On a day perfect for duck hunting, the West Central Area Knights Cross Country Teams ran through the fog for a first and third place finish at the Milaca Mega Meet.
The Knight girls first took to the race course with 250 racers from the five state region in the world's largest high school cross country event. Seventh grader Lexi Bright (22nd place) continues her onslaught, leading the girls team to a third place finish in the fifty plus team race. Eighth grader Brynn Fernholz was next; sophomore Ella Van Kempen (34th), freshman Teagan Nelson (43rd), eighth grader Chloe LaRue (78th), seventh grader Kaitlin Hanson (159th) and juniorSteph Toms (189th) rounded out the varsity girls. The girls finished in third overall, this after a first place finish in New London-Spicer earlier in the week.
“We are feeling very good about how our kids have been racing, each one putting together back to back solid performances,” stated Head Coach John Van Kempen.
The boys also continue to run impressively, winning their field of fifty plus teams for the second consecutive year.
“Last year, we were able to sneak up on some teams because nobody knew who we were,” reported Van Kempen. “This year, the target was on our back after winning last year in Milaca and getting fourth at state. Our boys ran like they were defending something. Senior Ryley Nelson went out with the front pack, swapping places with them on and off and eventually finishing in 3rd. Ninth grader Jacob Bright wasn't too far behind, finishing in fifth. We feel these two guys might be the best one two punch in the state for single A schools.”
Seniors Ethan Olson (23rd) and Drake Swanson (58th) were next for the Knights. Ninth grader Jack Van Kempenwas their fifth runner finishing in 61st. Junior Chase Veldhouse was the sixth runner to cross the line in 129th place followed by 8th grader Kyle Schill in 143rd.
In the junior high race 7th grader Kennedy Porter placed 65th of 240 racers. Our seventh grade boys I was led byReuben's Swanson (7th), Kade Runge (13th), Alex Salwasser (120th), Shad Swanson (237th) and Tyler Biss(259th). Eighth grade boys had Jacob Brown (102nd) and Gaven Raven (103rd). The junior varsity had Hunter Mickelson (102nd), Chris Onstad (163rd), Tim Ruud (229th), Austin Clavin (370th) and Matt Poyzer (372). The junior varsity race had close to 600 racers. The Knights JV team finished 26th.