Men’s cross country team, Michael qualify for State on Saturday

The senior members of the cross country team (Michael Kremer, Noah Arends, Ryan Westhoff,Easton Sckerl, Ben Campbell and Blake Arends)lent their support at Distrcts for senior Mackenzie Michael, sophomore Brayden Burnett, junior Eli Smith and the rest of the cross country teams. Michael and the men’s team advanced to the state meet in Fort Dodge on Saturday, Nov. 2.

The men’s cross country team may be young, but they certainly aren’t afraid of the spotlight. Spending much of the season ranked among the top 5 4A teams in the state with a varsity squad made up of primarily sophomores and juniors, the Tigers trounced Ames 47 to 61 at the State Qualifying Meet at Birdsall Park to finish first in the district and punch their ticket to State.

An injury-plagued season from the women’s team culminated in a narrow defeat, missing qualifying for state by 9 points to Western Dubuque, who finished third at the State Qualifying Meet. The girls ran several athletes who had been dealing with injuries in order to maximize their chance of qualifying. Senior Mackenzie Michael qualified individually with an 8th place finish and a time of 20:02 at the District meet.

Brayden Burnett, the top-ranked sophomore in 4A and 13th overall in 4A, led the men’s squad with a 5th place finish and a time of 16:31. He was quickly followed by juniors Michael Goodenbour and Eli Smith, both finishing in the top 10. Juniors TJ Tomlyanovich, Joel Burris, Cooper Olsen, and sophomore Alex Horstman rounded out the pack, all with times of 17:30 or faster, but they aren’t satisfied quite yet.

After an 11th place finish at State last year, the Tiger runners are hungry for more. Goodenbour, the 8th-ranked junior in 4A, said so himself: “Our team goal is to bring a state title back to Cedar Falls for the first time in 15 years.”

Although certainly a hefty task, with titans like top-ranked Pleasant Valley and 2nd-ranked Dubuque Hempstead looming ahead, it’s not outside the realm of possibility for this hard-working crew, according to Goodenbour. “We have been getting up early every day in the summer and are excited to see all of our hard work pay off.”

And hard work is what they will need to pull it off. Although better than last year’s team by many measures, there is one area in which they will need to adjust, Goodenbour said. “Last year we had Brandon [Conrad] who provided a huge boost to our score because he was always out front. This year we don’t have a runner that will place top five in the state, so we will have to pack in and run together to give us a shot at the state title.”

Goodenbour himself said he hopes to provide some of that boost, as he said his personal goal is a top 25 finish at state.

The state cross country meet will be held at Lakeside Municipal Golf Course in Fort Dodge on Saturday, November 2nd. 4A girls will run first at 11 am, followed by 4A boys at 11:30. The awards ceremony for 4A runners will take place at 12:20 p.m.

 

State Cross Country

Where? Municipal Golf Course at Fort Dodge

When? Nov. 2

Mackenzie Michael’s race 

starts at 11 a.m.

CF men’s team’s race 

starts at 11:30 a.m.

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