Cross country teams ready for upcoming conference meet

The men’s team finished second, out of 15 teams, and the women’s team finished third out of 14 teams at the MVC supermeet on Oct. 6 in Cedar Rapids. This is the last performance until the conference meet, which takes place on Oct. 13. 

The men scored 77 points, only 26 points behind the winning team, Iowa City High. Freshman Jaden Merrick led the Tiger pack finishing 7th with a 15:47. Junior Luke Hartman was close behind in 15:51, followed by senior Gavin Denholm in 16:11 and senior Colby Cryer trailing Denholm, with a 16:15. The men’s team has a very strong pack, with only a 38 second spread from 1-5. 

“I started running in seventh grade, when I first went out for cross country. I really enjoy pushing myself to see how far and how fast I can go. Also, it is a great time to be with my friends and work and run as a team,” Cryer said. “The Cedar Rapids meet was good. I ran well, and overall, we ran well as a team. Individually, I have some higher time goals I want to hit, and a team goal would be to finish up the season winning some meets.” 

The women’s team scored 125 points, which placed them third out of 14 teams. Sophomore Zoe Zylstra led the Tigers with her 8th place finish. She ran a time of 19:06. She was followed by senior Jaden Swarts who clocked a time of 19:47, finishing her 17th. They were followed by senior Rachel Mandt, and junior Maddie Gallagher. 

“I started running in seventh grade when I joined the junior high team, but at first, in all honesty, I wanted to quit, and I almost did, but I decided to stick with cross country because of how amazing the people were. The people are the reason I love running most today too,” Swarts said. “The goal for the rest of the season is to get to State. It’s been a goal of mine since freshman year, and this year we have the best chance at it.” 

The next meet for both the Men’s and Women’s cross country teams will be the conference meet, which takes place on Oct. 13, in Dubuque. The Tigers team has already raced there once so far this year, and will be heading back to see if they can improve. Last time in Dubuque the men’s team won, with Merrick running 15:41, followed by a tight pack from 2-5. The team average was 16:05. The women’s team was fifth with a team average of 19:57. 

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