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Trio of runners place high at conference

Stratford senior James Heeg improved three spots in the Marawood Conference cross-country championship race this season as compared to last year, by finishing in third place at the conference race on Thursday at Frey Field in Spencer.

He’s pleased with his improvement in the conference championship race this season, and he’s also become accustomed to running on muddy courses this fall because of all the rain this area has received.

“It was very muddy and in the last half mile of the race it was almost like runners were sliding on their feet, but everyone had to deal with it,” Heeg said of the conference championship course at Frey Field.

His senior teammate, Andrew Chapel, has improved immensely this season compared to last year. Chapel took fifth place in the conference championship race on Thursday to receive first-team all-conference honors. Last season, Chapel received honorable mention all-conference for his 19thplace finish.

Marathon senior Will Prihoda took sixth place at Thursday’s conference race. He’s also improved his race times compared to last season, and he’s eying a possible first trip to the state championships this year.

“I would say it’s been a dream of mine to qualify for state, especially since it’s my senior season, so I’ve been thinking about it ever since I started improving my race times,” he said. “I would need to finish in the mid 17 minutes to qualify for state, which I think I can do. My best race time this season is 17 minutes, 49 seconds.”

The top five individual runners, who aren’t on the top two teams that place at this Friday’s Division 3 sectional race in Athens, will qualify for the state championships this season.

Marathon junior Cullen Krasselt took 11th place, senior Tyler Cliver was 13th and Stratford sophomore Caden Bruesewitz placed 15th. Marathon freshman Jaron Gage took 17th place, Stratford senior Isaac Thompson 19th and Red Raiders senior Aaron Schumacher 22nd.