CW cross country girls 2021

The 2021 racing season ended last week for the Chetek-Weyerhaeuser boys and girls cross-country teams when they competed in the Boyceville Sectional Meet on Saturday, Oct. 23. Pictured above are three girls who ran for C-W—Eliana Bayer, Zoe Nelson and Lana Blumer.

On Saturday, Oct. 23, the Bulldogs cross country teams competed in the Sectional meet hosted by Boyceville. The weather was perfect when the gun went off. Temperatures were in the low 50s, the sun was out and there was no wind. This course is known for being fast, and that proved to be the case today.

VARSITY GIRLS

We had three girls lace up their shoes for this race. All were going in ready to hit great times, knowing that they could not place as a team. There were a total of 101 runners and coming in as our 1st runner, once again, was Lana Blumer with a season record time of 21:42. She finished in 14th place which was out of reach to qualify for the State meet. In order to qualify for the meet she would have to be one of the top five individuals, and, unfortunately, she finished about a minute off pace. Placing 47th with a personal record time of 23:48 was Elliana Bayer. This is nearly 30 seconds faster than her best time of the year. Realizing that she had to take a few risks in order to improve, she took off at a quick pace for the first mile and settled into her race. In my opinion, Elliana is destined to be a great long distance runner….and I don’t consider a 5K to be distance. She has a very methodical pace and will be able crank out several miles at a time, so I look forward to seeing her progress. Zoe Nelson came through the first mile with Elliana and, eventually, finished in 65th place with a seasonal personal record of 25:01. Zoe continues to grind on in each and every race and practice. After she finished, we talked about goals for next season. This is a sign of a great athlete, pushing forward and rarely looking back. Running has helped her mental focus and will pay off when basketball season begins.

VARSITY BOYS

As a team, the boys came in ranked sixth in sectionals and that is how we were ranked following the race. Like the girls, the boys went out at a blistering pace, but this was necessary. Elijah Poppe went out with the lead pack and held on for the first half of the race. This was the fastest race that he has ever run. He finished in ninth out of 116 runners with a time of 17:25. Going into the race, we knew that Elijah was in contention to go to state as an individual. There were some surprising performances by other individuals that cut off Elijah’s goals to travel to Wisconsin Rapids. He missed out by a mere four seconds and some change. Elijah improved by over 45 seconds from the start to the finish of this season. I am confident he will be knocking on the door of the 16-minute barrier next year. Finishing behind Elijah were the Hamholm brothers, both achieving their best times of the season. Owen finished 26th in 18:52 and Austin 28th in 18:53. These were great performances to say the least. These young men helped each other during the race by pushing each other. I couldn’t be prouder of their efforts to dig in, even when it hurt. Owen was the second fastest freshman runner competing on that course that day, so that is something for him to think about. Finishing in 69th place was Braydon Cella with a personal best time of 20:46. This is a 45 second improvement from the previous week. Braydon was nursing some shin splints the past two weeks, and I wasn’t sure if he was going to be able to compete. He came out and got the job done. Braydon is a very modest young man and downplays his performances. He certainly carved out his place on the team and will be a key runner on next year’s team. Senior William Beckman finished in 84th with a time of 21:43. This was one second off his best performance. Like Braydon, I was unsure if we were going to have Will compete. I was happy to hear that he was good to go during the warmup. William has shaved two minutes off his times this season and has proven to me that he does have speed. He is a senior and will be missed next season. Finishing behind William was freshman Frank Loew. Frank smashed his previous record by three minutes. By shaving one minute off of each mile, he finished with a time of 26:34. This is an amazing feat and was the most popular topic of discussion by the entire team. Frank is a very inspirational athlete and not once has he ever complained or made excuses. If I ask Frank to do something, he does it. I look forward to working with him for the next three years. I want to make a special mention to Dominic Garland, who joined the team late in the season. Dominic dedicated his time after school to work out with the team. He has a chronic hip injury which makes it difficult to run. Dominic suited up and ran his first and last race of the season. At 800 meters, he was beginning to limp. I convinced him to try his best to get to the mile marker. Dominic pushed through and got to that marker. At that time, we hailed an Uber and got him to the sports trainer. I am very proud that he pushed through. He was an important member of the team.

At the end of every season, we have to say goodbye to our seniors—William Beckman, Lana Blumer and Dominic Garland. I want to make a special mention of Lana.

This was a challenging season for Lana, and she faced it with determination and dedication to the program. She has been a standout runner at CW since middle school. When I moved from Dubai to Chetek, I was introduced to this soft-spoken young lady who was an aerobic beast on the course. One of my fondest memories of Lana will be when we returned from the State Cross Country Meet last season. We travelled a few hours back from La Crosse and arrived at the high school. As soon as she got off the bus, she took off her shoes and went for a run on our home cross country course. She has a love of running, and it can be seen by everyone. I was reminded of her passion on Saturday when she decided to run home after we got back to school. Luckily, it was only seven miles.

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