In the long run
Marshfield boys, girls cross country teams prepare for competition
By Paul Lecker
MARSHFIELD — The Marshfield High School cross country team heads into its 2016 season this week as an experienced squad that coach Dan Akin hopes will continue to grow and improve.
The boys squad has a record 40 athletes out this fall, while the girls have less than 20 on the team. However, both teams are experienced with a number of runners with varsity time returning.
All of the main varsity boys runners from a year ago are back after the Tigers finished sixth out of seven teams at last year’s Wisconsin Valley Conference meet.
Though Marshfield struggled with its team score, the experience the runners gained should prove valuable.
Sophomores Carter Chojnacki, Jacob Dick, and Eli Swanson; juniors Jordan Dzikowich, Paul Fischer, Sam Huettl, and Jared Oemig; and senior Anthony Kanable return to the boys team.
Freshmen Ben Claessens, Spencer Wirthlin, Joseph McKee, and Joshua McKee and junior Nick Hiebl look to figure into the mix as well for the Tigers.
“We have a lot of boys out for the team this year, and that should bode well for us as the season progresses,” Akin said. “The competition should be keen and make us better as a unit. The boys are anxious to show they are better than last year’s team.”
On the girls side, nine seniors graduated from last year’s team that was fifth at the conference meet, but two of the main runners — juniors Sophia Schrodi and Lilly O’Brien, who finished 29th and 36th, respectively, at the WVC meet last October at Nine-Mile Forest — are back.
Senior Maddie Haessly, juniors Kendra Tremelling and Riley Slade, and sophomore Jocie Anderson also return for the Tigers.
Freshmen Madyson Bohman and Lottie Schrodi and foreign exchange student Ingeborg Berg are among the newcomers that Akin expects to compete for varsity time.
“We have an experienced group of runners returning, yet we return just two varsity runners from last year’s team,” Akin said. “Lilly and Sophia have varsity experience, and those two have stood out so far in practice. The veteran girls need to take that next step at the varsity level.”
The Tigers open their season with back-to-back meets at Wildwood Park. The Columbus Catholic Invitational is Saturday morning, and the Tigers will host their annual Marshfield Tigers Invitational on Tuesday.
Later in the season, Marshfield will compete at the Spencer Invitational at Frey Field, the same place it will host this year’s Wisconsin Valley Conference Meet on Oct. 15.
“We’re excited to have, basically, four home meets and to be hosting conference for the first time in six years (which was also at Frey Field),” Akin said.