On a sunny but windy day, the Elk Mound cross country teams faced competition from schools in all three Wisconsin divisions at the Rice Lake Invite Sept. 15. The boys’ team placed 26th out of 31 teams overall and were 13th of 18 teams in the Small Division while the girls were 19th overall and ninth of 14 teams in the Small Division. Two days later, the girls’ team brought home the first team trophy in the school’s cross country girls’ history by placing second at the Altoona Invite while the boys were ninth of 11 teams.
The Mounder girls have been dealing with some injuries and ran without two of their leading runners in this meet. Alana Plaszcz led the Mounders with a 41st place overall in 22:57 among over 200 competitors. Meredith Hainstock finished in 113th at 26:45, Hanna Hill claimed 125th place in 28:05. Ciera Lind was 127th at 28:07, Kaitlyn Baier was 133rd in 28:34 and Claudia Paul ended up in 137th at 28:38.
Nate Kruger was the first Mounder boy to cross the finish line at 20:52 for 60th place while Hayden Kohls was close behind in 66th at 21:08 and Grant Kjellberg followed for 68th place in 21:11. Jonas Kohls was 84th in 22:00, Nate Schreiber came in at 22:12 for 87th and Jameson Rubenzer was breathing down his neck in 88th at 22:18.
“I think some of our younger runners were a little overwhelmed by the size of this meet and the level of competition,” coach Jeremiah Fredrickson said. “But it was a good experience though, moving forward.”
With several runners back for the Mounders on a wet and muddy course, the girls had three runners place in the top ten with Elizabeth Fasbender claiming fifth place in 21:46 while one spot behind her was Brook Plaszcz at 22:01.5, and less than a second behind her came Alana Plaszcz in 22:01.9 for seventh place. Baier followed for 32nd place in 25:24, Hainstock was close behind for 34th place in 25:51 and Hill came in for 58th at 28:36 while Nevada LaPointe was 59th in 28:37. The race was won by Dana Feyen of GET at 18:48.
“We had everyone back and are getting healthy after dealing with some nagging injuries,” coach Fredrickson said.
With over half of the Mounder boys running a seasonal or overall personal best time, Hayden Kohls led the team with a 42nd place against 74 other runners in 20:17 and pack running came into place again for them as Kruger was two places behind in 20:28 and Nate Lind was 45th at 20:38. Jonas Kohls followed in 57th place at 21:33, Ryan Mohr was 59th in 21:55 and Schreiber was a spot behind at 21:57. The meet was won by Dan Lau of Immanuel Lutheran, who happens to be in Elk Mound’s sectional, in a time of 17:06.
“For some of our runners, this was their third race in six days so I don’t think we did too bad,” Fredrickson said.
Elk Mound will travel to Mondovi Sept. 22 for their next competition.