The Bluejay runners stumbled to last place in both divisions of Saturday’s seven-team Valley Meet, but the team may have learned a lesson for the future.
The girls tallied 209 points behind Dalie Thomas (38th, 22:32), Deantae Saunders (39th, 22:40), Lily Reimann (41st, 23:01), Autumn Schenzel (44th, 23:09), Kennedy Soderberg (47th, 23:44), Hunter Zecca (49th, 23:50), Sophie Priebe (51st, 24:09) and Rachael Romanowski (55th, 25:20).
The boys scored 241 with Treven Oberg (40th, 19:02), Ethan Bares (47th, 19:25), Nathan Koch (50th, 19:40), Jacob Romang (51st, 19:58), Drake Hirte (53rd, 20:53), Stephen Koch (54th, 20:54), Dountae Degner (55th, 21:19) and Tom Seliger (56th, 21:35).
“Our run at 9-mile showcased some of our aspiring runners, but it also showcased that we need to be more competitive with our Valley foes,” commented Coach Hoffman. “We worked generously hard on the practice courses and in fitness training in the weight room, but the one ingredient to make us a much better team missing this year was the off-season running during the summer months.
“You have to put in the miles over the summer and with this current group of upcoming athletes, I think we’ve convinced them (of that) after the today’s results. I believe we have a talented group of athletes, but they need a mileage base to better themselves. Our season is not that long and the runners are finally showing much better times that we should’ve had at the start of the season.
“With that said, I’m really excited with the finishing time of Dalie Thomas. She is dedicated to the core in improving her performances. We have 7 runners that could be the first-place finisher for our team and Dalie rose to the top at conference. Junior Deantae Saunders was close behind. She’s become our most consistent top finisher the last couple of races.
“Our boys team results did not showcase their abilities. We’re in a rut right now and that doesn’t help our end performances. We had two of our varsity not compete due to conflicting competitions (State Band Competition at UW-Whitewater), so we brought up JV runners to supplement our runners. I hate being in the cellar, but this may help nail the point that we have to be ready for season next fall be pounding the pavement during the summer months. Since there’s no benchwarming in cross country, you’re out there for all to see and you can’t hide behind anyone, thus you need to step up the competitive edge. Our boys will get there eventually, competitively, but right now we haven’t proved to anyone that we’re better than the end results.”
The team competes at sectional this Saturday.
Team standings- Girls– SPASH 25, Wausau West 55, D.C. Everest 82, Wausau East 101, Marshfield 136, Wis. Rapids 181, Merrill 209…….Boys- SPASH 29, D.C.E. 65, Wausau East 76, Wausau West 93, W.R. 119, Marshfield 169, Merrill 241.