Auburndale girls look toward continued success
By Kris Leonhardt
MARSHFIELD – The Auburndale girls cross country team looks toward continued success in the Marawood Conference, as they enjoy a great start to the 2018 season. Coach Joren Anderson said that the program has had a long history in the community.
“From the research I uncovered, the Auburndale Boys Cross Country program started in fall 1972 and the girls program began in the fall of 1977,” she said. “The girls program had a strong run between 1981-1985, with being Cloverbelt Conference Champions from 1981-1984, and competing at state 1981, placing fifth, (and in) 1985, fourth. At this point, only six teams competed at state in the 1980s.”
The past three years have found some notable success, with visits to state in 2015, 2016, and 2017, under Anderson’s leadership.
“Each year, (they are) making improvements on their team performance. In 2015, they placed 13th; in 2016, they moved up to ninth; and in 2017, they placed fourth,” Anderson said. “In 2017, the team was Marawood Conference Champions.”
Anderson says that healthy numbers and a supportive attitude have contributed to the successful of the girls team.
“The numbers in the girls program have been growing steadily the last few years,” she added. “The junior high and the high school program work closely together. The high school boys and the girls team also practice together. They are very supportive of each other’s goals and successes, by continuing to push each other to be better. The team is like family.”
The girls started the season with firsts at the Pittsville and Marathon invitationals, and fifth overall at the SPASH invitational with first place for small schools.
This is Anderson’s sixth year coaching cross country in the Auburndale school system. She was previously a coach in Neillsville and assisted in Auburndale while in college. She is currently assisted by Mike Schulte at the varsity level and Jenni Nueske and Travis Klienschmidt at the junior high level.