COLFAX — Just one girl and one boy concluded their high school long distance running careers for the Vikings this year. Dannielle Dachel was a three year competitor for coach Joe Doucette while Brett Johnson tried his hand (or legs in this case) for the first time.
Dachel also played varsity volleyball all through high school and with both sports having many of their meets or games on the same days, after attempting to do both on a couple of occasions, she decided in her senior year to make volleyball first. As a result, she didn’t get to run in as many meets as she would have liked to.
As a sophomore, the only meet Dachel managed to fit in happened to be the WIAA State meet which the Colfax girls had qualified for. With one of her teammates struggling with an injury, Dachel filled in and placed 50th and was the third Viking to cross the line in a time of 16:33.
As a junior, she was First Team All Conference with a fourth place finish in 16:26 and was sixth in the sectional meet in 16:22 as the Vikings qualified for state again. She saved her best for the big show in Wisconsin Rapids by finishing first for the team with a time of 16:06 in 22nd place to help the team place fourth. As a senior, Dachel earned Second Team All Conference with a tenth place finish in the first time 5K race with a time of 21:41 and was the second Colfax runner to cross the finish line at the sectional meet for 13th place in 21:55. She was just a couple of places short of qualifying for state as an individual while the team also fell a little short of getting back with a fifth place finish.
“It was amazing to see Dannielle compete in two sports at such a high level,” Doucette said after Dachel’s final race. “She battled shin splints most of the season but she is as tough of a competitor as I have coached in this sport.”
Johnson played football prior to joining the cross country team and competed in several meets. His times continued to go down, running 23:53 in the Bruce meet early in the season, 21:53 in Durand and in the conference meet, ran a personal best 21:27 to place 63rd of 95 runners.
“It’s too bad Brett didn’t start running until this year,” Doucette said after one of Johnson’s races. “He had the potential to be a big help to the team.”