Tigers make strong showings at Nike Cross regional meet in Sioux Falls

After the runner up state finish, the men’s cross country team decided to keep its season going, taking the runners to the Nike Cross Regional meet, which took place at Yankton Trail Park, in Sioux Falls, S.D. In one of the nicest weathered meets in history, the Tigers put up some fast times. 

The 9/10 team pictured after placing first as a team, with sophomore Gaige Martin holding the trophy in the center. 


In the 9/10 division, which is considered the rising stars race, the boys did not disappoint. Sophomore Gaige Martin led the pack, finishing with over a 40 second PR, and breaking 17 for the first time. Martin finished with a time of 16:35, which is over a minute faster than his PR from last year, and over 30 seconds faster than his PR coming into this meet. 

He dragged along the rest, leading all six other runners to new PRs. Sophomores James Mandt and Brennen Hoyer both PR’d as well, and also broke 17. Mandt finished with a time of 16:45, and Hoyer finished with a time of 16:48. Freshman Dominic Williams and Porter Meyers both broke 17 as well. This put the Tiger’s top 5, all under 17 minutes, showing how much they progressed throughout the year. However, the story doesn’t end there. The rising stars team, who ran under the name Cedar City Creamers, a hint at the Cedar City Creamery ice cream shop, brought home the team title, finishing first out of over seven states. 

“The race was by far the most amazing race I have ever taken part in. There were so many kids lined up at the start, it made me quite nervous,” Martin said. “However I was able to overcome that, and once the gun went off I just ran. When I was coming down the finish line, I did not expect to see that time on the clock. I am very happy with how it went, and that the team finished first as well. You don’t always get the chance to have a team be regional champions, so it is quite special to be a part of.”

Senior Brayden Frey after the finish of the race, representing Business Center Run Club, custom jerseys the JV team got made, representing where they all gather for lunch every day.


In the JV race, the Tigers also had a good performance. They were led by senior Brayden Frey, who finished with a new PR, clocking in at 16:25, a time that would guarantee him a varsity spot on almost any other team. He was followed by seniors Tyler Bailey, Sam O’hare, Tyler Moody, Gavin Vanbrocklin, Jack Considine and junior Chase Kies. Taking after the rising stars team, they ran very well, and had a lot of PR’s as well. 

“It was a very good experience. Not something I ever thought I would get to do. I am very proud of the whole team, and I think we represented the team very well. It’s just unreal to get to compete against six other states, and it is by far the biggest meet I have ever been at,” Bailey said. 

Merrick on the podium, pictured in the second row, on the left side. Earning second team all-region honors after his 10th place finish.


With their peers before them putting up amazing times and finishes, the varsity team was looking forward to its shot on the fast course of Yankton Trail Park. Sophomore Jaden Merrick took advantage of the amazing weather and put himself up front early on. The championship race got out fast, which made things difficult for the Tigers, who were not used to a fast start. The lead pack went through the 1 mile in 4:35, and two miles in 9:30, which shook up the field. Merrick stayed there, finishing in 10th place with a time of 15:01, barely missing the magical sub 15 performance. This gave him a new school record, Iowa all-time No. 3 time for any age and the Iowa all-time No. 1 sophomore time. It also earned him all-region 2nd team. He was followed by senior Luke Hartman, who finished in 15:53. The Tigers were ranked 3rd coming into the race as a team; however with the race tactics deployed, were only able to finish in 8th place. Despite the 8th place finish, they were the 2nd Iowa team. 

 Ferguson said, “It was a good race. A very fast start which made things tricky. In a race like that you just have to go for it from the start and not worry about the end. I tried to get the best start I could and then move up throughout the race. I finished at 16:12 again. I am a little disappointed, considering my last three races I have finished at 16:12, but I am also grateful that I have been able to be that consistent. I am proud of the team for how far we have come this year, and for everything we achieved. It truly is a family,” 

Most of the Tigers are done for the year as they start to get ready for the track season ahead; however, Merrick has one more on his schedule as he will be progressing to the national meet after his 10th place finish, where he will represent the Midwest on Dec. 2, in Huntsville, Ala.

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.