Cross country finishes 'unique' meet at Laconia

Ripon runners dash from the starting line. Pictured are, from left, Riley Gatzke, Noah Borgardt, Dan Mader and Andrew Rodriguez.

As the Tiger cross country teams hit the course at Laconia Tuesday night, the meet figured to be an interesting one for the boys.

Ripon entered with just 11 boys available — essentially the bare minimum necessary to field both varsity and junior varsity squads.

As it turned out, every single boy was needed, and scored.

The varsity boys’ squad topped Berlin in a tiebreaker to finish third (while the junior varsity won its race) with 66 points, meaning the sixth boy running varsity was crucial.

Meanwhile, the girls’ squad finished fifth with 121 points.

In both the boys’ and girls’ varsity races, Ripon finished out of six teams in their division. Overall, 14 teams participated.

With the boys, Ripon High School head coach Chris Gatzke described it as “a unique scenario.”

“We had a bunch of people who were either out sick or nursing injuries,” he said. “We had 11 boys who could run so we could get two team scores.”

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