By Nick Beversdorf
After Tuesday’s meet in Minocqua, Merrill enjoyed a much faster (but soggier) meet at the Annual Hodag Cross Country Invitational. Merrill’s times were two to three or more minutes faster, even though heavy rain forced the host team to modify the course.
“For the boys, the top five finishers included Sr. Andrei Heisinger who performed up to his potential, followed by the Koch boys, Stephen and Nathan, then three rookie runners of Fr. Ethan Cordova, So. Ethan Halfman and Fr. Dominic Laufenberg who impressed our coaching staff as well as other valley conference coaches. Our placing wasn’t what we wanted, but our improved times, and our belief that we can improve our finishes will better prepare us for next week’s local race at Nine Mile County Park that Marathon City sponsors,” remarked Hoffman.
“Our girls responded as well as the boys by lowering their times by a considerable amount with cooler weather and less daunting hills. Our top two runners: Sr. Deanta Saunders and So. Dalie Thomas battled for the top spot throughout the course with Deanta taking an eight second lead over Dalie. It was competitive and spirited. Racing at it’s best. Our third place runner went to So. Hunter Zecca who hustled and competed right through the chute. Jr. Lily Reimann closely followed with a much improved run and then was being chased right to the end by our fifth runner, So. Anne Herdt who shows great promise as a runner who could break through with a great race soon when she finds her competitive level,” stated Hoffman.
“All our runners really showed great confidence and spirit when they competed against half of our conference foes at the Hodag. We’re open for improvement and will have a few good days of training before our next meet,” concluded Hoffman.