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Raider runners sweep sectional titles

Members of the Raider boys and girls cross country teams are all smiles after sweeping the sectional titles at the WIAA Division 1 sectional meet Saturday, Oct. 21, in Menomonie. From left are Max Ball, Sarah Czupryna, Noah Lundeen, Ella Young, Seth Miner, Karina Gilson, Tony Weeks, Rachel Ball, Keegan Sansone, Alicia Belany, George Bond, Anna Czupryna, Cale Wimer and Emma Filipiak. Photo courtesy of Jennifer Kapaun

Hudson's boys are returning to state for the third straight year and the girls will make their first appearance since 2013 after both teams captured team titles at the WIAA Division 1 cross country sectional in Menomonie last Saturday, Oct. 21.

Sophomore Rachel Ball won the girls individual sectional title while junior George Bond finished second in the boys race. Hudson's girls posted a first place score of 52 and Onalaska was second with 66, while the Raider boys finished with 47 points, four points ahead of second place Eau Claire Memorial.

"The boys team ran with determination, finished the race strong and ran in a close pack," head coach Don Krupa noted.

Bond led the Raider boys with a second place time of 16 minutes, 33 seconds on the 5,000 meter course, just 3.1 seconds behind sectional champion David Ecker of Eau Claire North.

Senior Max Ball was seventh overall in 16:55.8 and senior Keegan Sansone was 11th in 17:23.5 while freshman Anthony Weeks finished 13th in 17:30 and sophomore Cale Wimer rounded out the scoring with a 14th place tie of 17:36.1

Sophomore Noah Lundeen finished 16th in 17:39.2 and senior Seth Miner was 20th in 17:46.8. Eighty-four runners competed in the race.

Rachel Ball won the girls individual title with a time of 19:10.4, 18.5 seconds ahead of freshman Kora Malaceck of Onalaska.

Sophomore Anna Czupryna was the second Raider finisher, in seventh place overall, with a time of 20:09.1 and sophomore Emma Filipiak was 10th in 20:15.2 while senior Sarah Czupryna finished 15th in 20:57.6 and junior Karina Gilson was 20th in 21:04.2.

Sophomore Ella Young added a 22nd place time of 21:15.9 and freshman Alicia Belany finished 29th in 21:33.7.

"The girls team was focused and ran with determination also, but did not finish in a close pack as they have in their previous races this year against a strong freshmen Onalaska team," Krupa noted.

Hudson's boys will be making their 18th appearance as a team at the state meet, the 13th since joining the Big Rivers Conference in 1989. The Raider boys finished fourth at state last year after an 11th place finish in 2015.

The sectional title for the girls is the second in program history and first since 1993. This year marks their eighth appearance at state and first since 2013. Their highest finish was sixth place in 2011.

Ball returns to state for the second straight year after qualifying as in an individual in 2016 and finishing 15th.

The 2017 WIAA State Cross Country Championships will be held this Saturday, Oct. 28, at The Ridges Golf Course in Wisconsin Rapids. The Division 1 girls race goes off at 12 p.m. with the Division 1 boys race at 2 p.m.

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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