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Colfax girls third, boys 16th at WIAA state competition

WISCONIN RAPIDS — For the third time in school history, both the Colfax girls and boys cross country teams ended their season competing at the WIAA state championship race held at The Ridges Golf Course in Wisconsin Rapids. Although the teams, which included eight seniors, ended on different sides of the spectrum, it was a great way for them to end the season, according to head coach Joe Doucette. The race was run Halloween Day under a steady rain making the course rather wet and muddy for all.

The girls’ team, led by freshman Erica Kallstrom, had their highest finish at the big show by placing third in the 16 team field. (Three Colfax teams have finished fourth). Kallstrom was seventh in the team points at 20:11 and 14th overall which left her four spots shy of earning a state medal. There was a little change however in the next three places for the Vikings as Abbagail Schotter, who had been running in the fourth spot most of the season, came in  behind Kallstrom for 16th place for the team and 33rd overall at 20:49, followed by Dempsey Fogarty in 18th for the team and 36th overall in 20:53. Courtney Dressel had been battling Kallstrom all year in the number 1-2 position but was the fourth Viking in for 19th in the team standings and 38th overall in 20:54. At this point of the race, the Colfax team was actually in first place but Oshkosh Lourdes and Westby had some pretty good team depth and their runners finished a little quicker than the rest of the Vikings. Ally Heidorn was the fifth one in for Colfax at 22:47 which placed her 67th for the team and 104th as an individual in 22:47 while Hailey Prince finished 75th for the team and 113th overall in 22:56. There were 148 competitors in the race that was won by Alissa Niggemann of Amhearst in 19:00. (Schotter ran as an individual at state a year ago and dropped 25 seconds off her time and moved up 22 places).

“We were really hoping to make the top two and get a trophy along with a big celebration,” coach Doucette said. “Third is close but it doesn’t get you any of that. But we started as a decent team at the beginning of the year and turned into a team that won a conference and sectional title and took third at state. This group of girls met everything head on and will go down as the best team in history for the girls’ cross country program,” he added.

The boys’ team knew by virtue of the fast times runners throughout the state had been displaying they would have to have an exceptional day to finish in the upper half of the competition. But after Tucker Hovde came in for 49th place for the team and 84th overall in 18:21, by the time the others crossed the finish line the result was 16th place in the field of 16 teams. Zack Arvold ran a solid race to follow Hovde, placing 68th for the team and 106th overall in 18:45.14 while Brett Prince was on his heels on an even muddier course than the girls ran on for 69th in the team standings and 107th overall at 18:45.16. Brady Simonson completed his final race for 83rd  for the team and 123rd overall in 19:12, Jacob Larson, the only non-senior on the team, was 89th in team points and 129th overall in 19:30, Isaac Lee was 99th for the team and 139th as an individual at 20:02 and Hunter Leiffort followed in 103rd for the team and 143rd overall in 20:16. There were 152 runners and the race was won by Kevin Koski of Chequamegon in a phenomenal time of 16:02 while the team title went to Darlington.

“We had a few kids run pretty well but in a race like this you need your 1-5 runners to all run great,” Doucette said. “It was a tough way to end a very good season and we lose six good seniors who have run a ton for this program while winning three conference championships and running at state twice. Even though it was an up and down day for both teams, we are very proud of all of them,” he concluded.

Note: Fellow Dunn-St. Croix Conference rivals Glenwood City was 15th in the girls team standings while Kassye Todd of Elmwood-Plum City, who was the conference champion and Boyceville sectional champion finished sixth and Elk Mound’s Elizabeth Fasbender was 80th. For the boys, D-SC Conference winner Brett Tomlinson of Durand was 53rd while sectional winner Dan Lau of Immanuel Lutheran was seventh.

GIRLS TEAM SCORES: Lourdes Academy 98, Westby 105, Colfax 127, Albany 160, La Crosse Aquinas 172, Phillips 176, Kenosha St. Joseph 177, Lancaster 185, Brookfield Academy 199, Amhearst 244, Stratford 264, Chequamegon 283, Auburndale 283, Howards Grove 298, Glenwood City 308, Kewaunee 315

BOYS TEAM SCORES: Darlington 49, Boscobel 106, Chequamegon 123, La Crosse Aquinas 149, Rosholt 188, Assumption 193, Roncalli 200, McDonell Central 212, Westby 225, Sheboygan Area Lutheran 226, Stratford 263, Living Word Lutheran 276, Kenosha St. Josephs 281, Drummond 296, Laconia 350, Colfax 358