The 2020 cross country season will be one of the most unique in Kiel history as the coronavirus has altered the schedule. But the Raiders are preparing for another highly successful season. The girls will have a bit of a rebuild, but the boys return a state qualifier and both teams expect immediate help from one of the best middle school programs in the state.
The 2020 Raider cross country preview:
KIEL RAIDER CROSS COUNTRY
Head Coach: Tony Grybush (27th season)
2019 Record: Girls- 2nd at Eastern Wisconsin Conference Meet and 7th at WIAA Division 2 Two Rivers Sectional; Boys- 4th at Eastern Wisconsin Conference Meet and 5th at Two Rivers Sectional; Travis Kohlmann qualified for state.
Looking back at 2019: For the boys, it’s tough enough having Valders win a string of Eastern Wisconsin Conference title. Valders also has back-to-back-to-back WIAA Division 2 state championships. Overcoming frigid conditions and a pretty soft course, Kohlmann placed 90th overall out of 152 runners in the Division 2 field at state. His time was 17:42.9.
Kiel girls had six of their seven runners earn post season honors. Making First Team All-Eastern Wisconsin Conference were Jocelyn Aprill and Ellie Mueller while making Second Team were Julia Koenig, Zoe Watson and Aubrey Arnold. Cloe Jaschob was honorable mention.
For the boys, Travis Kohlmann was First Team All-EWC with Noah Watson earning Second Team and Hunter Westermeyer honorable mention. Seniors were Koenig and Riebe.
A look ahead at 2020: It looks to be an exciting fall season, but the first obstacle will be dealing with the COVID-19 situation. Kiel does have a full schedule, but the pandemic has altered it. Gone are invites at Mayville and Wausau. Kiel has added a home quad meet and will return to the Bob Burzynski Invite at Valders for the first time in several years.
The boys are anchored by Kohlmann, Watson, Huntermeyer and three other returning lettermen in Mason Lewis, Isaac Herr and Alex Karls. Brandon Stephany looks to challenge moving up from JV and the powerful middle school program boasts at least three solid candidates in freshmen Ethan Vander Meer, Pierce Arenz and Luke Milski. Adjusting to the varsity distance, nearly twice as far as a middle school distance, will be their main challenge.
For the girls, Aprill, Mueller, Watson and Arnold return, as does Abby Moore. Reagan Isselmann is a top candidate from last fall’s conference champ JV team. Lydia Vander Meer and Coryn Fromm are exciting freshmen prospects.
Valders will be tough to overcome for the boys, but Kiel will be the main threat. The girls will again battle Two Rivers and Valders.
2020 Kiel Raiders Schedule
Sep. 3- Kiel Invitational, 4 pm
Sep. 10- Kiel Quad (with Brillion, New Holstein, Sheboygan Falls), 4 pm
Sep. 17- at Valders Invitational, 4 pm
Sep. 24- at Jim Bremser Invitational (Mishicot), 3:30 pm
Oct. 1- at Slinger Invitational, 3:30 pm
Oct. 8- at Brillion Invitational, 4:15 pm
Oct. 9- at Russ Famree Invitational (Luxemburg-Casco), 3:45 pm
Oct. 17- at Eastern Wisconsin Conference Meet (at Brillion), 10 am
**The WIAA will announce in last September if the following post-season meets will happen**
Oct. 24- WIAA Division 2 Sectional at Luxemburg-Casco, 11 am
Oct. 31- WIAA State Tournament at Wisconsin Rapids (tba)