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Boys Border Battle champs

Wildcat sophomore Jack Hines runs in the second heat of the boys' 100 meter dash at the Wisconsin-Minnesota Border Battle Track and Field Invitational Friday, April 21, in River Falls. Hines finished third in his heat and tenth overall with a time of 11.808 seconds. Bob Burrows / RiverTown Multimedia1 / 3
Wildcat senior Heidi Rixmann goes airborne on her second attempt during the girls triple jump competition at the Wisconsin-Minnesota Border Battle Track and Field Invitational Friday, April 21, at the high school. Rixmann placed fourth in the event with a distance of 33-feet, 0.75-inches. Bob Burrows / RiverTown Multimedia2 / 3
Wildcat sophomore Calla Dexheimer stays with the leaders on the second lap of the girls' 1600 meter run at the Wisconsin-Minnesota Border Battle Track and Field Invitational Friday, April 21, at the high school. Dexheimer finished eighth in the race with a time of 5 minutes, 49.15 seconds. Bob Burrows / RiverTown Multimedia3 / 3

It's hard to pinpoint exactly where the Wildcat boys' one-point margin of victory came from at last Friday's Wisconsin-Minnesota Border Battle Track and Field Invitational at the high school. But that's what makes it such a great team effort.

The Cats collected a total of 111.5 points while Hudson finished with 110.5, giving River Falls the Border Battle championship and the traveling ax trophy that goes with it.

The meet pitted four Wisconsin schools — River Falls, Hudson, Osceola and Somerset — against Minnesota schools White Bear Lake, East Ridge, Hastings and Irondale. Hudson won the girls' team title with 151 points while White Bear Lake was second with 116 and River Falls third with 101.5.

The Cats got a flood of personal best efforts from both genders Friday in their one and only outdoor home meet of the season.

"The excitement of competing at your home track, having supportive fans and some fantastic weather were all helpful contributing factors," girls coach Colleen Sowa said. "We have been training the athletes hard for the past several weeks, so it's fun to see that the training is paying off. It's always a favorite time for all of us coaches to see a kid light up after seeing or hearing that they hit a personal record mark."

The Wildcat boys opened the meet with a dominating performance in the 4x800 meter relay with Charlie Radosevich, Will Bohnert, Brayden Richison and Tyler Cernohous combining for a season-best time of 8 minutes, 32.78 seconds.

Samuel Fritz followed that up with a personal best time of 11.37 seconds in the 100 meter dash to place fourth before Niko Zoller posted a personal best of 52.62 seconds in the 400 meter dash to place fifth.

The boys took their second straight relay title when the 4x100 meter team of Connor Hines, Jack Hines, Fritz and Steve Klechefski combined for a time of 44.85 seconds.

In the field events, Chris Wright contributed a winning leap of 6-feet, 2-inches in the high jump and cleared 13 feet to take second in the pole vault while Michael Rebozo was fourth in the pole vault with a personal best effort of 12 feet.

Jared Creen cleared 20-6 to win the boys' long jump title and Evan Rank took third in the triple jump with a distance of 40-4.75, while Alexander Kotowski took third in the shot put with a throw of 45-0.25. Kotowski also took fourth in the discus with a toss of 125-06 while Jack Haskins had a personal best throw of 112-09 to place seventh.

Connor Hines added a fourth place leap of 19-3.75 in the long jump while Cernohous and Mason Shea finished sixth and seventh in the 3200 meter run with times of 10:42.12 and 10:44.18, respectively.

Bohnert was seventh in the 1600 meter run in 4:51.79 and Jared Syverson took seventh in the 800 meter run in 2:10.76, while Samuel Fosler contributed a seventh place time of 17.6 seconds in the 110 meter high hurdles and and an eighth place time of 45.78 seconds in the 300 meter intermediate hurdles.

"A reminder to us that every point matters heading into May," Wildcat boys coach Matt Kumershek said.

On the girls' side senior Heidi Rixmann posted a pair of personal best jumps in her final home meet-- winning the long jump with a leap of 16-6 and placing fourth in the triple jump with 33-0.75.

"Shout out to our jumps coaches Chelsea Cartier and Eric Liegel," Sowa said. "They coach six events (girls and boys high jump, long jump and triple jump). Out of those six, they had three first place finishers."

Freshman Emily Banitt continued the run of personal bests by winning the girls 400 meter dash in 1:01.21, over two full seconds ahead of the second place finisher. Banitt also teamed up with Tessa Rayne, Alaina Syverson and Sarah Langlois to win the 4x400 meter relay by seven seconds with a time of 4:06.17, currently the sixth fastest time in the state.

Banitt also led three Wildcats in the top six in the 100 meter dash with a second place time of 13.16 seconds. Taylar Meier was fourth in 13.37 while Madison Grundstrom was sixth in 13.45.

Sam Krueger cleared 10 feet to take second in the girls pole vault and Rayne contributed a second place time of 2:27.91 in the 800 meter run while Langlois was fourth in the 200 meter dash in 27.2 seconds.

The Wildcats will compete at the Richfield (Minn.) Invitational this Thursday, April 27, and the New Richmond Relays Friday, May 5, before the Big Rivers Conference Championship Meet Tuesday, May 16, in Chippewa Falls.

Bob Burrows
Bob Burrows has been sports editor at the River Falls Journal since 1996 and at the Hudson Star-Observer since 2009. Prior to joining the Journal, Burrows served as sports editor with Ledger Publications in Balsam Lake, Wis. A native of Bayonne, N.J. and a U.S. Navy veteran, Burrows attended Marquette University before completing his studies at UW-River Falls in 1992.
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