By Cara L. Dempski
RICE LAKE — The Glenwood City girls and boys cross country squads participated in a large invitational held on the WITC -Barron County campus in Rice Lake September 13 that featured several large schools.
Despite running against competition from much larger schools, the Glenwood City girls shined in last Tuesday’s Rice Lake Invitational. The Lady Toppers finished third out of 16 in the small-school division just a point out behind second-place Grantsburg and were 13th out of 31 teams overall. In the small school standings, Glenwood City finished with 92 points as freshman Emily Bethell was fourth and senior Taylor Drinkman finished fifth, less than a second apart, in the small school individual standings. Overall, the Glenwood gals scored 348.
The boys were 10th of 17 small schools with 287 points and 24th of 33 teams with an overall score of 683.
Head coach Matt Schutz said the girls showed a lot of improvement in the Rice Lake race with Emily Bethell and Taylor Drinkman working together to place among the top ten in the small division.
Bethell was the first to finish for the team, running with a time of 21:05.1 and placing 25th overall. Drinkman finished 26th against the field with a time of 21:06.
Junior Makayla O’Brien was 21st against small-school runners and 81st overall after earning a time of 22:49.5.
Isabella Williams returned from an injury to finish 30th in the division with a time of 23:29.8. Williams finished 103rd overall.
Coach Schutz said after the race, “we had her (Williams) run at a slower pace just to work her back into racing.”
Schutz also noted Williams will keep improving as the season progresses as long as she stays healthy.
Glenwood’s Elizabeth Wink finished in 24:14.8, and was 40th in the division and 123rd against the field. Emma Scholler was 81st against the small schools and 176th in the race, finishing in 26:57.5.
“The girls’ performance showed that if they stay healthy, they are going to compete with the top teams again,” Schutz stated.
The Menomonie Mustangs took top honors for the girls’ overall race, while Colfax won the small-school division with 67 points. Anya Swanson of Somerset won the girls race with a time of 19:17.4, while Flambeau’s Rachel Lawton raced to a first-place finish for the small schools, crossing the line at 19:21.8.
Schutz said the boys’ race was stacked up with a lot of non-conference competition. The boys finished in the middle of the pack, but were outrun by schools like McDonell Central, Bloomer, Webster, and Unity, who all had their top four – or five, in the case of McDonell – runners finish the race before Glenwood’s first boy crossed the line.
The Toppers’ Jacob Nadeau was the first to finish for the boys’ team, running his race in 19:06.1 and earned 30th in the small-school division and 77th for in the overall field. Nadeau was followed by Matthew Bauman, who was 39th for the division and 102nd overall with his 19:26 finish.
Aaron Holmquist was the next Hilltopper boy across the finish line. He ran the race in 20:51.7 to finish 69th among the small schools and 162nd in the field. Corey Klatt was less than a minute behind Holmquist, earning a finish of 79th against the small schools and 175th overall with a time of 21:11.9.
Lane O’Meara finished the Hilltoppers’ scoring runners, crossing the finish line in 80th for the small schools and 177th overall with a time of 21:14.9.
Freshman runner Elijah Simmons completed the race in 21:37.4 to grab 93rd among the runners from small schools; he took 191st overall. Kyle Myers ran a 22:48 race to end up 105th for the small schools and 210th against the full field.
“Some of the boys went out too hard with the lead runners and paid the price throughout the second half of the race,” Schutz said. “It was a good learning experience for them.”
Top honors for the boys field went to Hudson High School, while McDonell Central High School won the small-school division. Ashland’s Maury Miller won the boys race with a time of 16:23.3, and Alex Binfet from Unity won the small-school race in 16:36.5.
Both of the Toppers’ middle school teams finished well in Rice Lake.
Glenwood City won the middle school boys’ competition with five top 12 finisher to tally 39 points. Seventh-grader Brady McCarthy finished third in a time of 11:32.3, sixth-graders J.J. Williams and Max Janson came in seventh and ninth respectively in 11:59.6 and 12:01.6, Thomas Moede of the seventh grade took ninth in 12:02.6 and eighth-grader Matthew O’Brien ran a 12:29.6 to cop 12th.
The Toppers middle school girls scored 82 points and finished third just behind first-place Colfax (70) and runner-up Flambeau (73). Bella Simmons, seventh grade, was the top local finisher taking third in a time of 12:14.2. Eighth-grader Gabby Moede placed 14th after running the course in 13:14.8. Tabby Nadeau took 20th, Ella Knops was 22nd and Annika Bauman finished 23rd.
The Hilltoppers competed in Mondovi September 20 and will travel back down that way a few days later for a meet in Durand on September 22.
Small School Varsity Boys: 1. McDonell Central 65, 2. Unity 88, 3. Bloomer 92, 4. Phillips 124, 5. Webster 141, 6. Colfax 172, 7. Drummond 179, 8. Grantsburg 199, 9. Boyceville 262, 10. Glenwood City 287, 11. Hurley 296, 12. Elk Mound 298, 13. Cameron 303, 14. St. Croix Falls 324, 15. Spooner 332, 16. Cumberland 439, 17. Shell Lake 456.
Small-School Varsity Girls: 1. Colfax 67, 2. Grantsburg 91, 3.
Glenwood City 92, 4. Cameron 127, 5. Elk Mound 144, 6. McDonell Central 179, 7. St. Croix Falls 196, 8. Boyceville 213, 9. Shell Lake 214, 10. Cumberland 247, 11. Webster 255, 12. Hurley 255, 13. Spooner 279, 14. Barron 289, 15. Bloomer 378, 16. Prairie Farm 416.