freshman.

“This was the hardest working group of girls I have ever coached. Not much complaining, they just did their workouts and it paid off throughout the season,” explained Schutz. “The great camaraderie throughout the whole team also made this possible.”