Rebel cross country teams ready
The United South Central cross country teams are excited to get their 2020 fall season underway.
The teams start out the year with a triangular invitational hosted by Hayfield High School on Thursday, Sept. 3.
Their first home meet is this coming Thursday, Sept. 10, and will be held at the Oak View Golf Course, located north of Alden.
The Rebels have just six set meets on their schedule this year, culminating with the Conference Meet on Saturday, Oct. 10, at the River Bend Nature Center in Faribault.
There are 24 students from grades seven to 12 out for cross country at USC this year. There are 14 girls and 10 boys.
The girls are led by five seniors, including Lydia Niebuhr, Kylie Niebuhr, Jenny Mulholland, Kristen Hubbard and Bryn Evans.
The four juniors are Lexi Johnson, Merideth Klingbeil, Maddison Klingbeil and Paige Diekmann.
There are no sophomores out, but the two freshmen are Lyndsay Thunstedt and Kayla Thunstedt.
There are also no eighth graders on the team but there are four seventh graders including Oona Druckenmiller, Lauren Mutschler and Alyssa Winkle.
The boys have two seniors on the team, Micah Hamson and Bryce Sonnek. There is one junior, Ethan Elvebak. The two sophomores are Gabe Schroeder and Ethan Kohler.
The lone freshman is Brennan Anderson. The only eighth grader is Nathan Mutschler, while the seventh graders are Wyatt Sparks, Gavin Bird and Kolt Bullerman.
The Rebel runners have a new coach this year, but one many of the athletes are familiar with.
While it is his first year coaching cross country at USC, Burnett Walton, or Coach T as he is known, has been the track and field coach for the Rebels for the past five years.
And, overall, he has 19 years of coaching under his belt.
“I came here from St. Clair where I coached for eight and a half years,” Coach T says. “Before that I coached at Martin Luther for eight years and before that I was coaching in North Dakota.”
Walton, who is not on the staff at USC, is a retired postal worker living in Bricelyn who enjoys coaching student athletes.
“I think we have a real good group of kids here,” he says. “They do like to talk a lot, but that is OK, as long as they do their best when it comes time to compete.”
The coach says he expects senior Micah Hamson to lead the way for the boys, while seventh grader Lauren Mutschler will be the best runner for the girls team, he adds.
“We will know more after our first competition on Thursday,” the coach says. “We are looking forward to it.”
Coach T is helped out by his assistant coach, Tammy Bullerman who is a physical education teacher at USC. Hanna Wach is the team manager.