By Cara L. Dempski
CHIPPEWA FALLS — Coach Joe Doucette appears to be pushing his cross country teams, as he took them to the Chippewa Falls Invitational held September 29 at Lake Wissota Golf Course to compete against mostly WIAA Division 1 schools.
And they responded.
The Viking girls, who were back at full strength, finished fifth against five Big Rivers teams and one Middle Border team while the boys placed seventh among six Big Rivers teams and a pair of Middle Border schools.
Doucette didn’t seem upset that the teams did not finish higher and cited the larger teams the Vikings ran against as the reason why the Colfax squads did not finish as well as they do against smaller schools.
Sophomore Erica Kallstrom and senior Abbagail Schotter led the way for the Viking girls. Kallstrom finished the race in 20:38.1 to take fifth, while Schotter was sixth after her 20:40.4 run.
“They both ran very well,” Doucette said of Kallstrom and Schotter. “They are tough right now, and their times are two of their best ever.”
Jayna Bowe, one of Colfax’ talented freshmen, took home 29th overall for her 23:19.2 race. Alley Heidorn and Juelia Berger were 35th and 44th with times of 223:36.2 and 24:25.1.
This was Heidorn’s first race back from injury, and Doucette expressed happiness to have her back. Hailey Prince did not compete, but ran a workout to the two-mile mark in preparation for her return.
“We need both (Heidorn and Prince) to be healthy to have a chance this late in the year,” Doucette stated.
Hudson freshman Rachel Ball won the individual race with a time of 19:35.1 and helped her Raiders girls’ team take home the win.
Doucette seemed proud of the boys team, stating the boys had their five scoring runners finish in under 20 minutes for the first time this season.
“The boys probably had their best race of the year,” Doucette said.
Senior Jacob Larson was the first of Colfax’s eight boys to cross the finish line at Lake Wissota. He was awarded 28th for his 18:49.6 effort. Trey Hovde, another member of Coach Doucette’s talented freshman class, was moments behind Larson to take 34th with his 19:01 run.
Luke Heidorn was the next Colfax runner across the line, finishing in 19:17.2 for a 39th place. Freshman Cole Seehaver was 44th after his 19:23.7 finish, and Matthew Reisdorf was 52nd with his 19:55.2 race.
Trevor Rothbauer, Sawyer Best and Rowdy Kadinger were 57th, 59th and 66th with times of 20:12, 20:31.4 and 21:17.7.
David Ecker, a junior at Eau Claire North, won the boys individual race after speeding to a 16:48.8 finish. LaCrosse Logan was the top boys team with a score of 35.
The Viking boys’ and girls’ teams will race in the rescheduled Durand Invitational on October 6 before turning their attention to the Dunn-St. Croix conference meet in Mondovi on October 13.
Doucette knows his girls need to be healthy in order to compete with Glenwood City and Elk Mound, both of whom are the top female teams in the Dunn-St. Croix at the moment. He is also working with the boys to keep pace with Durand’s runners.
“We are trying to get closer to them (Durand) and finish as high as we can,” Doucette explained.
TEAM SCORES — BOYS: 1. LaCrosse Logan 35, 2. Hudson 41, 3. Eau Claire North 85, 4. Chippewa Falls 111, 5. Eau Claire Memorial 112, 6. New Richmond 194, 7. Colfax 197, 8. Baldwin-Woodville 227, 9. Superior 308.
TEAM SCORES — GIRLS: 1. Hudson 43, 2. LaCrosse Logan 60, 3. Chippewa Falls 62, 4. Eau Claire North 96, 5. Colfax 115, 6. New Richmond 130, 7. Superior 214.