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By Amber Hayden
WISCONSIN RAPIDS — For the three seniors, one sophomore, and three freshmen of Elk Mound’s boys’ cross country squad, a sixth place finish in the WIAA Division 2 State Championship at Wisconsin Rapids’ Ridges Golf Course last Saturday, November 2 was a great way to cap the season.
The Mounder boys were seeded 15th out of the 16 teams competing in the Division 2 field heading into their first-ever state cross country meet last weekend.
“What a great state meet,” said Elk Mound head coach Jeremiah Fredrickson. “Our boys continue to surprise and impress. I wasn’t sure how they would react running on such a big stage, but Cade (Hanson) did a nice job of sharing his previous experiences of being there and it helped get them ready to race.”
Elk Mound finished with 177 points just three points behind fifth-place finisher Shorewood who posted a 174.
Senior Cade Hanson, who had run in the previous three state meets as an individual, finishing 17th in Division 2 in 2018, and 16th and 46th in Division 3 in 2017 and 2016 respectively, was the first runner to finish for Elk Mound as he placed 27th (15th in the team standings which removes all individual runners not involved in the team competition) in the field of 152 runners at Wisconsin Rapids with a time of 17:01.6.
“I was hopeful of a top-ten finish, and to end up sixth just tops off a truly amazing season for our team,” Fredrickson stated.
Crossing the finish line next for Elk Mound was freshmen Ian Hazen with a time of 17:19.8, and was followed eight seconds later by sophomore Lukas Wagner with a time of 17:27.6. Ian Hazen finished in 55th place while Wagner took 67th.
Seniors Andrew Pathos and Seth Hazen were the two Mounders that finished with less than a second and one place separating them. Pathos finished in 76th place and a time of 17:33.8 while Seth Hazen came in 77th with a time of 17:34.7. The pair were the final two runners whose placement counted toward the Mounders’ team score.
“For our seniors it was a great way to cap off four years of hard work and dedication,” Fredrickson explained. “And for our underclassmen it showed them what can come from pushing each other. I believe they are now hungry to improve and get back to Wisconsin Rapids.”
The final two runners to finish for Elk Mound were freshmen Aiden Schiferl in 135th place and a time of 18:31.1 and Trae Schaefer in 141st place with a time of 18:46.8.
For Elk Mound, four of their seven athletes ran either a season or personal best at the state meet, and to do so on such a big stage is truly amazing according to coach Fredrickson.
“Before the race, I told them to leave it all out on the course, and with tears of joy and exhaustion in their eyes at the finish I could tell they did,” Fredrickson commented. “I could not be more proud of these fine young men, this will be an experience that they and I will remember forever.”
Valders won the boys’ Division 2 state team championship with 78 points with Notre Dame taking second with a score of 108. Shorewood finished in first for the ladies’ D2 competition with 61 points and Osceola grabbed second with a score of 102.
State D2 Boys’ Team Results: 1. Valders 78, 2. Notre Dame 108, 3. Freedom 116, 4. La Crosse Logan 133, 5. Shorewood 174, 6. Elk Mound 177, 7. Wisconsin Lutheran 188, 8. New London 192, 9. Deerfield/Cambridge 212, 10. Winneconne 243.
Elk Mound Boys’ Individual Results: 15. Cade Hanson 17:01.6, 32. Ian Hazen 17:19.8, 41. Lukas Wagner 17:27.6, 44. Andrew Pathos 17:33.8, 45. Seth Hazen 17:34.7, 95. Aiden Schiferl 18:31.1, 101. Trae Schaefer 18:46.8.
State D2 Girls’ Team Results: 1. Shorewood 61, 2. Osceola 102, 3. Freedom 149, 4. Medford 152, 5. Xavier 188, 6. Winneconne 189, 7. Port Washington 198, 8. Hayward 205, 9. Tomahawk 214, 10. Lake Mills 221.