Prep Cross Country Review and Preview: Fall Creek moving up and on to wins

It was raining steadily. It had rained the night before. The course muddy, wet and soft.

It was the perfect weather for Jenna Anders.

Anders, a senior, ran for the final time on the Fall Creek cross country course in the Knudtson Invitational held last weekend, Saturday, Sept. 10. With the weather conditions to her liking and her the knowledge of the ground, it was no surprise she won the girls' 5000-meter race, doing so in a time of 21:13 and leading Fall Creek's girls to a third place finish as a team out of the eight teams competing. Tomahawk took first with 44 points with Durand-Arkansaw next with 59 and FC scoring 65 points.

"I just love to run certainly when its cool out, cloudy, not windy at all," Anders said. "The rain and the mud didn't bother me, knowing the course and spots where its really muddy and how to navigate it its important and helps, myself and the whole team."

Other Fall Creek runners were fellow senior Megan Johnston, eighth in 23:09; junior Evelyn Bergeron, 19th in 24:51; freshman Paige Aldrich, 25th in 26:32; junior Lylian Anderson, 30th in 27:31; sophomore Cora Peterson, 31st in 27:46; sophomore Sophia Schultz, 34th in 28:29; freshman Rebekah Krenz, 38th in 29:29 and freshman Ellie Coach, 47th in 37:14.

FC's boys' also had no problems with the race conditions on their home course as they took second behind Tomahawk. The Hatchets had 28 points to the Crickets' 54. Leading FC's effort was senior Stewart Gundry placed fourth in 19:27 (the race winner was Eau Claire Immanuel Lutheran's Micah Fossum in 19:05). Other Fall Creek finishers were senior Tyler Kleinhans, 12th in 20:49; sophomore Joel Stump, 17th in 21:27; sophomore Jamison Carey, 19th in 21:40 and freshmen Marcus Coleman, 24th in 22:15; Marcus Kleinhans, 25th in 22:20, Kaden Prock, 28th in 22:42 and Shane Moore, 49th in 26:01.

"I'm really proud of the way our team ran today," FC head coach Joelle Anders said. "Jenna and Stewart really set a strong pace in both their races and all of our runners, especially our younger ones, really used it to compete well and used the course to their advantage."

Continued improvement by the Cricket harriers continued at the Neillsville/Granton Invitational this past Tuesday, Sept. 13. FC edged Cadott 67-83 in points to win the girls' meet title out of 15 schools competing. FC's runners and their places were as follows: Anders, third in 21:02; Johnston sixth in 22:27; Bergeron 14th in 23:55; sophomore Brynn Clemons, 28th in 25:28 with teammate Aldrich in 29th at 25:40; Peterson 49th in 27:02; Anderson 53rd in 27:26; Schultz 61st in 27:58; Krenz 65th in 29:29 and Coach 80th in 32:57. Mondovi's Courtney Stadler won the girls' race in 20:25

FC's boys placed sixth scoring 182 points (Bangor was first with 88 points and Mondovi's Landon Clark won the race in 17:16). Gundry led the way for FC finishing 14th in 19:09 followed by teammates Tyler Kleinhans, 26th in 20:03; Carey 41st in 21:25; Coleman 52nd in 22:11; Marcus Kleinhans 57th in 22:22 and Prock 68th in 22:53.

The regular season for the Osseo-Fairchild cross country team began back on Sept. 1 at the Jesse Brone Memorial Invitational held at Cochrane-Fountain City High School. The Thunder boys have a full team to compete this season. They finished eighth out of 13 teams competing (G-E-T was the winner with 56 points and C-FC's Wes Pronschinske won the boys' race in 17:27 on the 5000-meter course). Senior Kyle Burmesch finished 20th in 20:37. Also competing for O-F on a hot, windy and humid afternoon were junior Mason Scheffer 51st in 24:05; sophomore Lincoln Bertrang, 60th in 24:57; senior Bryce Armstrong-Baglien, 70th in 26:32; freshman Orion Prudlick, 72nd in 27:04 and freshman Jonas Sackmann-Van Hoof, 77th in 28:34. O-F had three girls competing in the meet. Freshman Alyssa Burmesch had O-F's best showing, 44th in 31:50. Senior Aubrey Schmidt was 45th in 32:20 and sophomore Emily Bauer finished 52nd in 40:06.

