Lucas Berg

Years on Team: 4  (2008-2011)
Personal Record:  17:16
All-Conference Honors:  2010: 2nd Team
                                    2011: 2nd Team
Appearance(s) at State Meet:  2010:  81st place in 17:45
Favorite course in high school:  Drugens Castle Mound Golf Course (Holmen).  There was always good competition and it was a fast course.  It was also the course where I first broke the 18 minute barrier.
Favorite memory from XC:  My best memory from cross country was winning the sectional meet as a team and running in the state meet.
Benefits of XC:  XC helped me because I had to work hard to achieve my goal.  It also helped me learn leadership skills that I can apply to every aspect of my life.
                                    Advice for high school XC runners:  Don't give up on running, despite what people
                                    say and how hard it may get.



Paul Kochhaeuser
Years on Team: 1  (2010)
Personal Record:  17:05
All-Conference Honors:  2010: 1st Team
Appearance(s) at State Meet:  2010:  64th place in 17:40
Favorite course in high school:  Arcadia because it never got boring!
Favorite memory from XC:  The State Meet and Hawaii
Benefits of XC:  Cross country helped me integrate and find friends because you all received me with open arms and helped me out wherever you could.  I also had the great experience to go to Hawaii and the State Meet.
Advice for high school XC runners:  Always run for your team and never just for your own success.  Don't be shy and intimidated to run your own pace.




Julie Mulvaney-Kemp
Years on Team:  4  (2007-2010)
Personal Record:  15:39
All-Conference Honors:       2007:  2nd Team
                                         2008:  1st Team
                                         2009:  2nd Team
                                         2010:  1st Team
Appearance(s) at State Meet:  2008:  59th place in 16:12
                                                 2010:  51st place in 16:13
Favorite course in high school: Forest Hills was my favorite because I PR'd all four times I raced there, yet it was not a 'pancake' course.  This also was my favorite meet because of level of competition that was always present.
Favorite memory from XC:
First, qualifying for, and running at, state my sophomore year was definitely a highlight.  On paper I was supposed to go, but I didn't feel well throughout the majority of the race and had to fight for my spot.  Having a good race at the state meet with lots of friends and family there for support made it even sweeter.  Doing something that has never been done before is a unique and empowering experience.  That is why winning Viroqua's first-ever conference cross country title is one of my favorite memories.  Knowing that the endless miles I had run to help accomplish this goal for my team and community had paid off made me proud.  As a captain of the team, I was also filled with pride by my teammates’ performances because I had helped prepare them for the meet.
Benefits of XC:
Cross Country taught me the importance of setting goals, how to rebound from failures, how to put a group's interests ahead of my own, and how to dream so big and love something so much I'm afraid.
Advice for high school XC runners:
Seasons begin in the summer.  No matter how hard you work in practice and how much you want success, if you don't put in the miles you not only won't achieve it, you won't deserve it.  I have learned that discipline comes more easily to some than others, but by having a teammate to hold you accountable, a running log and a specific goal for each day, week and month, you can teach yourself to make running, and with it success, a habit.




David Lund
Years on Team:  4  (2007-2010)
Personal Record:  16:58
All-Conference Honors:       2007:  1st Team
                                         2008:  1st Team
                                         2009:  2nd Team
                                         2010:  1st Team
Appearance(s) at State Meet:  2010:  68th place in 17:40
Favorite course in high school: My favorite course would have to be Central. It's a guaranteed PR course. I never had a bad race there and there is always tough competition, so you can really push and test yourself against them. 
Favorite memory from XC:
Benefits of XC: For me Viroqua XC was a good way to find my individual strength, mentally and physically.  I was able to test my boundaries. It is a very good team bonding sport because you are always together.  Definitely, as a captain I was able to show leadership and grow with my team and teach them values they can pass on.
Advice for high school XC runners: Cross-Country is worth it! There is no bench. It's different from any other sport that you can play. It's good for getting close with teammates. Running workouts or races in the rain is the best, especially when you start steaming afterward. So go for it and remember the hard work always pays off in the end when you're leaving others in the dust.




Taylor Keesler
Years on Team:  4  (2007-2010)
Personal Record:  17:36
All-Conference Honors:   2009:  2nd Team
Appearance(s) at State Meet:  2010:  145th place in 19:42
Favorite course in high school: 
My favorite race would have to be the Fenimore Relays, because Junior year our team did well, and I won my individual race. Plus at the awards ceremony Lease played music and it was just a good time. That was also the meet where my season really started picking up and i started getting good times, which I was really happy with.
Favorite memory from XC:  I don't know if this counts as part of XC but i would say the Fenimore fun runs were my favorite memories.
Benefits of XC:  Cross country has benefited in many many ways, I have become a better leader due to being a captain, I have gained more confidence, and I have learned what it means to work for something  and achieve it.
Advice for high school XC runners:  Have fun while doing it!




Hannah Keesler
Years on Team: 3  (2004-2006)
Personal Record:  16:19
All-Conference Honors:       2004:  Honorable Mention
                                         2006:  1st Team
Appearance(s) at State Meet:  2006:  95th place in 16:50
Favorite course in high school:  It was one at Sparta, I can't remember details, I just remember it was a "breakthrough" race. It was the first race that I felt I could run however I wanted, and I didn't have to worry about what anyone else was doing.
Favorite memory from XC:  The water balloon fight! It was so much fun! Or the rainbow run... And swim workouts were amazing. (I can't pick just one)
Benefits of XC:  XC benefited me in many ways.  It was fun, gave me a chance to do something I was good at. Cross country inevitably played a role in my college decision. It really shaped my college experience and I loved being able to compete at that level.
Advice for high school XC runners:  Do stuff in the off season! Not even run necessarily. I found that swimming improved my running drastically. Just be active so that when you are in season you aren't wasting time trying to get in shape.




