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DURAND — Colfax’s Molly Heidorn had not lost a race all season but found herself amid a group of five front runners during much of Saturday’s frigid WIAA Division 3 Cross Country sectional in Durand.
With less than 1,000 meters remaining, Glenwood City’s Bella Simmons began to pull away from the group and Heidorn.
But the Vikings’ sophomore runner was not about to surrender. Heidorn shifted her pace in to a higher gear and passed Simmons down the home stretch and crossed the finish line first at the October 24 race to claim her second consecutive individual sectional championship and another berth in this coming Saturday’s state championship.
Heidorn ran the frozen, 5,000-meter turf course at the Rolling Greens Golf Course in Durand in 19:57.2 to capture her second straight sectional gold by one second over runner-up Bella Simmons, a junior, who finished in 19:58.2 to also grab a state berth. The other three individual state qualifiers included Fall Creek sophomore Jenna Anders (4th, 20:07.8), who Heidorn edged by two-tenths of a second for last year’s sectional win, Augusta junior Bailey Peterson (5th, 20:09.5) and Glenwood City junior Kendall Schutz (6th, 20:29.6).
“Proud of Molly with the different year, she has been running pretty much alone but today she was with a group of 5 almost the whole way,” noted Colfax head coach Joe Doucette. “She was able to finish strong and win the sectional for the second year in a row. Molly has great instincts and determination and she showed both today.”
But it was a bittersweet day for the Vikings according to Doucette.
“It was great to see Molly Heidorn win in great fashion,” stated Doucette. “But the girls’ team could not duplicate Monday’s subsectional run.”
In that subsectional race held Monday, October 19 on the Vikings’ home course at Whitetail, the Colfax girls won the second flight and overall title to advance the entire squad to this year’s sectional meet where it raced against defending sectional champ Glenwood City, this year’s D-SC conference champion and host Durand and Cochrane-Fountain City.
But freezing temperatures and an unforeseen incident had the Viking gals finishing in fourth place with 66 points. Durand took the team title with a low of 45 points and along with runner-up Cochrane-Fountain City, who edged Glenwood City by a single point, 53 to 54, grabbed the two team state qualifying berths.
“Molly was great and Jaclyn Olson in the five spot ran very well but from there we struggled,” stated Doucette.
Number two runner Ansley Olson rolled her ankle late in the race and had to stop for a while before she got back up on her feet to finish in 20th place with a time of 22:38.1.
Jasmine Best was the next runner to finish for the Lady Vikes coming in 23rd in a time of 22:51.4.
“Ansley and Jasmine had great years for us both all conference and super consistent but they could not get going today,” Doucette noted.
Freshman Jaycey Bowe and senior Jaclyn Olson rounded out the team scoring with finishes of 28th and 29th respectively. Bowe finished in 23:37.4 while Olson was clocked in 23:42.2.
Emilee Burcham-Scofield and Jenna Goodell were the final two racers to cross the finish in the 37-runner field. Burcham-Scofield was 36th in 26:32.5 with Goodell finishing 37th in 27:24.3.
“We knew coming in that if we ran like we did Monday we have a great shot,” added Doucette. “But we could not put five together. That’s the great thing about sports and cross country you get a opportunity to race great and as a group we couldn’t (today). No excuses!”
Molly Heidorn will be competing in the 2020 WIAA Division 3 state championship which, due to COVID-19, will be held at the Maple Grove Venues in West Salem next Saturday, October 31. All three divisions will be holding their state championship at different locations. Heidorn is slated to run in the first of three sessions which begins at 9:30 a.m.
Molly’s older brother, Noah Heidorn, was the Colfax boys lone representative at last Saturday’s sectional competition.
Noah was looking to earn his first-ever state berth in the final sectional competition of his career. Unfortunately, the Viking senior was not able to earn one of the five individual state qualifying berths as he finished 15th, nine spots off the final qualifying spot which went to Clear Lake’s John Pearson. Noah Heidorn ran an 18:40.2 in his final race of his prep cross country career.
“Noah has had a great career for us,” stated Coach Doucette. “He is a two-time all conference runner and someone who our young kids really respect. He took the good with the bad and always showed up and worked hard. The coaches have a ton of respect for him.”
Three other Dunn-St. Croix runners did qualify for state as individuals including sectional champ Parker Schneider of Durand, Glenwood City’s JJ Williams and Charlie Maier of Spring Valley.
