EAU CLAIRE — The Menomonie girls cross country team secured its fourth consecutive Big Rivers Conference championship on Saturday, rolling to the championship as Isabella Jacobsen won the meet individually.
The Mustangs won the meet with a score of 46 points, well in front of Hudson (80) and New Richmond (107) atop the team standings.
“The girls got their fourth BRC title in a row, and that’s pretty special for our seniors,” Menomonie girls coach Craig Olson said. “They finished their careers undefeated at this meet. We had six girls in the top 20, and that’s pretty special, too. Our conference is extremely fast this year with four all-state runners and four state-ranked teams. To win so decisively against such amazing competition ... it’s just awesome.”
Jacobsen won the race with a time of 17 minutes, 32.1 seconds to finish well out front of Hudson’s Haley Loewe (18:08.8) and Eau Claire North’s 18:16.1 at the front.
“Bella’s 17:32 was absolutely amazing,” Olson said. “She’s been working toward the sub 18:00 for a long time and we just haven’t had the right conditions, having to fight heat and humidity nearly every week. The conditions were perfect today, though. Breaking 18:00 is great, but running in the 17:30s probably puts her close to the top 10 all-time in the history of the state.”
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Madeline Palmer (19:24.2) and Helen Chen (19:36.5) finished eighth and ninth, respectively, while Anna Imsande came home in 12th place. Ali Ruch was 16th to round out the scoring runners for the Mustangs with Emma Mommsen taking 19th.
“Emma Mommsen especially had a great race,” Olson said. “She knew that she was on the outside looking in for an all-conference spot and needed a great day. She finished 19th, earned all-BRC honorable mention and had the best race of her life. Not many teams in the state have a No. 6 runner under 20:20, but we do—thanks to Emma’s awesome day.”
Jude Ogden took eighth place to lead the Menomonie boys, timing in at 16:41.4 as Chippewa Falls’ Lukas Wagner won the race in 15:56.2.
As a team Menomonie was fifth in the standings with 102 points. Hudson won the team title with 64 points, ahead of a spirited battle for position with River Falls (81) second, Chippewa Falls (85) third, Eau Claire Memorial (93) fourth and Eau Claire North (121) sixth.
“What a great battle the BRC meet was this year,” Menomonie boys coach Adam Topper said. “There were so many good races from all teams and second through sixth place teams could have fallen in any order today. I am really happy to see the sport of cross country in such great shape in the BRC. We have a great group of dedicated coaches and athletes that have unparalleled sportsmanship. It was a phenomenal day for our sport today.”
Grant Burns finished 14th, Dylan Norby came home 19th, Logan McCoy was 27th and Ray Ebert finished 34th to round out the scoring runners for the boys team. Peter Cimino (36th), Carter Davis (38th) and Joel Anderson (40th) were just behind the scoring runners for the Mustangs.
“We had some extremely good individual performances today,” Topper said. “I was really happy with Grant Burns, Dylan Norby and Ray Ebert. They did what they needed to do to support the team today.”
Menomonie is back in action next Saturday in Division 1 sectionals at Mapel Grove Venues in West Salem at a sectional hosted by Onalaska.
“We’ve been through a lot over the past year, mostly due to COVID, and I look at what we did today through that lens and am extremely pleased with the progress that our guys made over the course of the year,” Topper said.