Wolf loves home cooking
Both of his race wins at Erbach Park this season
By Casey Krautkramer
The crisp cold air at Erbach Park in Athens on Thursday helped local varsity cross country runners, including Athens sophomore Nathan Wolf, to run faster times in the 5,000-meter race.
With the temperature dipping below 50 degrees, Nathan won the Athens homecoming boy’s race in 18 minutes, 18 seconds. He finished the race 24 seconds faster than when Athens’ other home cross country race this season on Sept. 10.
Nathan, who is the son of Mike and Julie Wolf of Athens, believes the familiarly he has running on the trails at Erbach Park has helped him win both cross country races held there this season. He said it also helps that plenty of Athens community members attend the home races to cheer for their beloved Bluejays.
“I try to push myself to do my best in every race,” Nathan said while walking with his freshman teammate, Andy Schaer, to cool down after they crossed the finish line. “I’d say my cross country season is going better than I expected so far; my goal was to finish races in about 18 minutes and I’m already there right now.”
Stratford sophomore Lance Krieg ran his fastest time this cross country season by 51 seconds in the boy’s race on Thursday in Athens. Lance, the son of Dan and Stacie Krieg of Stratford, took third place in 19:32.
Lance was the first Stratford boy’s runner to finish the race, behind only Wolf of Athens and runner-up Blake Lobner of Wisconsin Rapids Assumption. He helped the Tiger boy’s team win the meet championship.
“I wasn’t originally going to run in this race because I’m having an issue with my knee,” Lance admitted. “Something inside of me just said, ‘Today is the day I need to run.’” His Stratford teammate, Caden Bruesewitz, took fourth place in 19:43. Brooks Kraus of Athens placed fifth in 20:01.7, Stratford’s Brett Bangart sixth in 20:04 and Cody Miller seventh in 20:26, Andy Schaer of Athens eighth in 20:34.9 and Stratford’s Tyler Holcomb ninth in 20:35 and Tanner Oertel 10th in 22:03. Stratford’s Logan Wright placed 12th in 24:52 and Garrett Knott of Athens was 13th in 27:01.8.
Van Rixel places third
Athens junior cross country runner Elizabeth Van Rixel took third place in the girl’s race on Thursday at Erbach Park, despite dealing with a pulled hamstring she suffered in practice a few days before the race.
Elizabeth, who is the daughter of Mark and Becky Van Rixel of Athens, finished the race in 21:07.3.
“I’ve been running my personal best times in every cross country race this season except for today’s race,” she said. Stratford junior Lydia Golbach, meanwhile, ran her best time of this season on Thursday at the Athens meet. She was the highest Stratford girl’s finisher by taking seventh place in 22:11. Stratford’s girls’ squad took second place behind champion Wisconsin Rapids Assumption.
Lydia, who is the daughter of Jeffrey and Trisha Golbach of Stratford, explained the strange method, which led to her running a successful race.
“I ate some chicken tenders for lunch, so it’s the lunch of champions, right,” she joked after the race. “I had a fun time eating lunch with my dad at Just 4 One in Stratford, so I figured it’s been a really good day therefore it’s time to run a good race. I got out of the bus and told myself, ‘this is the perfect running weather for me because it’s too cold outside for me to feel my legs hurting.’” Her Stratford teammate, Kressa Wenzel, took eighth place in 22:50. Stratford’s Ella Heidmann placed 10th in 23:09, Sarah Zuelke 11th in 23:11, Bailey Linzmaier 12th in 23:36 and Lauren Kraus 13th in 23:59.
Addyson Zettler of Athens placed 15th in 24:13.9, Stratford’s Lexie Christopherson 16th in 24:20, Emma Ford of Athens 19th in 25:52 and Stratford’s Maria Schoenfuss 21st in 27:16.
The Athens varsity boys and girl’s cross country teams’ seasons are postponed until Monday, Oct. 19, when students are able to switch back from virtual to in-person learning.