The Tomah High School junior varsity cross country runners ended their season Oct. 12 at the Mississippi Valley Conference meet held at Maple Grove Cross Country Course near West Salem.

The Tomah boys placed fifth out of six MVC schools with complete teams.

Sophomore Jesse Smith led the Timberwolves with an 11th place finish in a 66-athlete field. He ran the five-kilometer (3.1-mile) course in 19 minutes, 39 seconds and was among 18 runners to crack the 20-minute barrier.

Freshman Thor Lass was the other jayvee runner to finish in the top half of the field. He was 31st with a time of 20:42.

Tomah’s other runners were Charlie Ella (21:03), Daniel Swanson (21:18), Austin Lyden (21:38), Sabin Koss (22:48) and Eric Wilcox-Borg (26:25).

Onalaska’s Riley Wellendorf won the race in 18:40. Preston Graul of La Crosse Central was second in 18:54.

Team scores: Onalaska 30, La Crosse Aquinas 46, Central 73, Holmen 80, Tomah 137, Sparta 150, La Crosse Logan incomplete.

The Timberwolves didn’t field a girls team. All seven girls runners competed with the varsity, which finished tied for fifth. It was the best showing for the varsity girls at the MVC meet in 15 years. The Tomah boys varsity finished fourth for its highest finish since 1997.

The varsity runners head to Menomonie Saturday for a WIAA Division 1 Sectional at Menomonie High School. The girls race starts at noon, followed by the boys at 1 p.m. Joining Tomah and Menomonie in the field are Chippewa Falls, Eau Claire Memorial, Eau Claire North, Holmen, Hudson, La Crosse Central, New Richmond, Onalaska, River Falls and Superior.

The top two teams and top five individuals from non-qualifying teams advance to the state meet at Ridges Golf Course in Wisconsin Rapids Saturday, Oct. 28.

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Steve Rundio is editor of the Tomah Journal. Contact him at 608-374-7785.

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