Merrill runners bring home their top times
Unlike other sports, the Bluejay cross country team has to settle for one week of home cooking on the whole season.
But it sure tasted good when the boys ran third in the nine-team field, and the girls picked up some tasty morsels of their own despite being edged out of sixth place by Lakeland in the 10-team girls field.
“This was the week we prepared for all season,” MHS coach Kurt VandenHeuvel said. “I personally wanted to do well at this meet because it is our own stomping grounds. The course was extremely fast from the previous middle school meet and the gravel helped as well.”
Andrew Seaman (16:45) and Garrett Schmelling (16:48) ranked 4-5 to get the boys off to an excellent start. Michael Seaman (17th, 17:25), Jake Jensen (18th, 17:29) and Andrew Koch (28th, 17:52) closed out the scoring. Matthew Dewar won the JV race in a time of 17:59.
“Garrett and Andrew Seaman lead the team looking strong through the entire race,” VandenHeuvel said. “Andrew dug deep this week and he has been training very hard all season. I am happy that he is now seeing what hard work and dedication can get you for times.
“Garrett earned a personal record at 16:48. I was really impressed with the efforts of Michael Seaman, Matthew Dewar, Jake Jensen and Andrew Koch. These athletes impressed me throughout the entire race by not only pack running at higher places but all setting personal records by more than a minute!
“I am excited for the upcoming meets to see the guys compete like they are capable of!”
Sydney Harris finished 5th in the girls event in an even time of 15:00. Ashley Berton backed it up in 18th in 16:08.
They were followed by Kate Williams (25th, 16:40), Stephanie Chapleau (41st, 17:16), Kendra Andreska (44th, 17:21) and Christa Schleif (50th, PR of 18:00).
“The girls did very well also,” VandenHeuvel said. “I am impressed on how many good girls teams there are this year! Every meet we go to I know we are going to have some serious girls teams to compete against.
“What I want to work with the girls this week is working together to finish in a pack at higher places. So we will be working on intervals and pack running for next week.
“There are so many good girl athletes and I see it being very tough to qualify for state. A girl I will put all my money on would be Sydney Harris. She runs at practice like she is competing for state! Sydney runs great races individually, but in order to get better team scores we need the other varsity girls finishing better. Ashley came in second in the varsity team placing 18th.
“I have been very excited about Stephanie Chapleau’s efforts at practice and in meets. She leaves it all out on the course and she has been improving extremely well this year.”
Team standings-Boys- Chequamegon 40, Rhinelander 54, Merrill 72, Antigo 93, Mosinee 105, Westfield 159, Owen-Withee 188, Adams-Friendship inc., Laona-Wabeno inc……..Girls- Antigo 41, Rhinelander 95, Mosinee 98, Laona-Wabeno 100, Adams-Friendship 105, Lakeland 125, Merrill 128, Chequamegon 184, Owen-Withee 211, Westfield inc.