By Missy Klatt
RICE LAKE – A warm afternoon slowed down times for most runners when the Bulldogs and Hilltoppers both competed in Rice Lake last Tuesday, September 11th. Despite this both coaches seemed happy with their teams’ results.
Bulldog head coach, Corey Day, complimented his boys stating; “[they] ran well to finish 8th out of 16 complete teams in the small school division. The small schools were very competitive.” He goes on to say that Solon Springs is a team that was at state last year and they were 6th, and I know their goal is to get back. We were beating some good teams, but we have not put it all together yet to beat really good teams like a Solon Springs. We have a really nice pack from our 3rd runner to our 6th runner. We have to move that pack up closer to our top two runners to be successful.
For Coach Day’s boys, Nathan Corr was once again the top runner placing 17th in the small school division with a time of 19:06.6. Steven Rasmussen was just three runners behind with a time 19:13.6.
For the Bulldog girls, Noelle Wheeldon was the lone runner. Day explains, “the girls have had some injuries and we just have not been able to get many out there. Noelle ran over 30 seconds faster than her best this year, so running alone has not deterred her from getting better.”
Hilltopper head coach, Matthew Schutz thought that the meet went well. “It was humid so overall times were not what I hoped for, but that was for most runners. The boys placing 10th out of 16 small school teams continues to be good as it’s mostly a group of freshman.”
The top runner for the Topper boys was freshman Austin Nelson who came in 21st in the small school division with a time of 19:15.3. Junior, Elijah Simmons was next for the Hilltoppers with a time of 21:10.3.
About the Hilltopper ladies, Schutz remarked “I was pleased with the girls as they placed second behind rival Elk Mound, but beat other important foes as we are now heading already into the last half of the season.”
Freshman Bella Simmons continues to lead the Hilltopper ladies as she was the ninth runner to cross the line for the small school division with a time of 22:10.4. Izzy Williams was next in for the Toppers in 14th place. Gabby Moede, Emily Bethell and Kendall Schutz finished 23rd, 24th, and 25th respectively.
An item of note is that in the boys’ middle school race, eighth grade Hilltopper, JJ Williams was the first place finisher out of 184 runners in both large and small schools combined.
Boys: 17. Corr 19:06.6 BV, 20. Rasmussen 19:13.6 BV, 21. Nelson 19:15.3 GC, 46. Simmons 21:10.3 GC, 48. S. Chich 21:11.5 BV, 53. Klefstad 21:25.6 BV, 57. N. Chich 21:30.6 BV, 59. Johnson 21:32.5 BV, 60. Moede 21:33.7GC, 65. Booth 21:49.5 GC, 68. Wallin 21:55.4 GC, 102. Farrell 25:27.7 BV.
Girls: 9. Simmons 22:10.4 GC, 14. Williams 23:03.5, GC, 23. Moede 23:44.5 GC, 24. Bethell 23:53.1 GC, 25. Schutz 23:55.4 GC, 33. Ibrahimagic 24:40.9 GC, 48. Peterson 25:34.7 GC, 55. Wheeldon 26:05.5 BV.