Man extend record for state berths to 24

By: Zuhayr Alam

The culmination of five months of preparation occurs on Saturday, Oct. 31, but it has nothing to do with Halloween. The cross country team will travel to Fort Dodge at the break of dawn to participate in its 24th consecutive state meet, which is an Iowa record.

This season, the Tigers won all but one meet, and currently they have four runners in the top 30 runners in the state. Senior Isaac Smith is the highest ranked Tiger, sitting at 4th place. This translates into the Tiger team being ranked at seconnd place, behind Dowling Catholic and in front of Cedar Rapids Prairie.

Smith said that the rankings are reflective on the season. “The whole season has been kind of a three team race between us, Prairie and Dowling,” Smith said. “You don’t always know how State is going to go, but we expect our main competition to be from those two teams.”

The Tigers have not won a state competition in a decade, their highest finish in recent years is fourth place last year.

Head Coach Troy Becker looks forward to State.

“We just need to be healthy and go to State with the attitude that it will be our best race of the season,” Becker said. “We feel that there are some great teams and that we’re one of them. We know that on any given day any one of us could be the state champion. Our expectation is that we go out there and try the best we can to make it our day.”

Smith is looking to improve on the Tigers finishes in recent years, and end on a high note.

“The journey these past four years has been so fun, and we would really like to end that journey with a state championship,” Smith said. “Regardless of how State goes, it has been so fun to be a part of this team. Truly an amazing experience.”

No matter what happens at State, however, Becker is proud of the team.

“It has been a very good season where we won the MVC Super Meet, the MVC Divisional meet, district team titles, Prairie Invite, Rich Engel Classic and the Dubuque Invite,” Becker said. “The guys have shown steady improvement, and I have loved the leadership of the senior class.”

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