The Iola-Scandinavia cross country team started the season in familiar surroundings, as the Thunderbirds hosted the Iola-Scandinavia Invitational Aug. 31 at the Iola Winter Sports Club.
The T-Bird boys placed fifth out of 13 teams with 162 points, while the girls were ninth out of 14 teams with 218 points.
Ben Hoffman led the T-Bird boys by placing 16th in 19:13. Also finishing were Tamas Peterson, 31st, 20:13; John Faldet, 33rd, 20:27; Ryan Przybylski, 39th, 20:41; Matt Jarosh, 43rd, 21:22; Westley Petersen, 64th, 23:01; and Matt Ellie, 79th, 25:17.
A pair of freshmen led the girls. Emily Sether led the way by placing 15th in 17:47, while Natalie Gauerke crossed the finish line in 19:37, good enough for 41st place. Also finishing were Ellen Oligney, 42nd, 19:38; Amanda Aanstad, 58th, 20:15; Leah Pierce, 62nd, 20:29; and Lindsey Wogsland, 71st, 20:58.
The T-Birds also had several runners in the middle school race. Javier Block and Kal Fisher placed seventh and ninth, respectively, to help the boys’ team placed fourth. Also placing were Dylan Aanstad (18th), Michael Schaefer (24th), Nick Blum (26th), Garett Pauloski (28th), Josh Taylor (30th) and Jack Trzebiatowski (32nd). Placing for the girls were Emily Madson (10th), Brooke Phillips (21st) and Jane Oligney (32nd).
“We are pleased with the way our athletes performed for their first meet of the season,” coach Trish Nye said. “After two weeks of practice, it was nice to compete. They all ran strong and we as first-year coaches look forward to the remainder of the season.”
The T-Birds ran at Tuesday’s Wittenberg-Birnamwood Invitational and will had to Saturday’s Stevens Point Invitational, which starts at 9 a.m. at Stevens Point Area Senior High School.