With teams from all three Wisconsin divisions in the competition, the Colfax cross country teams faired quite well at the Rice Lake Invite Sept. 15 as the girls won the Small School Division among 14 teams while taking fourth overall among 27 teams, and the boys were fourth out of 18 teams in the Small Division and tenth of 31 teams overall. Running a few days later in Osceola, the girls placed second of 10 teams and the boys were sixth in a field of 13.
In the Small Division, the Vikings’ Courtney Dressel was the runner up in a time of 21:07 behind Flambeau’s Rachel Lawton who finished in 20:04. Erica Kallstrom followed Dressel in third place at 21:28, Dempsey Fogarty was close behind for eighth place in 21:59, Abbagail Schotter came in for 15th place at 23:04, Ally Heidorn was 23rd at 24:01 and Hailey Prince was 27th in 24:22.
Tucker Hovde led the Viking boys with a fourth place finish in the Small School Division in a field of 124 runners, breaking the 18 minute mark at 17:57. Zac Arvold followed him for 13th place in 18:59.0, Brett Prince was on Arvold’s heels in 14th place at 18:59.2, Ike Lee came in at 20:13 for 42nd place, Jacob Larson was 49th at 20:37, Brady Simonson finished in 69th at 21:12 and Rowdy Kadinger was 102nd in 23:41. Alex Binfet of Unity won the race in 17:45 as his team won the meet.
“This is always a big meet for us because you get to see a lot of different sized schools,” coach Joe Doucette said. “There are good teams and good runners surrounding you. Our girls ran well again and we are strong up front with our first three runners. It was a hot and windy day and the course was not as fast as it has been in past years. This is a nice starting point for our fourth meet but we still have a ways to go. Our top three boys looked very strong but our 4-7 guys really struggled in the last mile. We have to work on closing that gap and if we can do that, we can be very good. The teams that finished ahead of us are all very good and either went to state last year or are state ranked this year. We just have to keep working hard,” he added.
Kallstrom and Dressel flip flopped this time around as Kallstrom lowered her time by 17 seconds from the Rice Lake meet and placed fourth in 21:11 while Dressel was seventh in 21:29. Fogarty had another top ten finish by placing ninth in 21:37 but the rest of the Viking girls were further back as Schotter placed 35th in 23:51, Prince followed close behind in 37th at 23:58 and Heidorn was 48th in 25:32. There were 115 individuals competing and the race was won by Caitie McGauley of Mahtomedi, MN.
“We worked hard this week and our girls looked a little tired,” Doucette said. “We had some aches and pains and did not finish well but some meets you have to work through to be at your best,” he added.
The boys were missing Arvold, and for the second straight race Hunter Leiffort as Hovde led the Vikings again with an 11th place finish in a time of 18:45. Prince was the second Colfax runner in for 22nd in 19:19, Larson came in for 31st at 19:50, Simonson was three spots behind for 34th at 20:01, Lee came in for 39th at 20:09, Jelani Smit ran a time of 21:00 for 55th, Jacob Jenson was 79th in 22:59 and Kadinger finished 84th in 25:06. 141 runners finished the race which was won by Sam Bell of Ellsworth in 16:55. Last year’s Dunn St. Croix Conference champion St. Croix Central won the team title.(Central is now in the Middle Border Conference).
“Much like the girls, our boys looked tired and we tried to use this as training,” Doucette said. “We had beat Central at the Rice Lake meet so we know we didn’t run well. Simonson is fighting injuries and ran well in this meet. But, like the girls, we need our 4-7 runners to improve before the conference meet which is sneaking up on us.”