JV men get opportunity to run varsity race

When the starting gun cracked to signal the start of the varsity boys race of the Jim Boughton Invitational in Dubuque on Sept. 26, 10 new faces shot out of the box and entered the fray. In an attempt to rest the top 10 varsity runners in advance of their big race on Saturday at Wartburg, men’s cross country coach Scott Gall decided to enter the next 10 runners into the varsity race.

“We had an interesting situation present itself when a meet that everyone believed would be on Saturday, Oct. 5 (Wartburg’s Steve Johnson Invite) ended up being a week early. That meant two races within 40 hours of one another.  Once we saw that coming we started to discuss different ways to address that 40-hour block for the team,” Gall said. “We decided that it would be a great way to run our top 10 guys through a State Meet Simulation Week and also allow our next 10 guys to show off the work they had put in and the ability they had to perform at the varsity level.”

Junior Jack Jorgensen, who finished second among the Tiger boys at Dubuque, said he was excited for the opportunity. “When I heard that the next 10 guys were going to run varsity, I was super pumped because it gave the next 10 guys, which were mostly underclassmen, a chance to compete at the next level,” he said. 

The grueling but fast varsity race tested the limits of many runners who had never run varsity before. According to Jorgensen, one of the biggest differences between a varsity race and a JV or 9/10 race is that “they tend to go out a bit quicker, so you really have to be careful and not go out with the front pack.”

The front pack at the Invite consisted of largely Dubuque Hempstead runners, who captured seven of the top nine spots while coasting to victory by more than 50 points over Western Dubuque. Hempstead’s Ryan Winger dominated the race, winning by more than 30 seconds.

Cedar Falls’ next 10 boys finished in 5th in the varsity race, narrowly edging out Iowa City Liberty by two points. 

Sophomore Kyle Westhoff finished first among the CF boys with a time of 17:40. All 10 of Cedar Falls’ runners finished in 19 minutes or less, with three (Westhoff, Jorgensen and senior Noah Arends) finishing with times under 18 minutes.

Gall was more than happy with the result, and said that the meet was “super fun and the guys ran incredibly well. They didn’t let the moment get too big or stress them out, but instead seized the opportunity to race tough and run fast.”

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