Tigers freshmen making a difference
Thurs sixth for Marathon in Phillips
By Casey Krautkramer
Stratford head coach Kevin “Tiny” Michalski has raved about his pair of incoming fresh- men girl cross country runners, Kayla Casperson Casperwhile and Breleigh Skaya, for the last couple of years while they were still in middle school. They finally arrived onto the high school running scene this year.
Kayla Casperson, the daughter of Thad and Linda Casperson, was the highest Stratford girls cross country finisher at the Marawood Conference championship race on Thursday in Phillips. She ran the race in 22 minutes, 14.50 seconds to earn second team all-conference honors.
Breleigh Skaya, daughter of Tyler and Brenda Skaya, was the next highest Stratford finisher in 12th place. She ran the race in 22:28 to also gain second team all-conference accolades.
Kayla Casperson normally finishes races ahead of her teammates, which gives her the opportunity to congratulate each one of them as they cross the finish line.
“That’s my favorite part of it all because I’m smiling and then I see everyone else smiling; that’s why I run cross country because I just love it,” Kayla Casperson said. “My teammates and I run collectively as a group and we have a family moment; we just love each other like we are family.”
Marathon senior Julianna Thurs was the highest local girl finisher in sixth place at the Marawood Conference cross country championship race. She ran the race in 21:48.30 to help Marathon take second place with 59 points, which were only three points behind team champion Wis- consin Rapids Assumption with 56.
The Stratford girls cross country team placed third with 63 points, followed by Phillips in fourth with 98, Chequamegon in fifth with 101 and Edgar in sixth with 154.
Other local girl cross country runners who garnered second team all-Marawood Conference on Thursday are Stratford junior Ella Heidman taking 13th place in 22:33.50, Marathon senior Jada Prihoda 14th in 22:38.80, Marathon senior Laci Hoeksema 15th in 22:39 and Athens freshman Brianna Sheahan 16th in 22:51.40.
The following local girl cross country competitors garnered honorable mention all-conference this season: Marathon freshman Shilo Blake taking 19th place in 23:05.10, Marathon senior McKinnley Marks 20th in 23:20.20, Stratford senior Sarah Zuelke 21st in 23:29.70, Edgar junior Gretchen Brewster 22nd in 23:34.90 and Stratford senior Lydia Goldbach 23rd in 23:36.50.
Edgar’s Gretchen Brewster, the daughter of John and Tonya Brewster, is pleased to place high enough to get honorable mention all-conference for the first time in her high school running
“I haven’t really won much so I’m just proud of what I win now,” Gretchen Brewster said. “I’ve worked really hard this year and made huge improvements from last year and from previous years.”
Gretchen Brewster said it was “horrible” to run up and down the many hills on the Phillips race course. She thus wasn’t able to beat her personal record of 23 minutes flat at the conference championship race.
“I’m not really shooting for a place at sectionals; I just want to achieve a personal record,” Gretchen Brewster said.
Girl cross country runners from Athens, Edgar, Marathon and Stratford will compete in the sectionals race at 4 p.m. this Saturday, Oct. 23, at Erbach Park in Athens. The sectional boys race starts at 3 p.m. in Athens. The top boys and girls teams, and the top five individual runners who aren’t members of the top two teams at sectionals will qualify for the state championships on Saturday, Oct. 30, at The Ridges Golf Course in Wisconsin Rapids.
At the Marawood Conference race, Stratford freshman Samantha Mielke took 26th place in 23:56.60 and Marathon freshman Calyse Fieri was 27th in 23:59.60. Athens junior Elizabeth Van Rixel placed 30th in 24:17.70 in her return from injury this season, Marathon freshman Jayden Henrichs was 31st in 24:18.40, Stratford sophomore Kressa Wenzel 32nd in 24:23.60, Marathon freshman Addie Molepske 33rd in 24:30.30 and Edgar sophomore Natalie Thompson 35th in
Edgar junior Kira Slack placed 41st in 24:58.90, Stratford junior Lexie Christopherson
42nd in 25:07.20, Edgar junior Amber Skrzypcak 46th in 25:36.20, Edgar sophomore Rebecca Werner 47th in 25:39.80, Athens junior Addyson Zettler 48th in 25:40.20 and Edgar junior Alexa Lang 49th in 25:58.80, Edgar junior Brooklyn Schwoerer 51st in 26:17.60, and Athens freshman Malaina Telschow 55th
KEITH L MARKS, DC
KEITH L MARKS, DC