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Raider runners sweep BRC titles

Hudson senior Max Ball, left, and junior George Bond crest a hill with the lead pack during the boys race at the Big Rivers Conference Cross Country Championships Saturday, Oct. 14, in River Falls. Bond pulled away for a first place time of 16 minutes, 14.6 seconds and Ball finished sixth in 16:43.2 to lead the Raiders to a first place team finish. Bob Burrows / RiverTown Multimedia 1 / 3
Hudson sophomore Rachel Ball leads the pack shortly after the start of the girls' race at the Big Rivers Conference Cross Country Championships Saturday, Oct. 14, in River Falls. Ball led wire-to-wire to win the individual title with a time of 18 minutes, 54 seconds, 46 seconds ahead of the rest of the field. Bob Burrows / RiverTown Multimedia 2 / 3
Hudson junior Karina Gilson eyes the finish line on her way to to a third place time of 19 minutes, 53.7 seconds in the girls race at the Big Rivers Conference Cross Country Championships Saturday, Oct. 14, in River Falls. Bob Burrows / RiverTown Multimedia 3 / 3

Hudson's girls and boys cross country teams both claimed Big Rivers Conference championships for the second straight year by dominating their competition at the 2017 BRC Meet in River Falls Saturday, Oct. 14.

The Raider girls posted a team total of 27 points, 39 points ahead of second place Menomonie, while the boys finished 17 points ahead of Eau Claire Memorial with 35.

Sophomore Rachel Ball won the girls' individual title and junior George Bond won the boys' race while 14 Raiders earned spots on all-conference teams.

"You watched the Hudson team show their season's hard work and dedication pay off as we had great individual performances on both the boys and girls teams," head coach Don Krupa said.

It's the 14th BRC title for the Raider boys and the seventh for the girls since Hudson joined the BRC in 1989.

Sophomore Rachel Ball continued her stellar season by winning the girls' race by a full 50 seconds. Ball covered the 5,000 meter course in a time of 18 minutes, 54 seconds while Katie Faris of Chippewa Falls was a distant second in 19:39.9.

Hudson had three other runners in the top six in the girls race with junior Karina Gilson third in 19:44, sophomore Emma Filipiak fifth in 19:53.7 and sophomore Anna Czupryna sixth in 19:56.4. All three joined Ball on the All-BRC first team.

Sophomore Ella Young rounded out Hudson's team score with a 12th place time of 20:30.1 and senior Sarah Czupryna was 14th in 20:35.6 while freshman Alicia Belany placed 15th in 20:35.9 to each earn All-BRC second team honors.

Bond claimed the individual title in the boys' race with a time of 16:14.6, eight seconds ahead of his nearest competitor. Senior Max Ball finished fifth overall in 16:43.2 and senior Keegan Sansone placed eighth in 17:06.5 to join Bond and Ball on the All-BRC first team.

Sophomore Cale Wimer gave the Raiders four of the top ten finishers with a 10th place time of 17:19.9 while sophomore Noah Lundeen was right behind in 11th place in 17:20.5. Senior Seth Miner finished 13th in 17:22 and freshman Anthony Weeks was 15th in 17:23.1. Wimer, Lundeen, Miner and Weeks all earned second team all-conference honors.

Hudson's boys also won the JV team title, led by Jacob Mathes' first place time of 17:48.1, while the girls JV finished second, led by Olivia Saggese and Sophie Barker sweeping the top two spots.

Hudson will be joined by most of the BRC teams along with New Richmond, Holmen, La Crosse Central, Onalaska, Tomah and Superior at the WIAA Division 1 sectional meet this Saturday, Oct. 21, in Menomonie beginning with the girls' race at noon at Menomonie High School. The top two teams and top five individuals who are not members of the first or second place teams will qualify for the WIAA State Championship Meet Saturday, Oct. 28, in Wisconsin Rapids.

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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