In their first competitive run of the season, Cameron’s girls placed fourth and the boys came in 10th at a large cross country invitational hosted by Boyceville on Wednesday, Aug. 28.
“The coaching staff was very pleased with the results of our first meet,” head coach David Gerber said. “The girls placed fourth in the 22-team meet, finishing behind Durand, Somerset and Glenwood City. We beat most of the teams that will be at our sectional in October.”
An impressive Durand squad finished with 69 team points, followed by Rice Lake (113), Glenwood City (118), Cameron (144) and Somerset (158).
“Last year’s sectional champion did beat us by 36 points (Glenwood City),” Gerber said. “We were also sectional champions last season, but we were in the northern sectional in Washburn. This year, we have moved into the Boyceville Sectional.”
Two sophomores finished at the front of the 166-girl field, Durand’s Madison Sand (21:29) topping Bailey Peterson of Augusta by just 2 seconds.
Senior Aurora Felonk (18th overall, 23:09) led the Cameron girls, followed closely by sophomores Taylor Severt (19th, 23:23), Brittany Breed (27th, 23:52) and Mady Robel (37th, 24:31). Junior Matali Anderson (48th, 25:17) wrapped up the team scoring for Cameron.
Also competing for the Comets were Cali Romsos, Alyssa Kuffel, Erin Salm and Jasmine Gillis.
“Our girls’ team has good depth,” Gerber said. “Even without any runners in the top 10, we had a very good team finish while competing against some of the top teams in the area. The girls will need to continue improving, but they have the potential to qualify for the state tournament again this season.
“Four of the girls were running their first race ever. They will improve a lot, even by the next race. We’re in a similar situation to where we were last season. We ran well but still knew that to get to the state tournament we would need to improve a lot.”
Elk Mound won the boys’ title with 60 points, followed by Clear Lake (68), Ellsworth (122), Regis (135) and McDonell (154) in the top five. Cameron finished 10th with 282 team points.
It was a pair of seniors setting the pace, Cade Hanson of Elk Mound (17:25) edging Regis’ Andrew Schlitz by 3 seconds. Junior Tyler Larson was Cameron’s first boy across the finish line.
“Our boys also had a strong showing,” the coach said. “Tyler was 36th overall (out of 196) and covered the 3.1 miles in 19:35.”
Cameron’s second runner, senior Brandon Groskopf (43rd), was 20 seconds behind Larson. Also scoring for the Comets were Payton Buzek (71st, 21:23), Cole Romsos (79th, 21:31) and Austin Weiss (80th, 21:35). Other Cameron runners included Richie Murphy, Nick Newland and Jacob Pearson.
“I was really happy with the way all these guys finished the race,” Gerber said. “It was a hot day and many of the runners were slowing down at the end of the race, but each of our guys battled through and passed runners in the last mile.
“This is a very inexperienced team, as five guys competed in their first race. This is a hard working group. As they get a little more race experience, we’ll close the gap on the top teams in the area.”
The Comets next host their annual invitational on Thursday, Sept. 12, with the first race starting at 4:30 p.m.