Prep cross country sectionals upcoming this weekend

Tri-County Area prep cross country teams will compete in WIAA Division 3 sectional meets this weekend.

Fall Creek and Augusta head north and west to compete at the Boyceville Sectional which begins at 11 a.m. while Osseo-Fairchild and Eleva-Strum will be head south and west at the Westby Sectional which begins at 12:15 p.m.

Both local runners Fall Creek junior Jenna Anders and Augusta senior Bailey Peterson aim to make it back to the state meet they competed in last year (with Anders placing sixth individually and Peterson 15th). To do so they either have to be one of two qualifying teams or one of the top five runners not on a qualifying team as they did a year ago (Peterson placed fourth and Anders fifth in the Durand Sectional).

Neither the Beavers or Cricket squads are ranked although Augusta has won four straight meets including the school's first-ever Dairyland Conference title last week. In fact, they will both be two of the top teams in the field along with Eau Claire Regis and Cameron, who easily won the Osseo-Fairchild Invitational while Regis and FC tied for second. Colfax, which finished a close second behind No. 7 ranked Durand in the Dunn-St. Croix meet will also be competitive led by the D-SC race-winner Molly Heindorn.

"The team support really helps," Peterson said after winning the Dairyland's individual title as well in 19:47 and seeing several teammates such as Ava Peterson, Beth Boone and Autumn Randall receive all-conference or honorable mention honors for their places in the meet. "It helps my confidence and our confidence as much as the training and practice does to build support. Do well is great but seeing the team do well too is the best part."

Regis and FC finished 2-3 behind No. 10 ranked Colby at the usually hypercompetitive Cloverbelt Meet last weekend in Fall Creek with Anders taking second individually and teammate Alison Dubiel placing and all-conference 10th and FC's Evelyn Bergeron placing 21st for honorable mention All-Cloverbelt.

"I and I know my teammates know we feel very confident in the ability of the team in our training to come together and do our best." Dubiel said.

Cloverbelt Conference champion Chippewa Falls McDonell should be the strong favorite to win the boys' team along with Dunn-St. Croix Conference champion Spring Valley. Fall Creek and Augusta have good shots to place in the top 10 of the 22-team field as they did in their respective conference meets. Augusta's Kyle Shult, who placed fourth in the Dairyland meet while teammate Devin Molinaro placed 11th and was honorable mention and Fall Creek's Kael Sanfelippo, who also took all-conference honorable mention honors placing 15th in the Cloverbelt meet, are candidates for those top five individual spots in the sectional meet as well.

Osseo-Fairchild's girls' team placed sixth out of 14 teams in the Cloverbelt meet and has good chance to finish in the top 10 of the 22-school Westby Sectional. Top local competing for state berths in that meet are Eleva-Strum's Anabel Howie, Osseo-Fairchild's Breanna and Aurora Wier and Kyle Burmesch, who all had good races at last week's Cloverbelt meet.

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