MHS runners make strides

When the Bluejay cross country teams hit the trail for Saturday’s WVC Meet in Stevens Point, the competition belied that level.
“On Saturday we had the opportunity to run against the toughest runners in the state,” MHS coach Kurt VandenHeuvel said. “The athletes of Merrill ran a fantastic race, especially Sydney Harris.”
Harris ranked 8th with a First Team performance in 15:54, pushing the Merrill girls to sixth place. Kate Williams (36th, 17:32), Christa Schleif (45th, 18:21), Stephanie Chapleau (46th, 18:26), Ashley Berton (48th, 18:54) capped the scoring and Kendra Andreska (49th, 19:02) and Kelci Petrson (50th, 19:10) competed.
The boys placed seventh, led out by Andrew Seaman (24th, 17:58), Garrett Schmelling (33rd, 18:36), Michael Seaman (38th, 18:48), Reece Beyersdorf (39th, 18:49) and Andrew Koch (45th, 19:26), Marcus Reinhardt (48th, 19:45) and Matthew Dewar (52nd, 20:40) also ran.
“This time puts (Sydney) in the race to compete for the state meet which was her goal from the start of the season,” VandenHeuvel said. “Sydney is a natural when it comes to running, one of the best Merrill has seen in a great while. It has been an honor to coach her and I appreciate the drive she has on the others to become better and compete. Our success can be attributed to her as a leader and captain of the team.
“Andrew Seaman also ran like a true competitor. I am excited to see who will compete with him on our team next week because it has been a battle, which is great when it comes to improving times. Overall we ran the best we ever did as a team which is what we have worked on all season. The boys ran in a pack for the majority of the race, earning personal records on the varsity squad. Same goes true for the varsity girls. They ran so well as a team that they were able to edge out Rapids which was a step up from last year.”
The cross-only course at Standing Rocks, designed by SPASH coaches, earned rave reviews.
“The course was the definition of cross country!” VandenHeuvel said. “It was a very nice course and I give credit to the Stevens Point crew for running a great meet.”
Team standings-Girls-Wausau W. 43, Wausau E. 48, D.C.E. 63, SPASH 86, Marshfield 152, Merrill 183, Wis. Rapids 191…….Boys-SPASH 30, D.C.E. 32, W.E. 94, Marshfield 133, W.W. 146, WR 149, Merrill 179.

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