Cross country teams take top spots at Districts, advance to State

So far this season, the Tigers have been on a winning streak. The men’s team has won all but two races, in every division. The women’s team has also secured a second trip to State. Both teams competed at the MVC Divisional meet, which took place on Oct. 12 in Dubuque. 

On the men’s side, the Tigers came out victorious on all three levels, including a varsity win and fresh/soph division sweep. The fresh/soph division achieved an incredible feat of getting a perfect score. The fresh/soph division was led by sophomore Brennen Hoyer. After being a state runner his freshman year in track, Hoyer switched to the 5k and led his team with a win at the conference meet with a time of 16:59, his first time under 17. He was followed closely by freshman Dominic Williams, who finished second with a time of 16:59 as well, steps behind Hoyer. They were followed by freshman Porter Meyers in third (17:03), sophomore James Mandt in fourth (17:14), and sophomore Gaige Martin in fifth (17:30). This led them to a perfect scoring, winning the meet with 15 points over Dubuque senior in second, scoring 60 points. 

In the varsity race, the Tigers also came out with a conference championship. They were led by sophomore Jaden Merrick, making a return after missing the MVC Supermeet, which was held at home. Merrick led the pack, finishing first with a time of 15:48. He was followed closely by senior Luke Hartman, who finished in second with his time of 15:57. They were followed by senior Ahmed Aldamak who finished in fourth (16:00), junior Connor Martin in eight (16:15) and junior John Ferguson in ninth (16:28). This led the Tigers to a team win, scoring 24 points, their lowest score of the season. 

“The meet was a little rough, with the hard conditions. I took a fall around the first mile, and got stepped on by a teammate, but that’s a part of cross country. The rain was definitely fun to run in,” junior Ferguson said. “Obviously the goal is to win Districts as a team, and to progress towards the state meet, where we can hopefully make it on the deck.” 

On the women’s side, in the fresh/soph division, the Tigers finished third as a team, scoring 61 points. They were led by freshman Isabel Wenzel, who finished ninth overall with a time of 22:02. She was followed closely by freshman Alexa Wenzel, who finished in 10th with a time of 22:07. They were followed by sophomore Marie Darst, freshman Maggie Verdught and sophomore Anna Brodhal. This led their team to a third place finish. 

On the varsity side, the Tigers finished second as a team, scoring 64 points, only losing to Dubuque Senior, who is a favorite for the state championship. They were led by junior Josee Simonson, who finished eight overall, with her time of 19:26. She was followed by senior Anna Becker, who finished ninth with a time of 19:29. Junior Emily Meyer followed closely behind them, finishing with her time of 19:45, which earned her 10th place. Junior Zoe Zylstra finished in 18th, with freshman Emmersyn Fonley finishing in 19th. This earned their team a second place finish, as they moved on to Districts, hoping to grab a qualifying spot. 

“It was definitely a good race. However the weather was not good, but in cross country that’s just how it goes. Unfortunately, we can’t control the weather, so we just did the best we could,” Simonson said. “The goal is to make it to the state meet, and just do the best we can the rest of the season.”

At the district meet, which took place at Ashton XC course, home of the Iowa Hawkeyes,  the Tigers kept the season alive, as the men’s team finished first, securing them a spot for State, and the women’s team finished third, securing them the final spot. 

On the men’s side, sophomore Jaden Merrick led the pack, as he finished in first place, with a time of 15:17. He was followed closely by senior Ahmed Aldamak, who finished fourth overall in 15:47. Right behind him was senior Luke Hartman, who finished in fifth with a time of 15:49. Juniors John Ferguson and Connor Martin were the Tigers 4-5 runners, as they finished in 7th and 8th place. Sophomore Charlie Wiering was close behind them, finishing in 9th, with junior Kieran Degroote rounding out the top seven, finishing in 11th. This led the Tigers to victory, as they beat out Ankeny Centennial 25 to 60. 

“I am super proud of the way the guys have trained and the amount of work we have put in so far this season. It has definitely been one to remember, at all levels. Super proud of how far the team has come,” head coach Brett Egan said. “Obviously the goal is to give it our best effort at the state meet and see what we can do.” 

On the women’s side, the pack was led by junior Josee Simonson, who finished 8th overall with a time of 19:14. She was followed by senior Anna Becker in 12th (19:45), junior Emily Meyer in 15th (19:49), junior Zoe Zylstra in 24th (20:23) and senior Maddie Gallagher in 25th (20:26). This led the Tigers to an overall third place finish as a team, earning them a trip to State for the second year in a row. 

The Tigers’ next meet will be the State Championship, which will be held at Fort Dodge golf course, on Oct. 27. Both teams will be looking to place as high up as possible and to make it onto the legendary deck of the clubhouse, both individually and team wise.

You must be logged in to post a comment Login

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.