Athlete of the Week: Colby/Abbotsford boys cross country - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Athlete of the Week: Colby/Abbotsford boys cross country

For the first time in 18 years, the Colby/Abbotsford boys cross country team will be competing at the state championship on Saturday.The back-to-back Cloverbelt champions won a Division 2 sectional title last weekend and the team's success this year has led them to be named the Newsline 9 Athlete's of the Week.

Coming off a conference championship season in 2013, the Colby/Abbotsford boys cross country team had the perfect recipe to do it again this fall.

"We only lost one senior last year, so that means that six other guys had the chance to develop for another year," said senior Sam Bach. "That's a big part. It would have been a disappointment not to repeat."

And they didn't stop there. At the sectional meet, the team had five of the race's top 16 finishers, surpassing expectations by capturing a D2 sectional title by 32 points.

"It was really overwhelming to know that we had finally made it to state as a team and I was overjoyed," said senior Alex Kampmeyer.

But the course isn't the only place these guys excel.  All seven of the runners are in National Honor Society and each of them qualify for Academic All-State with an overall team GPA of 3.6. 

"It's something to be proud of and it's outstanding to be able to carry a statistic like that," said junior Preston Mertins.

So with all the success this team has accomplished this season, we asked what they'll always remember.

"There's not exactly one story that can wrap up the whole season," said Mertins.

Apparently these guys are also pretty successful at keeping themselves entertained during their long runs.

"Well there was one meet that we picked up a turtle and ran a warm-up for two miles with it and named it Gertrude."

"We're just a bunch of goofs," says Mertins. "On long runs, we go ahead and collect sticks and what not. You just know it's the perfect one and you just got to pick it up and run with it the rest of the way. You just feel a sense of pride of owning that stick."

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