By Amber Hayden
ELK MOUND — For coach Jeremiah Fredrickson, the goals for his Mounders’ cross country teams are simple. Take two teams to state after missing state last year by mere points.
Fredrickson is beginning his ninth year as head coach for the Elk Mound and wants to see his team of runners succeed.
“I want them to improve and grow as individuals, help each other, get better and have fun,” he said.
Last year’s boys’ and girls’ teams finished second at the conference meet, but even with missing state the head coach explained they had a successful season.
Losing most of their senior leadership to graduation, the team will look to their returning letter winners to lead the team.
First team all-conference Cade Hanson will return to the team, his strength will help the Mounders as they start their season.
Seniors Alana and Brook Plaszcz will make one last run at conference titles in the 2018 season. Joining the sisters, second team all-conference Victoria Fasbender, Danielle Olson, Kristin Martinson and Taya Schaefer will round out the girls’ team.
“In addition to those individuals, we add in some talented freshman for both teams that should really push our returners to do better,” Fredrickson said.
Fredrickson has tried to decide who the top seven will be for the women but has kept coming up with nine or ten. “This is a good problem and should make for good competition,” he said.
Statistically the goal for the Mounders team is simple according to the head coach. Compete for conference titles for both teams and take two teams to state.
The Dunn-St. Croix conference is rich with talent according to Fredrickson.
The Durand men were tough for the team to beat last year and return most of their strong runners, for the women the Glenwood City team will give the Mounders a run for their money.
“In addition to those two teams is Colfax, they usually find a way to be in the mix,” explained Coach Fredrickson.
The Mounders’ squads began their season August 25 at Eau Claire City Wells in the Eauc Claire North Invitational, with their next meet at Saint Croix Central on August 30.
Seniors: Nate Bechel, Cameron Johnson, Victoria Fasbender, Danielle Olson, Alana Plaszcz, Brook Plaszcz, Paige Romanowski, Syd Simpson and Audrey Westcott.
Juniors: Brady Hunsnucker, Cade Hanson, Seth Hazen, Andrew Pathos, Kristin Martinson, Taya Schaefer and Kayli Solberg.
Sophomores: Brennen Zais, Keagan Mcrea and Avery Lauer.
Freshmen: Kyra Hadenfeldt, Kyah Fischer, Amber Best, Olivia Schindler, Olivia Schreiber, Lilly Tanula, Will King, Carter Sundeen, Lukas Wagner, Mitch Solberg, Carson Pederson, Luke Lesmiester and Walker Banaszak.