Cross country: Team effort gets Cardinals through home course
The heat and wind of Tuesday, Sept. 11, made for poor running conditions at Prescott's cross country meet, but was unable to hold back the Cardinals who used encouragement from their teammates to push through their challenging home course.
The Prescott girls' team claimed a second-place finish at Prescott Intermediate School with a team score of 53.
"It was hot and it was hard to breath towards the end, but then I saw Kira at the end I knew I had to push through it," Prescott junior Ella Linder said.
Linder's main goal for her home meet was to run a faster opening mile, which she was able to accomplish while still saving enough energy to sprint the final stretch to pass teammate Kira Penk before the finish line. Linder completed the Prescott 5k in 24 minutes, 7.0 seconds for an eleventh-place finish, while Penk came in right behind her at 24:07.2.
"I realized after the first few races that I need to start off faster, because if I start off faster my teammates will too, which works better for our team," Linder said.
Linder and Tristan Winkler, the only returner for the Cardinals' boys' team, have recently been tasked with setting the pace for their teammates, which has paid off so far.
Prescott's boys' team finished in third place behind Winkler and Zach Knee's leadership.
"I feel like we're all just inexperienced," Winkler said, "but if I can get out their fast, I can better the team and myself, knowing that I have my teammates to back me up."
Winkler finished in 11th place with a time of 19:53.9, while Knee crossed the finish line at 19:34.2 as Prescott's top male runner.
"Zach is always pushing me," Winkler said. "He's completely new to the team, but all he does is run and I just think that's awesome. I think the way he runs is just motivating."
Winkler was quick to recognize the improvement from Prescott's freshmen and girls' team before complimenting his own improved mental toughness.
"I like to think of cross country as one big family," Winkler said. "We don't run as one, we run together."
Prescott's top-five male runners recorded a team spread of 1:22, while the girls' top-five runners finished within 1:19 of each other.
The Spring Valley Cardinals' varsity five runners also recorded a spread under one and a half minutes and finished as the meet's runners-up behind the New Richmond Tigers.
Jon Corriea was the first Spring Valley runner to cross the finish line, and he earned a sixth-place finish with his time of 19:21.1.
Spring Valley's girls' leader Katherine Dieckman also showed an impressive personal-record-breaking performance despite the unfavorable weather.
"It wasn't terrible," Dieckman said after crossing the finish line at 23:24.3 for an eighth-place finish. "I didn't feel the best this race, but I got a personal record, so I know I'm running stronger."
Spring Valley's girls' team finished in fourth place with 110 team points. Both Spring Valley teams will compete at Mondovi on Tuesday, Sept. 18.
The Elmwood/Plum City Wolves joined the two Cardinals teams on Tuesday and were led by Austin Bartz and Kendra Kern.
Bartz was EPC's top male finisher with his 5k time of 21:29.6, which earned him a 31st-place finish.
Kern led the girls' team with an 18th-place finish, but hobbled across the finish line with what appeared to be a sore hip. Kern and her teammates will have a week to heal before their next meet on Thursday, Sept. 20, at Durand's Rolling Greens Golf Course.
GIRLS' TEAM RESULTS:
1. New Richmond (15)
2. Prescott (53)
3. Baldwin-Woodville (84)
4. Spring Valley (110)
5. River Falls JV (121)
Prescott's varsity five: 1. Amanda Auleciems (FR, 23:21.9, seventh place overall) 2. Linder (JR, 24:07.0, 11th) 3. Penk (SO, 24:07.2, 12th) 4. Megan Gilles (JR, 24:12.1, 13th) 5. Sammi Braunlich (JR, 24:40.7, 15th)
Spring Valley: 1. Dieckman (JR, 23:24.3, eighth) 2. Claire Anderson (FR, 25:56.9, 24th) 3. Kari Hybben (JR, 28:11.6, 37th) 4. Andrea Hinzman (FR, 29:01.7, 39th) 5. Allison Graham (FR, 29:40.8, 42nd)
Elmwood/Plum City: 1. Kern (JR, 24:55.5, 18th) 2. Sophia Tiffany (SR, 26:31.0, 28th) 3. Shanda Trainor (JR, 27:13.7, 32nd)
BOYS' TEAM RESULTS:
1. New Richmond (22)
2. Spring Valley (56)
3. Prescott (78)
4. Baldwin-Woodville (79)
5. River Falls JV (165)
6. Cannon Falls (177)
7. Elmwood/Plum City (182)
Spring Valley: 1. Corriea (JR, 19:21.1, sixth) 2. Matt Thoma (SO, 19:49.6, eighth) 3. Charlie Maier (FR, 19:51.7, ninth) 4. Blayne Gregg (FR, 20:11.8, 14th) 5. Ben Anderson (SR, 20:37.4, 20th)
Prescott: 1. Knee (JR, 19:34.2, seventh) 2. Winkler (JR, 19:53.9, 11th) 3. Eric Korfhage (FR, 20:12.2) 4. Connor Lubich (SO, 20:50.2, 24th) 5. Luke HIllman (JR, 20:56.1, 25th)
Elmwood/Plum City: 1. Bartz (SO, 21:29.6, 31st) 2. Patrick Tiffany (FR, 22:08.6, 38th) 3. Cody Erickson (JR, 23:48.6, 52nd) 4. Zack Hartung (SO, 24:07.9, 60th) 5. Jacob Waltz (SO, 24:25.8, 64th)