Menomonie’s cross country team raced on their home course against nine other schools last Saturday. The girls team ranked second and the boys ranked in at seventh place.
“There was some outstanding competition at our home invite. Going into this race Hudson was ranked eighth in the state in D1, and our girls were ranked ninth. St. Croix Central was ranked fifth in the state in Division 2, and La Crosse Logan was ranked 15th. There was quite a lot of talent on the course. We finished second to Hudson, but it was awfully close and we are closing the gap. Using traditional scoring, we were only six points behind them. Our girls are pretty excited to be able to race them again on Tuesday at Rice Lake,” said Menomonie girls cross country coach Craig Olson.
Duo runners Jack Leipnitz and Patrick Schwartz finished the first and second runners race in 11th and 12th place with times of 17:53.9 and 17:54.1, respectively.
“Our front duo of Jack Leipnitz and Patrick Schwartz had a great race together. They are going to be battling each other all year long, and they will definitely make each other better. There are a lot of good runners from Eau Claire Memorial and Hudson, their goal has to be to get into the mix with those groups,” said Menomonie boys cross country coach Adam Topper.
Paige Anderson and Madeline Palmer followed them up 22nd and 27th place.
“Paige Anderson was third overall with a time of 20:03. We have a pretty tough course, so that’s a very solid time. Paige is getting closer to our freshmen school record of 19:51. Kaylynn Imsande had a breakout race, finishing sixth in 20:34. Maddy Palmer was 10th, and it’s pretty rare for us to put three girls in the top 10 at this meet. Ali Ruch, Emily Schwartz and Emma Mommsen also had significant season personal records,” said Olson.
Morgan Selchow led Menomonie in the third, fourth, and fifth runners race with a 13th place finish and a time of 18:42.5.
“The race of the day was easily Morgan Selchow. He ran a very disciplined race and finished extremely well. It wasn’t quite his best time, but I think we are ready to see him take a step up to the next level of competition,” said Topper.
Many of Menomonie’s varsity runners ran great races and over half of them improved their time from their previous race.
“The boys are beginning to find their places on the team. We have some healthy competition for our last three varsity spots and I would expect to see some new faces rotate into the varsity line-up on a weekly basis. Right now it’s all about improvement, and we were able to get 13 of our 24 runners from the previous meet to improve on their time. That was a nice accomplishment,” said Topper.
The junior varsity runners also did a great job and some of them may soon be joining the varsity team.
“We saw some really nice races from our junior varsity group. There is a lot of potential in that group, and I wouldn’t doubt that we will see some of them work their way onto the varsity line-up in coming weeks. In particular, I was very impressed with Shawn Halverson, Victor Kaufmann, and Joel Anderson,” said Topper.
In the junior varsity race, Masiah Wilson and Emma Flug had terrific races, showing nice improvement on the season,” said Olson.
Menomonie’s runners will hit the ground running at Rice Lake on Sept. 11 and again at Hudson on Sept. 18.