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Hilly or flat, harriers prevail

Rachel Zachar crosses the finish line in eighth place at the 14-team Chippewwa Falls Invitational. Photos by Steve Dzubay1 / 2
Nathan Shonkwiler, left, battles for a leading position with an opposing runner. Photo by Steve Dzubay2 / 2

The Raider harriers trekked to Chippewa Falls last Thursday for a 14-team invitational at Wissota State Park that was anything but easy.

The course is uphill for the second quarter-mile, and by the third quarter-mile flattens into a speed race for the remainder, but that disparity did not deter the Raiders.

The Hudson boys team scored 46 to win, compared to Eau Claire Memorial's 62, and the girls scored 76, to be the runner-up behind Marshfield, which had 62.

The course was changed onto the wooded trails of the park, and the race was fast. The girls in this case ran a five kilometer course, just like the boys; this was their second contest of that distance this year.

Luke Wusterbarth ran an excellent race, said Coach Don Krupa, as he finished second to Collin Rogers of River Falls.

"The varsity boys need to close the gap between the second and fifth runner. With almost a minute separating them, in a big meet too many runners can come in and raise your team score," Krupa said. "This is one thing we need to work on."

In the girls race, Rachel Zachar placed eighth, running against the winner of the Roy Griak "maroon" race last Saturday, Kayla Wagner of Baldwin-Woodville, who ran an 18:18. That was more than a minute-and-a-half faster than the second-place runner from Marshfield, Candice Todryk.

Places for the boys team were: Luke Wusterbarth 2, 16:02; Matt Rudquist 4, 16:56; Jacob Ball 6, 17:01; Dan Schloesser 13, 17:37; Jake Pittman 21, 17:52; Jay Skinner 22, 17:54; and London Walsh 24, 17:58;

Places for the girls team were: Rachel Zachar 8, 20:06; Kaila Fouks 10, 20:13; Katie Wetzstein 14, 20:18; Sarah Kehoe 19, 20:40; Cori Vought 25, 21:04; Deven DuCharme 46, 21:52; and Brianna Hudoba 59, 22:21.

Leaders for the Hudson junior varsity were Max Hawksford in second in 18:09, and McKenzie Buck first in 20:06.

On Saturday, the entire team will go to Eau Claire Memorial to compete in the last race of the season before conference. "We need to continue to work on our pack running, as it will help us in the last three meets of the season," Krupa said. "I hope that the girls will be back to full strength after Eau Claire."