Tabithah Overbo
Years on Team:  4  (2003-2006)
Personal Record:  15:55
All-Conference Honors:       2003:  1st Team
                                        2004:  1st Team
                                        2005:  2nd Team
                                        2006:  1st Team
Appearance(s) at State Meet:  2004:  89th place in 17:08
Favorite course in high school:  My favorite course was Ettrick Golf Course (G-E-T) because the course was fast, I got to run with a good friend (Desiree), and I set a meet record there.
Favorite memory from XC:  My best memory from high school cross country would be the rainbow run workout where we had to find colored markers under cones set in different places while working in teams.
Benefits of XC:  Cross country has benefitted me by pushing me to go beyond my limits.  As a distance runner, there is a lot of time to think, but you have to battle mentally and physically to finish the race.
Advice for high school XC runners:  Winning isn't everything, but be a good sport whether you win or lose.  Be willing to learn and have a positive attitude because that will encourage your coach, teammates, and affect those around you!



Kristi Ackman

Years on Team:  3  (2001-2003)
Personal Record:  16:32
All-Conference Honors:   2002:      2nd Team
                                    2003:      1st Team
Appearance(s) at State Meet:  2003:  119th place in 17:21
Favorite course in high school:  My favorite XC course was pretty much any of them that had hills (I passed people going up and passed more coming down).  I liked Arcadia a lot because I got to run in the woods which was a nice change from some of the more open courses.  Also any course where it was clear which way I needed to go was nice since the only flag I could remember was the blue one!  I remember stopping at Westby because the three of us in front didn't know which way to go and neither did the spectators that we asked. 
Favorite memory from XC:  My favorite memory is just being part of a team that actually worked together.  I always felt that in track there were too many people and that with the team split up into many events that you never really got to know each other very well.  Also the spaghetti suppers were a lot of fun! 
Benefits of XC:  Overall I would say that XC taught me to do the best that I could.  I liked that I had a team and at the same time I depended on myself for how well I did in the races.  It also proved that I could do whatever I wanted to if I just put my mind to it.  For example right  before school let out in 2009 for the summer my friend from California asked me if I would do a half marathon with her and I said sure, why not?  Everyone thought I was crazy and I can't say I disagreed with them at the time.  I hadn't been running for more than 20 minutes here and there all winter and hardly ran the summer before.  I trained by myself for the summer just doing distance workouts.  I ended up with an average mile time of 8:06.  My goal was less than 2 hours or around 9 minute miles.  If I hadn't run in HS I never would have tried to run a half marathon or the 5K's that I started doing in Vet School.  Don't sell yourself short or believe that you can't do anything you put your mind to.
Advice for high school XC runners:  My advice to anyone thinking of running XC or any other event like it is to just give it a try.  You have nothing to lose and only new opportunities to introduce yourself to.  Mud puddles also make a run more interesting, don't just go around them and stay dry!




Betsy Peterson
Years on Team:  4  (2000-2003)
Personal Record:  16:35
All-Conference Honors:  2002:  1st Team
Appearance(s) at State Meet: 2002: 64th place in 16:35
Favorite course in high school:  Arcadia was my favorite course.  I liked the hills mostly.  They really show how much you want it!
Favorite memory from XC:  My favorite memory of XC was going on the long runs.  I really loved, and still do, going out for 5 to 7 miles and getting lost in my thoughts.  When you're dying at a meet, you can think "Hey, I just ran 6 miles, I can do this!"
Benefits of XC:  XC benefits me as I'm getting older.  Running was a choice in high school, but now it's a lifestyle.  Staying active is something that's important to me.  I learned to set goals for myself in XC and I still set goals now; they are different though.  Back then it was for my time or to keep up with a teammate or an opponent, but now my goals are simply to find the time to run or bike 3 to 4 times per week.  Having goals definitely keeps me going!
Advice for high school XC runners:  Always go for more.  Never settle!  Find out what you're made of and don't be afraid to go all out.  If you don't achieve it the first time, don't ever give up.  Try again!



Layne Skrupky

Years on Team:  2  (2000-2001)
Personal Record:  16:41
All-Conference Honors:        2000: Conference Runner of the Year
                                    
    2001: Conference Runner of the Year
Appearance(s) at State Meet:     2000: 19th place in 16:44
                                                2001: 18th place in 16:41
Favorite course in high school: My favorite XC course would have had to be our own. Our course was on a beautiful golf course and had all the challenges you would expect in the Coulee Region. It had the needed hills, whether they were long and grinding or short and tough.  I liked our course because it was our home course, we knew it well and had the advantage to prepare for it mentally and physically.  We knew when it was going to burn the most after going up a hill and when it was going to be smooth ride down the long hills – it was our ‘home court.’
Favorite memory from XC: I always enjoyed the preparation right before the race.  I enjoyed going out on the course and walking through each course and mentally preparing for the challenges that you would soon face. At this point, you had done all the training needed and now it was time to have all that hard work pay off for you and the team.  It was also nice at the end of each race – you knew you were done and gave it the best effort possible.
Benefits of XC:  XC is a sport that is 95% mental and 5% skill.  If you could win the mental battle with yourself you could overcome the physical.  That concept has helped transfer over to life experiences.  You have to believe in your morals and values and live by those.  It’s helped me face the challenges that come up in life.
Advice for high school XC runners:  XC is a sport that tests you mentally and physically – if you can win the mental battle the rest will come. Enjoy everything the sport entails and in the words of Jimmy Valvano –“Don’t give up, don’t ever give up.”