Next up for O-F was the Bloomer Invitational on Sept. 8. O-F placed fifth out of six teams competing with 122 points (Bloomer won the meet with 22 points led by first pace finisher junior Lucas Anderson's time of 17:06). Burmesch was 13th in 20:17; Bertrang 20th in 21:11; Armstrong-Baglien, 28th in 23:01; Prudlick, 30th in 24:54 and Sackmann-Van Hoof, 31st in 25:05. Alyssa Burmesch was the lone competitor for O-F in the girls' race and finished 20th in 29:03.

At the Knutdson Invitational O-F's boys finished fourth with 97 points. Burmesch placed ninth in 20:07; Bertrang placed 20th in 20:59; Scheffer was 32nd in 23:06; Armstrong-Baglien 34th in 23:34; Prudlick 42nd in 24:59; Sackman-Van Hoof 48th in 25:55. O-F's girls' places and time were Alyssa Burmesch 43rd in 31:23 and Emilee Bauer, 46th in 37:05.

And at the Neillsville/Granton Invite O-F's boys placed 12th with 240. Kyle Burmesch finished 19th overall with a time of 19:24 on the 5000-meter course, his best of the season so far. Bertrang finished 43rd in 21:37; Armstrong-Baglien finished 58th in 22:27; Scheffer finished 65th in 22:59; Sackmann-Van Hoof finished 79th in 23:22 and Prudlick 103rd in 29:12. In the girls race, Alyssa Burmesch was 69th in 30:01 and Bauer 83rd in 35:22.

After over a week off, Augusta was back in action at the Neillsville Invitational on Tuesday. The Beaver girls were seventh with 124 points while the boys placed 10th with 207 points. AHS's Ava Peterson finished fifth in the girls' race in a time of 22:23. Other Augusta runners were Beth Boone, 22nd in 25 minutes even; Jerri McKay, 37th in 26:16; CC Hanson placed 40th in 26:14; Roella Weiss was 45th in 26:36; Autumn Randall placed 64th in 28:51; Kendra Olson was 74th in 30:47 and Abby Boone placed 76th in 31:07. In the boys' race, Justin Frank had Augusta's best showing placing 12th in 18:57 with teammate Devin Molinaro also hitting the chutes under 20 minutes in 19:15, good for 15th place. Augusta sophomore Preston Schaffer finished 55th in 22:16; senior Drew Jacobs finished 61st in 22:36; senior Gavin Wiese placed 94th in 25:54 and freshman Gavin Larson placed 106th in 29:37.

Eleva-Strum's cross country teams also started its season at the Brone Invitational. There Cardinal senior Anabel Howie finished in 11th in 23:47. Her teammates, sophomore Amalia Dyar and junior Jillian Awe placed 50th and 54 respectively with times of Eleva-Strum 34:45.8 and 42:28. Central freshman Alex Awe placed 76th in 28:30. E-S also competed in the G-E-T Invitational in Galesville on Sept. 8 and in Thursday, Sept. 15's Chetek-Weyerhaesuerq Dan Conway Invitational. There, Howie finished sixth in 23:41. Jillian Awe was 61st in 38:50 while Dyar was 44th in 29:48. E-S's lone entry in the boys race, freshman Alex Awe, finished 64th in 27:57.

Upcoming meets for Tri-County Area prep cross country teams are competing in are the Hudson Invitational (Osseo-Fairchild) on Tuesday, Sept. 20, the Cadott Invitational, also on Sept. 20 and the Durand Invitational on Sept, 22 at Rolling Greens Golf Course, The Osseo-Fairchild Invitational at Osseo Golf Course is on Sept. 29 starting at 4 p.m.

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