Merrill Varsity Cross Country Team is running hard

Merrill Cross Country runners are pushing hard, but enjoying the scenery on this leg of their route through a wooded area in early autumn. Photo courtesy of Merrill Cross Country.


Home meet
On Sept. 26, 2023, Merrill hosted a Cross Country meet, joined by runners from Bonduel and Gresham high schools. “Our home meet went well!” said Alyssa Swan, Merrill Varsity Cross Country Head Coach. “We had a couple new schools join the meet and ended up with a lot of medals won by our athletes!”
Merrill Boys placed as follows: 2nd place overall: Erick Grunenwald (18:57), 7th place overall: Parker Klebenow (20:26), 8th place overall: Jacob Mueller (20:53), 10th place overall: Kaden Schwandt (21:24), followed by Brady Eggerbrecht (21:31), Treg Knsope (22:17), Anton Countryman (22:49), and Jonathon Myszka (23:41).
Merrill Girls placed as follows: 6th place overall: Charlotte Van Der Nest (24:28), 9th place overall: Danielle Schielke (25:31), 10th place overall Mia Smith (26:12), followed by Alanna Rodgers (27:35), Robin Schmidt (28:05), and Brooklynn Kragenbrink (28:06).

Medford invitational
On Sept. 28, Merrill runners traveled to Medford for an invitational, competing against athletes from Medford, Rhinelander, Tomahawk, and Lakeland Union high schools. This was a great competition against the other athletes, but also for Merrill runners competing against themselves. Many Merrill athletes set their own PRT (Personal Record Time). “The course was flat and had many loops, but our athletes gave it their all!” Swan said.
Erick Grunenwald (18:22) finished in seventh place overall for the Merrill Boys. Time for other male Merrill runners: Parker Klebenow (20:03), Anton Countryman (21:02), Brady Eggerbrecht (21:16), Kaden Schwandt (21:37), Jacob Mueller (21:59), and Jonathan Myszka (23:19).
The Merrill Girls finished as follows: Charlotte Van Der Nest (23:18), Danielle Schielke (25:17), 10th place overall Mia Smith (26:00), Brooklyn Kragenbrink (28:53), and Robin Schmidt (28:59).

Northland Pines invitational
The Merrill Varsity Cross Country Team traveled to Northland Pines on Oct. 3 for an invitational with lots of competition. Merrill athletes were competing against runners from Tomahawk, Rhinelander, Antigo, Hurley, Florence, Crandon, and Laona-Wabeno.
“The day started off hot, which concerned me and the athletes,” Swan said. “But they showed up and we brought home a few medals!”
Boys: The Merrill Boys Team took fourth place out of six teams. Erick Grunenwald (18:54) took sixth place overall, Other boys’ times: Parker Klebenow (20:34), Brady Eggerbrecht (21:41), Anton Countryman (22:35), Jonathan Myszka (23:31), Treg Knospe (25:05), and Jacob Mueller (26:37).
Leading the Merrill Girls, Charlotte Van Der Nest (23:37) placed 9th overall. Other girls’ times: Alanna Rodgers (26:09), Robin Schmidt (27:53), and Brooklynn Kragenbrink (29:36).

Merrill Cross Country runners display their medals won at a recent meet. Photo courtesy of Merrill Cross Country.

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