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By Missy Klatt
SPRING VALLEY — With the COVID-revised schedule, both the Boyceville Bulldogs and the Glenwood City Hilltoppers cross country teams kicked off their season in Spring Valley this past Thursday, September 10th. Joining them in this Dunn-St. Croix West Pod meet were Elmwood/Plum City and host Spring Valley.
Both head coaches were happy with their teams’ first outing.
“I was very pleased with their run,” commented Hilltopper head coach Matthew Schutz. He’s including every one of his runners in this statement. He goes on to say that it was, “a great night to finally run.”
On the boys’ side, Schutz remarked that JJ Williams’ and Austin Nelson’s training this summer paid off as they finished first and third and not very far apart. JJ won the race with a time of 18:20.7 while Austin crossed the line at 18:32.5. Rounding out the top five for the Toppers were Elek Anderson with a fourth-place finish followed by Anthony Nelson and Henry Wallin in 14th and 15th place, respectively.
Schutz noted that Elek also had a great run and will continue to improve with his 4th place finish.
As a team, the boys came in second to the host Spring Valley.
The Glenwood City girls easily won the meet with a team score of 19.
“My top three girls were supposed to be 1, 2, 3 and sure enough were,” boasted Schutz.
He noted that Bella Simmons and Kendall Schutz ran a very strong race, coming in about a minute ahead of Kinzie Strong.
“However, Kinzie will just get better as we continue,” added Schutz.
Bella’s first-place finish was with a time of 21:37.5 with Kendall a few seconds behind with a time of 21:41.2. Crossing the line in fifth place for the Lady Toppers was Gabby Moede, and Natasha DeSmith closed out the top five with an eighth-place finish.
“As for our 4th and 5th place runners on both teams, we have a lot of work and learning to do to bring those runners closer to our lead runners. If we want to compete against better schools as a team, we need strong 4s and 5s too,” concluded Schutz.
“It was good to finally compete,” was Bulldog head coach Corey Day’s opening statement.
“I always wondered if we competed too early in the season. This year not being able to compete until now was kind of like an experiment to see if my notion of competing before we are in shape was true. Well training as long as we did, there was still that race rust. So I guess we have been doing it right all these years.”
For the Boyceville boys, Nathan Corr is their top runner and as Day says he hung in there with some quality runners and finished in seventh place with a time of 19:52.4. Day went on to say that Nathan is very experienced and he has to push himself.
“The more chances he gets to run with those guys the better he will get,” Day said of Corr.
On the bright side for the boys, they now have two other runners.
Peter Wheeldon is a football player who decided to dual sport this year. He has been doing workouts with the team while football was shut down.
“Being a freshman in his first race he was very composed and shows he has a lot of potential,” remarked Day.
Noah Evenson, another freshman, ran well but saved too much, which is to be expected with the first 5k, noted Day.
“I was very proud of our athletes; they competed with heart and being the first race I can see big improvements in the future.”
“The girls ran with heart and I was excited to see them finish second,” enthused Coach Day.
The Bulldogs actually tied with Spring Valley for second, but since the Dawgs’ top four runners (each team only had five runners) had a lower score than Spring Valley’s top four, they took second-place honors.
Halyee Rasmussen led the Bulldogs with a sixth-place finish in 25:16.2. Sarah Stoveren was right behind her in seventh and Jaden Stevens crossed the line in ninth place.
As for the rest of the girls, Day noted that Rachel Montgomery and Shiloh Wheeldon finished the grueling course.
“They overcame some adversity not having their best race, but had they dropped out we would not have had a complete team. So, I am very proud of their effort,” stated Day.
Both teams will be out at Glen Hills Park on Thursday, September 17th for a meet starting at 4:30 p.m.
1. Williams 18:20.7 GC, 2. Aus. Nelson 18:21.7 GC, 4. Anderson 19:13.7 GC, 7. Corr 19:52.4 BV, 14. Ant. Nelson 22:29.4 GC, 15. Wallin 22:38.4 GC, 20. Evenson 23:40.5 BV, 22. Booth 24:29.4 GC, 23. Wheeldon 24:38.2 BV, 26. Draxler 26:12.5 GC. Team
Scores: 1. Spring Valley 28, 2. Glenwood City 35, 3. Elmwood/Plum City 71.
1. Simmons 21:37.5 GC, 2. Schutz 21:41.2 GC, 3. Strong 22:58.7 GC, 5. Moede 24:57.5 GC, 6. Rasmussen 25:16.2 BV, 7. Stoveren 25:35.6 BV, 8. DeSmith 25:36.4 GC, 9. Stevens 25:37.8 BV, 11. Hannah 26:43.6 GC, 13. Knops 26:55.1 GC, 17. Millerman 25:50.5 GC, 18. Montgomery 34:22.3 BV, 19. Wheeldon 34:41.4 BV. Team Scores: 1. Glenwood City 19, 2. Boyceville 55, 3. Spring Valley 55.