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Cross country: Cardinal boys shy of third; EPC records PRs

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Spring Valley freshman Charlie Maier led the Cardinals' fourth-place squad with a time of 18:48.00 at the Dunn-St. Croix Conference cross country meet on Thursday, Oct. 11. Katie Davidson / RiverTown Multimedia2 / 5
Elmwood/Plum City's Sophia Tiffany ran her best 5k time of 24:04.99 at the Dunn-St. Croix conference meet on Thursday, Oct. 11, in her final cross country race of her high school career. Katie Davidson / RiverTown Multimedia3 / 5
Spring Valley junior Katherine Dieckman completed the Boyceville 5k on Thursday, Oct. 11, with a time of 22:49.69 in her first race back after dealing with injuries. Katie Davidson / RiverTown Multimedia4 / 5
Elmwood/Plum City sophomore Austin Bartz recorded a personal best 5k time of 19:19.75 at the Dunn-St. Croix conference meet on Thursday, Oct. 11. Katie Davidson / RiverTown Multimedia5 / 5

Sub-40 degree weather didn't hold back the Spring Valley Cardinals and Elmwood/Plum City Wolves at the Dunn-St. Croix Conference meet on Thursday, Oct. 11. While spectators shivered in their boots and parkas, the Cardinals and Wolves embraced the weather conditions and recorded personal best times in their flimsy shorts, tank tops and spikes.

The Cardinal boys took fourth place at the DSC meet after coming in one point shy of the third-place Colfax Vikings team. For the first time this season, the Cardinals were led by freshman Charlie Maier who finished in 13th place with a time of 18:48.00.

"Going into the wind was cold, and in the woods there was some mud, but whatever," Maier said after recording his best 5k time.

Maier said he prefers the cold weather while running and that he was also motivated by his teammates who crossed the finish line within seconds of him. Jon Corriea finished the race in 14th place with a time of 18:56.16, and Spring Valley sophomore Matt Thoms claimed the 15th spot by crossing the finish line at 18:56.30.

"I just went out and I knew (Jon) was behind me the whole time," Maier said. "I just planned on him being right behind me. We push each other to do better that way."

Corriea, who said the numbness of his hands distracted him from the pain of running, was excited to see Maier take the lead for his team.

"It's kind of draining when there's a lot more responsibility on you as the No. 1 runner, but to be able to split that pressure between the three of us, you feel comforted by your teammates because you know they're there suffering right next to you," Corriea said

The Cardinal boys' first through seventh runners ran within one minute of each other.

"We've been emphasizing in practice that we run together no matter what," Corriea said. "It's very exciting to see a lot more potential with the freshmen. At this rate, I think we'll definitely be going to state next year, so it's really exciting to have this much natural talent and seeing these guys excel. These guys definitely earned their way to the front, so I'm excited to see how the team grows over time."

The Cardinals also had strong performances from their two seniors, Cole Pelzel and Ben Anderson. Pelzel finished in 20th place by cutting his time to 19:17.71, and Anderson claimed a 28th-place finish with a time of 19:40.70.

The Cardinals are pleased with their well-roundedness and hope to earn a state meet bid in their future.

"We could go to state this year if we ran really well," Corriea said when asked about his goals for Saturday, Oct. 20's sectional meet, "but we want to eye out what a state-level team looks like so that we know what we should be going for next year."

The Cardinal girls were led by Katherine Dieckman who returned to the course after being out with injury during her team's last two meets. Dieckman recorded a personal best time of 22:49.69, which earned her an 18th-place finish. The girls' team was also highlighted by the return of Maddie Olson who competed for the first time at Boyceville's conference meet after being injured all season. Olson finished as her team's fourth-best runner with a time of 26:29.56 and a 42-place finish.

Cardinals' head coach Greg Dieckman was happy with the way his teams raced despite the cold weather. "Excellent effort from both teams," Dieckman said. "Despite the weather, they were really fired up for this one. We're looking forward to sectionals and hoping to beat Colfax. We're having a lot of fun."

Bartz and Tiffany add PRs for Wolves

The Elmwood/Plum City Wolves earned personal records from sophomore Austin Bartz and senior Sophia Tiffany who raced her last final high school cross country meet in Boyceville on Thursday.

Bartz finished in 21st place with a time of 19:19.75, while Tiffany took 28th place on the girls' side by crossing the finish line at 24:04.99. Tiffany was the second EPC female runner to cross the finish line after teammate Kendra Kern who finished the 5k in 23:58.91.

"haven't experienced running close to teammates, and Sophie had the best race I've ever seen from her," Kern said. "It was nice to have her there because I kept pushing her and she was pushing me, too."

The Cardinals and Wolves will return to the Boyceville course on Saturday, Oct. 20, for their WIAA Division 3 sectional meet, which is scheduled to begin at 10 a.m.

GIRLS' TEAM SCORES:

1. Elk Mound (44)

2. Glenwood City (45)

3. Durand (46)

4. Colfax (83)

5. Spring Valley (133)

Spring Valley: 1. Dieckman (JR, 22:50, 17th overall) 2. Claire Anderson (FR, 24:16, 26th) 3. Kari Hybben (JR, 25:46, 29th) 4. Maddie Olson (SO, 26:30, 30th) 5. Allison Graham (FR, 26:34, 31st)

Elmwood/Plum City: 1. Kern (JR, 23:58, 26th) 2. Tiffany (SR, 24:04, 28th) 3. Shanda Trainor (JR, 26:36, 44th)

BOYS' TEAM SCORES:

1. Elk Mound (43)

2. Durand (46)

3. Colfax (83)

4. Spring Valley (84)

5. Boyceville (110)

6. Glenwood City (128)

7. Elmwood/Plum City (194)

8. Mondovi (224)

Spring Valley: 1. Maier (FR, 18:48, 13th) 2. Corriea (JR, 18:57, 14th) 3. Thoms (SO, 18:57, 15th) 4. Pelzel (SR, 19:18, 20th) 5. Blayne Gregg (FR, 19:21, 22nd)

Elmwood/Plum City: 1. Bartz (SO, 19:20, 21st) 2. Patrick Tiffany (FR, 20:17, 35th) 3. Cody Erickson (JR, 21:10, 42nd) 4. Zack Hartung (SO, 22:20, 47th) 5. Jacob Waltz (SO, 22:34, 49th)

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