The Chetek-Weyerhaeuser cross country teams had a great start to the 2021 season last Thursday, Sept. 2, at Spooner. The majority of the runners came back with personal records and a taste of what is to come. Since the championship phase of the season doesn’t kick in until mid-October, my focus will not be on team placement but on individual performance and the progressive improvement in split and finish times.
The Bulldogs were the defending champions of this meet. Going into this race, that was not our concern since we have a younger team this year. Team captain Lana Blumer charged off the starting line at a fast pace and was in the top 10 for half the race. She finished strong in 13th place with a 23:19. Last year she ran this same course in 23:02. Two impressive things about her: 1) Last year, she ran this race side-by-side with Natalie Poppe. They pushed and supported each other from start to finish; so she was on her own. 2) Lana is currently recovering from an injury. I would have been very happy with a sub-25:00 5K from her, so to finish the way she did was impressive. Be prepared for some faster times in the near future.
Our second runner was Elliana Bayer who came through at 25:33. What