By Amber Hayden
COLFAX — The 2017 season fared better for the Vikings cross-country team.
After the girls finished fifth and the boys were sixth in the 2016 conference meet, both squads finished third in last year’s Dunn-St. Croix conference meet and fifth out of 21 teams in the sectional competition.
Starting his twenty-seventh year as head coach, Joseph Doucette, will push his team to work hard and improve for the later meets in the upcoming season.
“We want them to represent the program, school and community in a hardworking and classy way,” commented Doucette.
MacKenzie Jensen departed the team after graduation, she was a first team all-conference performer and leaves a major spot to fill for the girls.
“She fought back majorly after an injury set her back,” Doucette said.
The good news for the boys is they return all their runners except for two members —Trey Hovde and Cole Seehaver. Hovde left the cross country team to play for the Vikings’ football team, and Seehaver did not come out for the team.
Thankfully, Colfax girls and boys team will return nine letter winners total for the 2018 season.
For the girls, letter winners Hailey Prince, Erica Kallstrom and Julia Berger return and will have some varsity guidance for the four incoming freshmen girls. The Vikings’ coach will push the girls to improve in the three through seven spots.
With six letter winners returning for the boys, Doucette will look to Luke Heidorn and Trevor Rothbauer for senior leadership. But they will need to improve according to Doucette, “There are no front runners,” he said.
However, the cross country coach does see potential in two incoming freshmen.
“Jasmine Best and Luke Blanchard had very successful middle school careers,” Doucette said.
The Durand Panthers and Elk Mound Mounders will be heavy favorites against his boys’ team, as the two teams went one and two last season.
The girls will have to push themselves hard if they look to improve enough to contend against Glenwood City and Elk Mound.
“We would have to improve tremendously just to be close,” according to Doucette.
Runners got their feet moving last Thursday August 23 in Boyceville for their first meet of the Varsity season. The Vikings’ following two meets are also away with a September 1 invitational in Marshfield at 9:30 a.m.
Seniors: Luke Heidorn, Erica Kallstrom, Hailey Prince and Trevor Rothbauer.
Juniors: Sawyer Best, Julia Berger, Brady Lawrence and Dennis Sonnentag
Sophomores: Noah Heidorn and Mitchel Reisdorf
Freshmen: Jasmine Best, Luke Blanchard, Jillian Bowe, Jenna Goodell, Tristan Lenz and Emilee Burcham-Scofield