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RICE LAKE — Featuring nearly 900 runners and three dozen schools competing in large and small school divisions, junior varsity and middle school races, the UW-Barron Cross Country Invitational hosted by Rice Lake High School last Tuesday, September 12 is one of the fall’s premier running events in Northwestern Wisconsin.
With 214 boys and 191 girls participating in the combined large and small school varsity race, the Elk Mound boys finished 12th among the large schools with 291 points while the Mounder girls came in 14th with a tally of 303. Both the boys and girls large school standings featured 18 schools with complete teams.
A trio of seniors led the Mounders boys in the 5,000-meter varsity competition. Caleb Beskow placed 60th with a time of 18:20.32. Bodie Folczyk was right on Beskow’s heels with a time of 18:22.0 to take 62nd. Jesse Moyer ran a 19:06.08 to finish 92nd.
Sophomore Dalton Banaszak and senior Evan Lauer closed out the team scoring with Banaszak running a 20:06.76 to place 126th while Lauer was 131st in 20:17.19.
Also competing for the Elk Mound boys were senior Cooper Reese (21:28.27, 159th) and freshman Blake Niska (21:39.31, 164th).
Hudson senior Brock Bjerke won the meet in 15:54.42 and helped to lead the Raiders to the large school boys’ title with a low score of 19 points. Hayward was second with a 122.
Junior Ellie Schiszik just missed a top-25 finish as she placed 26th to lead the Lady Mounders after a run of 20:49.11. Fellow junior Jaidynn Sarauer finished 69th in 22:23.14, senior Marley King ran a 22:27.04 to place 74th, freshmen Lola Jerome and Rhiana Fischer, finished the scoring for the Mounder girls taking 98th and 109th, respectively, with runs of 23:08.76 and 23:30.49. Seniors Caroline Gabert (24:09.52) took 122nd and Carly Mohr (26:37.30) finished 160th.
Freshman Ciera Hartman won the girls’ large school crown in 17:53.39 and helped lead her Bloomer team to the girls’ large school crown with 84 points. Rice Lake placed second with 123 points.
The Elk Mound boys took 11th in the junior varsity competition with 262 points. Competing in race for the Mounders were Tyler Gagner (32nd, 21:01.78), Brooks Burcaw (50th, 21:38.46), Graycen Banaszak (67th, 22:16.0), Aidan Schindler (89th, 22:59.01), Jacob Carstens (108th, 23:24.61), and Dru Schiszik (128th, 25:33.82). Freshman Lexi Solberg (67th, 28:03.63) and junior Yolo Delgado (75th, 29:28.9) competed in the girls’ junior varsity race.
In the middle school competition that featured 459 boys and girls, the Elk Mound boys placed ninth with a score of 257. Elk Mound eighth-grader Keston Niven had the best local finish as he placed 12th overall in the 3,000 meter race with a time of 11:18.45. Seventh-graders Grady Westland and Grayson Stunkel came in 21st and 22nd with times of 11:34.96 and 11:35.08, respectively. Eighth-grader Weston Schram took 99th in 13:29.41 and seventh-graders Emerson Gerl and Noah Crossman took 146th and 186th, respectively, in times of 14:46.42 and 16:09.53. Three Mounders competed in the girls’ middle school race – all seventh graders. Elise Carstens took 41st in 13:54.7, Paisley Banaszak finished 142nd in 16:44.77 and CC Linzmeier was 188th in 19:26.19.
Elk Mound will compete at an invitational in Durand this Thursday, September 21. The meet is slated to have nearly two dozens schools competing.