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Boys run to first at Chippewa Falls Invite

The Hudson boys' cross country team continued to shine last week by claiming first place in the 11-team Chippewa Falls Invitational at Lake Wissota State Park in Chippewa Falls.

The Raider boys, paced by Jacob Ball's winning time of 16 minutes, 30 seconds, took first with a team score of 38 points while the Hudson girls finished fifth with 118. Raider Katie Wetzstein placed second in the girls' race with a time of 19:09.

Hudson head coach Don Krupa said the course was challenging, with an uphill climb during the second quarter of the race before it flattens out into a speed race.

"The course was beautiful with the tall trees and leaves changing color," he said. "The race was fast as the runners enjoyed the scenery."

Krupa also said the girls ran the same 5K course as the boys, the third time this season both races were the same length.

Ball led a Raider boys' team that saw four runners finish in the top ten. In addition to his first place time of 16:30, Ryan Kromer finished third with a personal best time of 16:46, Matt Rudquist was fourth in 16:58 and Martin Zais placed ninth in 17:18.

Nicholas Schumacher rounded out the Raider top five with a 21st place time of 17:40. Anders Christensen finished 33rd in 18:14 and Taylor Johnson placed 51st in 18:58.

"The varsity boys are closing the gap between the third runners and the fourth, fifth and sixth runner on the team," Krupa said. "We must continue to do this as we get closer to the conference and sectional meets. The closer we can keep our pack, the lower our score will be and we will place higher in the big meets."

In the girls' race, Wetzstein finished just one second behind River Falls' Paige Skorseth in 19:09 to take second. Rachel Zachar added a fifth place time of 19:53 while Sarah Kehoe was the third Raider across the finish line, in 34th place, in 21:26. Abby Koski finished 38th in 21:32 while Deven DuCharme rounded out the top five with a 39th place time of 21:35.

Shemaina Miller finished 42nd in 21:42 and Cori Vought was 44th in 21:49.

"The girls' times are coming down but we need to lower the placing of the third through eighth runners so that our placement in conference and sectionals will be high," Krupa said. "We could say that this part of the season is crunch time, as our times must come down, our placing must be high, and our goals should be our main focus so that we can come together for a great season finale."

The Raiders will compete at the Eau Claire Memorial Invitational Saturday, Oct. 10.

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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