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Rapids Not as Rapid as Hoped


November 7, 2019

Photo courtesy of Karen Guenther

Above: NGM junior Conor McCoy (left) and junior Ty Ready (right).

Located near the center of the state, Wisconsin Rapids was buried deep beneath a glacier during the last ice age. It often seems ready to snap back into the icy climate at a moment's notice. Sure enough, as we slip off sweat suits the wind picks-up, tiny hailstones precede snow flurries and athletes disappear from view as they practice running the first 200 meters at the state cross country course. It only takes a little imagination to see mastodons appearing out of the storm front.

The New Glarus-Monticello boys face a mammoth task as they prepare to compete at the WIAA Division 2 State Cross Country meet. The guys come off a win at conference and solid race at sectionals, but those successes occurred because they finished all seven runners within 30 seconds of each other and other teams couldn't get enough runners across the finish line to out score the NGM'ers. At the State Meet, we need to run as a tight pack AND produce season best times.

Junior Joe Quaglia (17:28) trails a large group of talented runners as he zooms through mile one in 60th place. Joe's the only NGM'er to stick with this bunch and posts a Personal Record for the season. Junior Conor McCoy (17:58) turns over his season PR as does junior Ty Ready (17:59), but we're unable to stay tightly bunched together. Senior Adam Nelson (18:08) is followed by sophomores Even Guenther (18:14) and Brayden Ryan (18:25), with freshman Tommy Nelson (19:38) as our seventh man.

Photo courtesy of Karen Guenther

NGM runners sophomore Brayden Ryan (left) and senior Adam Nelson (right).

The coughing and nose blowing before the race was not a good omen, and in the biggest race of the season we seem to be defeated by the littlest of viruses. Our neighbor Mount Horeb finds themselves in a worse predicament as they sniffled across the finish line behind our NGM'ers. We finished 15th and they end up 16th.

Cross country teams bring alternate runners to the starting line. This includes Co-Captain seniors, Garrett Grossen and Simon Blohowiak. They, along with Lucas Fink, Ryan Winder, Eric Zielinski and Molly Molencamp, will leave a void in our team next year. Their examples in competitiveness and leadership now must be filled by the seniors of 2020.

We end the season with conference championships for Varsity Girls, Varsity and Junior Varsity Boys followed by a state qualifying race at sectionals. At Wisconsin Rapids we seem to be defeated by the cold and colds (cough, wheeze). Maybe New Glarus-Monticello athletes just do better in our Driftless Region rather than the Glaciated part of the state (brrrr).


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