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MENOMONIE — Competing in just their second race of the 2023 season, the Elk Mound boys’ and girls’ cross country teams took part in the very challenging Menomonie Relays this past Saturday, September 9.
Running against much larger schools from the Big Rivers, Middle Border and Mississippi Valley Conferences, the Mounders finished 13th in the girls’ race after scoring 302 points and 14th in the boys’ competition with 376 points. Both races featured close to one hundred runners with Holmen easily claiming the girls’ team title with a low tally of 47 while Hudson took home the boys’ championship with a score of just 24 points.
Junior Ellie Schiszik was the top finisher among all Elk Mound competitors as she finished 21st in the ladies’ varsity race with a time of 21:25.2. Classmate Jaidynn Sarauer was 67th (23:56.7), followed by freshman Lola Jerome who came in 71st (24:06.1), senior Marley King placed 72nd (24:08.2) and another Elk Mound freshman Rhiana Fischer took 85th (24:48.5) to round out the girls’ top five scoring runners. Also competing were seniors Caroline Gabert (26:06.7) and Carly Mohr (29:04.1) who finished 93rd and 95th, respectively.
New Richmond junior Marah Benedict won the girls’ race in a time of 18:55.1, nearly 47 seconds ahead of runner-up Brooklyn Hoff (19:41.7), a senior from Menomonie.
On the boys’ side, a quartet of seniors led the Elk Mound effort. Bodie Folczyk (19:09.2), Caleb Beskow (19:20.0), Jesse Moyer (19:24.0) and Evan Lauer (21:25.1) placed 63rd, 67th, 71st and 102nd respectively. The boys’ fifth runner, freshman Blake Niska, took 103rd in 21:29.8. The Mounders other two varsity runners were sophomore Dalton Banaszak (104th, 21:55.3) and senior Graycen Banaszak (106th, 23:04.4).
Hudson senior Brock Bjerke edged classmate and teammate Addisu Haverly by a tenth of a second to win the boys’ individual crown. Bjerke ran a 16:14.9 on the 5,000-meter course, Haverly was timed in 16:15.0.
The Elk Mound harriers competed yesterday (Tuesday, September 12) in a multi-school invitational at the UW-Eau Claire Barron County campus in Rice Lake. That was the only meet scheduled for this week.