Conference champion Spring Valley finished second in the boys race with 46 points to qualify for state while the Macks of Chippewa Falls McDonell Central won the team title with 38 points. Cochrane-Fountain City took third with 60 points and Whitehall was fourth with a score of 90.
Despite chilly temperatures, it was a good day for the Colfax Vikings’ runners at the subsectional competition it hosted at Whitetail Golf Course last Monday, October 19.
A first-time event designed to cut down on the number of schools competing in one location due to the coronavirus, the Colfax girls, led by the first-place finish of sophomore Molly Heidorn, won the second flight race and overall team title.
The subsectional which consisted of teams and runners from Boyceville, Cadott, Clear Lake, Colfax, Eau Claire Immanuel Lutheran, Elmwood/Plum City, Glenwood City, Chippewa Falls McDonell, New Auburn, Prairie Farm/Turtle Lake and Spring Valley were split into two flights of racing for both the boys and girls.
After the Glenwood City girls had won the first flight race, the Colfax ladies took to the course for the second flight race. When all the races were finished, runners times were combined and placement of the individual runners and teams were determined.
While Glenwood City had its first three girls finish second, third and fourth, Colfax had four of the top 11 runners including champion Molly Heidorn. The Vikings’ fifth runner, Jaclyn Olson, came in just after the Toppers’ fourth runner giving the host Vikings the team win with 37 points. Glenwood City finished with 44 as both teams qualified for the sectional meet in Durand on Saturday, October 24.
Spring Valley finished third with 91 followed by Cadott with 114, McDonell Central with 116, Boyceville at 138 and Clear Lake took seventh with a 140.
“Glenwood City ran very well before us,” noted Coach Joe Doucette. “We knew we had to run very well to be in the mix. Everyone ran much faster than when we ran here two weeks ago,” said Doucette of his girls’ performance on the Whitetail course.
Sophomore Molly Heidorn had a phenomenal performance in the subsectional race taking first place in 19:41.23.
“Molly led us again and she was great,” stated the coach. “She ran a 19:41 all by herself which was awesome.”
But Doucette noted that all of Molly’s teammates ran great also contributing to the win.
Doucette singled out freshman Jaycey Bowe and junior Jenna Goodell for outstanding races as well.
“Jaycey Bowe and Jenna Goodell had awesome races in the fourth and sixth spots.”
Bowe ran a 22:26.57 to place 11th while Goodell trucked around Whitetail in 24:11.35 to take 29th.
Sophomore Ansley Olson and junior Jasmine Best both finished in the top ten. Olson was fifth in 21:16.4 and Best took seventh in a time of 21:36.59.
The Lady Vikings fifth runner was senior Jaclyn Olson who placed 20th with a run of 23:40.85. Emilee Burcham-Scofield placed 37th with a time of 25:39.57.
As expected, Noah Heidorn turned in the top time for the Colfax boys with a 17:53.03 to earn one of the five individual sectional berths. Heidorn finished in seventh.
“Noah ran the best race of his career to qualify for the sectionals,” said Doucette. “We are super happy for Noah, he needed to PR (personal record) by a lot and he was able to do it.”
The next male runner to finish for the Colfax boys was Luke Blanchard. He crossed the finish in 19th place with a time of 19:05.86. Five and six places later, Ashton Yarrington and Jarod Loew ended their races, taking 24th and 25th with respective times of 19:41.07 and 19:43.46.
Mark Sonnentag completed the scoring for the Vikings with a 33rd place finish in 20:36.48.
Combined, the boys times placed them in fifth with 102 points. Chippewa Falls McDonell and Spring Valley took the top two spots and earned the automatic sectional berths. The Macks tallied a 55 to win with the Cardinals coming in second with 67. Clear Lake was third with a 72 followed by Cadott at 91, the Vikings, Glenwood City scored a 123 and Eau Claire Immanuel finished with a 173.
“Like our girls, everyone ran great and improved,” said Doucette of his boys’ races.
“To finish 5th out of 11 teams in a strong boys’ field was great,” said Doucette.
“Luke Blanchard and Jarod Lowe really ran well to compliment Noah Heidorn,” continued Doucette. “Only Noah is done after this year and we feel the boys have a chance to be a very good team next year.”