With the wrapping up of the cross country season and the announcement of their end of season awards, head coach Mike Brunsberg said that this was the end of a season that was anything but ordinary.

“This season was a mixture of equal parts “normal” and “weird,” Brunsberg said. “ They adapted to the flexible mindset and adaptations very well.”

Brunsberg said that his team looked to shift their focus in order to be successful despite all of the uncertain circumstances. The team overcame all of the adversity thrown their way thanks to COVID-19. But, Brunsberg said his coaching approach stayed the same, only with a few added dimensions.

“To a large degree, I think the coaching staff wanted to create an experience that focused primarily on running and the joys of cross country and none of the other stressors that make life so challenging these days,” Brunsberg said. “The coaching approach was constantly focused on keeping the squad healthy to avoid contracting, spreading COVID for the general welfare of the community and school, not just the team.”

He said that he is proud of the way his team was able to adapt and stay true to their traditions and philosophies. He hopes that his athletes can learn from the experience even though there were so many unknowns and challenges.

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“Our philosophy is to experience and share the joy of running and that is something that can persevere and prevail in the most trying of circumstances and the student athletes proved it in the fall of 2020," Brunsberg said.

Coaches and athletes alike went into this season with a new realization that no moment should be taken for granted. Brunsberg said that he is happy to see his team stay engaged and involved and that he thinks the experience was overall positive. He added that all of the personal and team accomplishments that his team had were an extra bonus on top of everything.

Below is a complete list of post season awards for the Wadena-Deer Creek cross country team.

Boys’ MVP: Bjorn Brunsberg

Girls’ MVP: Kira Sweeney

Most Improved Boy: Eric Malone

Most Improved Girl: Megan Hamelau

Tiffany Meeks Marathon Award (perfect attendance):

Bjorn Brunsberg, Johanna Brunsberg, Macey Goeden, Megan Hamelau, Lane Hoefs, Eric Malone, Lily Parker, Ally Pavek, Emma Ries, Phillip Ross, Ella Stroeing, Britta Sweeney

Gabi, Gabi, Gabi Award (Good sportsmanship, Great teammate, Glue that holds team goals together): Emma Ries

Terry Olson Award (best exemplifies the “joy of running”): Amber Collins

Wolverine Section Team, Boys’ Top 5 Runners:

  1. 1. Bjorn Brunsberg
  2. 2. Lane Hoefs
  3. 3. Phillip Ross
  4. 4. Simon Snyder
  5. 5. Eric Malone

Wolverine Section Team, Girls’ Top 5 Runners:

  1. 1. Kira Sweeney
  2. 2. Amber Collins
  3. 3. Johanna Brunsberg
  4. 4. Britta Sweeney
  5. 5. Emma Ries

Park Region All-Conference: Bjorn Brunsberg, Lane Hoefs, Kira Sweeney, Amber Collins, Johanna Brunsberg, Britta Sweeney, Emma Mehl, Emma Ries

Park Region All-Conference Honorable Mention: Lily Parker

State Academic Excellence Team: WDC girls (gold, 3.82 GPA)

State Academic Individual: Kira Sweeney

State Meet qualifiers: Kira Sweeney (6th at sections); Amber Collins (7th at sections)