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ELK MOUND — After a conference title for both men and women last season, the Mounders return much of their men’s’ team but have lost leadership and experience for the ladies.
“Both women and men were conference champions last season,” said head coach Jeremiah Fredrickson.
The men lost two leaders in Nate Bechel and Cameron Johnson, explained Fredrickson, and the women lost twin sisters Brook and Alana Plaszcz, Victoria Fasbender, Paige Romanowski, Audrey Westcott and Danielle Olson. All of whom were good runners and great teammates.
The returning varsity athletes for Elk Mound includes senior Cade Hanson, who finished in seventeenth place at state for the Mounders.
Also returning to the men’s team are Andrew Pathos, Seth Hazen and Lukas Wagner, all of whom were all-conference designees last season.
The women also return all-conference honoree Kristin Martinson, as well as returning letter winners Taya Schaefer and Olivia Schrieber.
The incoming freshmen for the men will be expected to compete for varsity spots, according to Fredrickson, all of whom ran last year in Elk Mound’s junior high program and did well.
The Lady Mounders will add Aleya Hadenfeldt and Rosie Kaminiski, both of whom will be expected to contribute to a young team.
“The men’s depth is amazing, we will have nearly a dozen individuals competing for a varsity spot,” Fredrickson commented. “Which should make us very tough, making sure that we peak at the right time will be very important for them as many have put in quite a few summer miles.”
Elk Mound’s youth and inexperience will be a strength and a weakness for the ladies, as they will have to wait to see who will step up to fill the voids for the women.
The goal for Elk Mound is simple, grow as a team and individuals to make running a lifelong passion for the athletes.
“The women are in a bit of a rebuild mode. We lost so much from last year,” said Fredrickson. “That being said we still hope to be competitive throughout the year and lay the groundwork for the future.”
As a team, the men have their eyes set on state, said Fredrickson, with the hope of repeating a conference championship and use it as a stepping stone to a state berth.
“The seniors we have, have worked hard to get to where they are and with a couple of underclassmen stepping up I believe that trip to state is realistic for this group,” Fredrickson explained.
The men will keep their eyes on Durand during the 2019 season, while the ladies will be watching Durand and Glenwood City closely.
Elk Mound will travel to Hammond on Thursday, September 5, for their next meet and then practice for the next nine days before heading to Menomonie on Saturday, September 14.
Seniors: Cade Hanson, Seth Hazen, Kristin Martinson, Laney Moyer, Andrew Pathos, Taya Schaefer and Kayli Solberg.
Juniors: Mitchell Hainstock, Avery Lauer, Keagan McRea and Brennen Zais.
Sophomores: Walker Banaszak, Amber Best, Will King, Luke Lesmeister, Carson Pederson, Olivia Schrieber, Mitch Solberg, Carter Sundeen, Lilly Tanula and Lukas Wagner.
Freshmen: Avery Anderson, Jackson Gehweiler, Aleya Hadenfeldt, Ian Hazen, Rosie Kaminski, AJ Miller, Trae Schaefer, Aiden Schiferl, and Tobey Westcott.