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Neither mud nor rain can stop these runners

Spring Valley's Breanna Colbenson (right), running right with Colfax's Sarah McMahon at Boyceville. Photos by Sean Scallon, Jan Pavloski and Janine Smetana. See more photos in this week's print edition of the Pierce County Herald.

Prescott High School Head Cross Country Coach Dave Vortherms likes hills. Even if his runners don't he says it's the only way to determine the true champion in the sport of cross country.

"We're not running on a flat surfaced track here," Vortherms said. "It isn't so much about speed as it is about endurance, smarts and toughness. That's where the hills separate the runners. That where you find out who's a champion, who can make it up the hills, pass runner on the hills and who has enough left to make it to the finish line."

Last Saturday was a day to love prep cross country in western Wisconsin because a light, steady rain turned local courses for WIAA sectional meets into mud tracks, where speed had to be sacrificed for skill to make sure one did not suffer a slip fatal to one's chances of making the state meet.

Read more in this week's print edition of the Pierce County Herald.