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Pictured after the sectional meet in Menomonie are, from left, assistant coach Kristin Bores, Sadie Kroll, Miranda Miller, Erin Wetzstein, Ellen Snyder (holding sectional runner-up plaque), Mary Knutson, Samantha Ritter, Rachel Anderson, Kadidlo and head coach Don Krupa. (Submitted photo)

Girls' cross country team earns a return trip to state

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Girls' cross country team earns a return trip to state
River Falls Wisconsin 2815 Prairie Drive / P.O. Box 25 54022

The Raider girls’ cross country team clinched a return trip to state last Saturday by finishing in second place at the 12-team WIAA Division 1 sectional meet in Menomonie.

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Sophomore Miranda Miller and senior Sadie Kroll finished third and fourth, respectively, and the Raider girls finished with a total team score of 67 points to earn the sectional runner-up plaque behind team champion Eau Claire Memorial’s 46. Both teams will run at the WIAA State Cross Country Championships this Saturday in Wisconsin Rapids.

Hudson’s boys’ will also be represented at state by senior Jack Kadidlo after he finished sixth in the sectional boys’ race to earn one of five individual qualifying spots for state. Eau Claire Memorial took the boys’ team title with 51 points followed by La Crosse Logan with 63. Hudson finished fifth with 147.

Miller finished third in the girls’ race with a time of 15 minutes, 27.6 seconds and Kroll was right behind in fourth in 15:30.2 to pace the Raider girls. Junior Rachel Anderson finished 18th with a time of 16:12.1 and senior Erin Wetzstein was 19th in 16:19.9 while freshman Samantha Ritter rounded out the Raider team score with a 23rd place time of 16:34.8 and junior Mary Knutson was 27th in 16:40.1.

“The girls ran a solid race with all team members running very hard right to the finish,” Raider coach Don Krupa  said. “They all ran with determination as they wanted to be at the state meet again this year.”

Miller, Kroll, Anderson, Wetzstein, Knutson and Ellen Snyder were all part of the Raider team that finished 11th at the state meet in 2012 while Ritter and freshman Lauren Ichel will be competing in their first state meet.

Kadidlo qualified for his first state meet as an individual by finishing sixth overall with a time of 16:23.1, while senior Donald Clark came up just one-tenth of a second short of earning the fifth and final individual qualifying spot. That spot went to Eau Claire North’s Nick Dreger who finished ninth overall with a time of 16:34.0 while Clark was tenth in 16:24.1.

Senior Noah Burns was the third Raider across the finish line in 36th place  with a time of 17:37.4 and junior Michael Laraia was 47th in 17:54.6 while senior Logan Hammer contributed a 48th place time of  17:56 to the final team score.

Krupa said the boys just couldn’t put it all together to earn a trip to the state meet as a team this year.

“When I watched the race progress I knew we were going to come up short and we were not in the mix to move on as a team,” he said. “A few of the runners ran a great race but our placing did not lend itself to the top two team spots. We had our best race as a team at Rice Lake and Hudson. The rest of the season we struggled as a team.”

The Raider girls will run in the Division 1 race at 12:40 p.m. at the WIAA State Championships at The Ridges Golf Course in Wisconsin Rapids Saturday while Kadidlo will compete in the Division 1 boys’ race at 2:25 p.m. 

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Bob Burrows
Bob Burrows has been sports editor at the River Falls Journal since 1996 and at the Hudson Star-Observer since 2009. Prior to joining the Journal, Burrows served as sports editor with Ledger Publications in Balsam Lake, Wis. A native of Bayonne, N.J. and a U.S. Navy veteran, Burrows attended Marquette University before completing his studies at UW-River Falls in 1992.
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