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Runners ready for conference

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sports River Falls, 54022
Hudson Star Observer
715-386-9891 customer support
River Falls Wisconsin 2815 Prairie Drive / P.O. Box 25 54022

The Raider boys' cross country team tuned up for this weekend's Big Rivers Conference Championships by taking first at the Eau Claire Memorial Invitational Saturday, Oct. 10 in Eau Claire.

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Jacob Ball took home the individual title to lead the boys to a first place score of 42, eight points ahead of second place D.C. Everest. Menomonie won the girls' title with the Raider girls finishing sixth.

Most of the other BRC teams competed at the invite, and Raider head coach Don Krupa said he wanted the boys to send a statement at the race.

"This was the meet I want to show the other teams who the conference champion should be, to give us a psychological advantage and confidence in continuing the hard workouts during the week," he said.

Ball won the 5,000 meter boys' race with a time of 16 minutes, 2 seconds to lead a trio of three Raiders in the top ten. Ryan Kromer added a fourth place time of 16:24 and Matt Rudquist finished eighth in 16:54. Rounding out the Raider top five were Luke Wusterbarth in 11th place in 17:01, and Nick Schumacher 19th in 17:19.

Other Hudson runners included Joshua Robers in 36th place with a time of 17:58, and Anders Christensen 81st in 19:11.

In the girls' race, Katie Wetzstein finished the 4,000 meter race in fifth place with a time of 15:36 with Rachel Zachar just seven seconds behind in seventh place in 15:43.

The next three Raiders all finished within 12 seconds of each other. Deven DuCharme finished 35th in 16:41, Sarah Kehoe was 37th in 16:45, and Cori Vought placed 40th in 16:53 to account for the team's total of 116.

Menomonie won with 58.

"Starting with the conference meet this Saturday (Oct. 17), the girls will need to work together and step it up a notch to keep moving forward as the competition will be a lot tougher than last year," Krupa said.

Saturday's BRC Championships will be held on the campus of UW-Barron County in Rice Lake. The varsity girls' race begins at 10 a.m. with the varsity boys at 10:40. In addition to team titles, runners will also be competing for all-conference honors.

Krupa said the Raider boys should be the favorites with Eau Claire Memorial a possible spoiler. He said the girls' competition will be tougher to predict, with River Falls, Menomonie and Eau Claire Memorial battling it out.

"This race will be exciting," he said. "The conference schools take the conference meet as their big meet of the season and really get up for this race.

He said he expects all of Hudson's runners to run hard.

"I want my runners to always finish strong through the finish line, because one place can, and will, make a difference in the outcome of this meet, no matter if you are the team's first or eighth runner. The only sure thing is, there will be a girl's team champion and a boy's team champion."

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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.
(715) 426-1047
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