CHIPPEWA FALLS — The Menomonie girls cross country team swept both championships at Tuesday’s Chippewa Falls Invitational at Lake Wissota Golf as Isabella Jacobsen won the individual race and the Mustangs were tops as a team.
Jacobsen won the race in 18 minutes, 17.7 seconds to finish nearly a minute and a half in front of Chippewa Falls’ Haley Mason (19:46.8) for the top spot. Jacobsen led a company of Mustangs at the front as Menomonie had seven of the top-eight finishers overall. The Mustangs were ranked fifth as a team in the Wisconsin Cross Country Coaches Association Division 1 state girls poll at the start of the week and coming off a fifth-place finish out of 45 teams at the prestigious Roy Griak Invitational.
“It was a fun little meet after our hard day at Griak,” Menomonie girls cross country coach Craig Olson said. “I think Griak, the tough course in Minnesota, took quite a bit out of the varsity girls. It was pretty hot at Chippewa Falls as well, so times weren’t great. We had 13 PRs of 22 runners, which was great, but a lot of the girls were hoping they’d run a little faster. It was a great event. The coaches over there do a great job hosting a wonderful meet. It’s small, low pressure, but everyone was pretty tired so we didn’t see the huge PRs just yet.”
Madeline Palmer was third in 19:54.7, Helen Chen finished fourth in 20:03.2, Anna Imsande was fifth in 20:40.7 and Ali Ruch rounded out the scoring runners in sixth place in 20:49.1. Emma Mommsen (seventh), Brooklyn Hoff (eighth), Julia Skorczewski (12th), Madison Lehman (13th), Megan McMahon (16th), Anika Schoenberger (18th), Mary Berg (19th) and Teagan Christenson (21st) also finished near the front for the Mustangs as the team finished with 19 points, well in front of Chippewa Falls (50) for first. The Mustangs came back on Saturday to take sixth in New Richmond with 152 points as Hudson won with 65. Imsande (eighth), Hoff (10th), Mommsen (30th), Skorczewski (37th) and Schoenberger (67th) were Menomonie’s scoring runners there.
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Last year Menomonie finished eighth at the Division 1 state cross country championships and with all of those runners underclassmen, the Mustangs brought back plenty of talent for the 2021 season.
The Mustangs are back in action on Saturday in an invite hosted by Eau Claire Memorial at South Middle School before the Big Rivers Conference championships at the Eau Claire City Wells on Saturday, Oct. 16.
“The team is in great shape heading into championship season,” Olson said. “We’ve slipped a bit in the rankings for D1 girls, dropping from 3rd to 5th, but we haven’t had the fast courses that our rivals from the southern part of the state get. When we start running on fast courses to finish the season, the times are going to drop significantly. The girls still need to take care of business at BRC and sectionals, and not look past those races to state, but the team is awfully strong right now and very focused.”
Logan McCoy finished fourth for the Menomonie boys in Chippewa Falls with a time of 17:48.7. Chippewa Falls’ Lukas Wagner won the race in 16:09.7.
Joel Anderson was seventh (18:10.9), Carter Davis came home 19th, Caleb Schneider was 21st and Connor Dean finished 24th as the Mustangs scored 75 team points, good for third place behind Chippewa Falls (39) and Hudson (48).
“Logan McCoy and Joel Anderson are both October racers,” Menomonie boys coach Adam Topper said. “The heat and humidity of September doesn’t really agree with them, but as the temperatures cool off and the allergy season gets left behind, these two guys find their stride. We are going to need them to step up and I have a lot of confidence in them to do so. The meet at Lake Wissota was a good step in that direction for both of them.”
Jude Ogden was fourth for the Mustangs on Saturday in New Richmond, timing in at 16:27.0 as Osceola’s Quinn McDonald was victorious in 15:56.7. Grant Burns (16th), Dylan Norby (25th), Peter Cimino (43rd) and Ray Ebert (53rd) also scored for the Mustangs, who finished seventh in team scoring with a 141 as Osceola (66) won.
“Our guys are starting to come around,” Topper said. “They’ve been working hard over the past month, and now as we are getting close to October and the Championship season, we will begin to take some of the stress away. I’m anticipating some really great meets from our guys over the next few weeks.”