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The Hilltopper cross country runners competed in a pair of meets this past week.
Senior JJ Williams claimed yet another victory as he was the first to cross the finish line in the Rice Lake Invitational held Tuesday, September 13. Williams’ first-place finish helped boost the Glenwood City boys to a second-place showing in the small-school competition.
Four days later, on Saturday, September 17, the Toppers ran in the Osceola Invitational were many of its younger and less-experienced runners had the opportunity to compete.
Rice Lake Invitational
Heading into last Tuesday’s meet in Rice Lake which featured 27 boys’ teams and 26 for the girls, JJ Williams had won every race he had entered so far this season. And as it turned out, Rice Lake was no different.
With the competition split into large and small-school divisions, Williams proved to be the best no matter the size of the school. He bested runners from Division 1, 2 and 3 to finish first among the 198 boys’ runners that competed in the race, finishing with a championship time of 16:33.06 which was nearly three seconds faster than runner-up Gavin Stewart, a Ladysmith sophomore.
Williams performance helped the Hilltoppers boys finish in a tie with Grantsburg after both teams scored 76 points. Glenwood City ultimately earned second place based on tie-breaking criteria when its sixth place runner finished ahead of Grantsburg’s number six. Overall, the Glenwood City boys placed 10th.
Chippewa Falls McDonell won the small-school crown with 72 points while Hudson was the victor in the large-school competition with 73 points.
Fellow senior Elek Anderson was the second Glenwood City boy to finish the race. He ran an 18:25.98 to place 38th in the small-school division and was 40th overall. Less than two tenths of a second later, junior Connor Berends crossed the finish as the Toppers’ number three runner taking 40th among the small-school runners and 42nd overall with a time of 18:26.11. Senior Anthony Nelson placed 85th among the small-school competition and was 90th overall with a time of 19:33.92. Fellow senior Sal Stillday finished in 19:49.67 to place 96th in the small division and 101st overall. Sophomore Ilan Anderson and freshman Clayton Hoffman rounded out the varsity team with Ilan Anderson taking 113th and 119th overall with a run of 20:20.34 and Hoffman completed the race in 20:35.28 for a small-school showing of 120th and 127th overall.
The Glenwood City girls tallied 147 points to finish last out of nine teams competing in the small-school division and were 24th overall.
Freshman Gabriella Williams led the Topper girls with a 10th place showing among small-division runners and was 66th overall after running a 23:29.76. Just four and a half second later, another freshman, Kayley Dickmann, crossed the finish line for the Lady Toppers, placing 11th and 71st overall in a time of 23:34.17. A third freshman, Ava Multhauf, ran a 30:38.24 to finish 40th among on the small-school competitors and 165th. Finishing less than a second later, junior Halylie Hannah was 41st and 166th in 30:38.92. Sophomore Stephanie Anderson was 45th in the small division and 172nd among all competitors with a time of 32:33.90.
In field of 184 runners, Colfax senior Molly Heidorn finished in first place following a run of 19:41.66. Webster won the girls’ small-school title with 86 points and Osceola was tops in the large division after scoring a low of 70 points.
The Glenwood City boys’ middle school team was third with Preston Arvey finishing in third place while the girls’ middle school squad copped seventh as Jaycie Oberle took seventh.
The Glenwood City boys finished sixth with 170 points and the girls placed 11th with 285 points at Saturday’s Osceola Invitational.
With JJ Williams taking the day off, Connor Berends was the top finisher for the boys as he placed 22nd in 18:445.6. Elek Anderson was the next to finish taking 27th in 18:57.57. Anthony Nelson was the next finisher taking 42nd with a time of 19:41.6. Sam Stillday was 47th in 19:59.4 followed by Clayton Hoffman with a 20:18 which was good for 60th, Garrett Gross ran a 20:21.0 to finish in 61st and Elliott Springborn ran a 20:55.6 to place 75th. Osceola won the boys’ title with 52 points and Ellsworth senior Alex Pazdernik topped the field of 11 runners with a time of 16:43.9.
For the GC gals, Gabby Williams led the way with a time of 23:53.0 to finish in 32nd place. Elsja Meijer was 38th in 24:06.5, Haylie Hannah crossed the finish line in 69th with a time of 26:04.9, Ava Multhauf was 104th in 29:46.8 and Stephanie Anderson took 119th in 32:16.3.
Osceola senior Rachel Ulrich topped a field of 127 to win with a time of 20:07.3.
The Glenwood City boys’ and girls’ middle school teams finished second and fifth, respectively. Preston Arvey and Jaycie Oberle each placed third in their respective middle school races.