MENOMONIE, Wis. -- Hudson senior Grant Magnuson and Hudson freshman Haley Loewe ran to individual titles at the Mustang Invitational in Menomonie Saturday, Sept. 12.
Hudson took second in both the boys’ and girls’ team standings while both River Falls teams placed fourth.
Magnuson, who placed third in the season-opening race in Menomonie Aug. 29, behind Menomonie’s Patrick Schwartz and Hudson’s Anthony Weeks, edged Weeks by eight-tenths of a second to win the boys’ title Saturday while Schwartz was a distant third in 16:51.
“He came into this race wanting a little redemption,” River Falls coach Kari DeLuca said about Magnuson. “The plan was to stay very patient and then take the lead with about 1k to go and never look back. He ran a very smart race.”
Magnuson’s classmate Brandon Nelson finished eighth with a time of 17:34.4 while Dustin Sheely was 15th in 18:15.4, Nathaniel Fosler placed 25th in 18:50.1 and Sam Shaw was 27th in 19:01.4.
DeLuca said the Wildcat boys have a lot of potential to improve this season.
“We lost three top guys from our state-qualifying team,” she noted. “But we also have a lot of young guys that have put in the work this offseason and are ready to step up. I expect to see a lot of growth in these athletes this season.”
Hudson’s top five was rounded out by Henry Czupryna in 12th place in 18:01.2, Addisu Haverly 13th in 18:08, Connor Faust 14th in 18:14, and John Hambleton 20th in 18:33.1.
The host Mustangs swept the team titles, topping the boys’ field with 37 points. Hudson was second with 61 while Chippewa Falls placed third with 71, River Falls was fourth with 76 and Rice Lake fifth with 117.
In the girls’ competition, Menomonie was first with 36, followed by Hudson with 46, Rice Lake with 72, River Falls with 73, and Chippewa Falls with 122.
Loewe cut over a minute from her varsity debut in the season opener at Menomonie two weeks ago to lead the field with a time of 18:22.4, beating Menomonie’s Isabella Jacobson by 1 minute, 9 seconds. Classmate Rebecca Belany placed sixth in 20:48.5 while sophomore Rubyann Mitchell gave the Raiders three of the top ten finishers with a 10th place time of 21:09.3. Junior Manon Field finished 14th in 21:34.9 and sophomore Ryleigh White placed 15th in 21:34.9.
Allison Weissinger led River Falls’ girls’ with a seventh place time of 20:50.6 and Lilly Jensen placed ninth in 21:08.8 while Ellen Rayne finished 16th in 21:48.8, Abigail Esterby was 20th in 22:31.6 and Morgan Prigge took 21st in 22:42.3.
DeLuca said this year’s Wildcat girls’ are stronger than they’ve been in a few years.
“We have three senior girls who have put in the work and are ready to crush this season -- Allison Weissinger, Ellen Rayne and Abby Esterby,” she said. “And we have added a freshman, Lilly Jensen, who has so much natural running talent and drive.”
Hudson and River Falls will both return to action at the Rice Lake Invitational on the University of Wisconsin-Barron County campus Saturday, Sept. 19.