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Both XC teams advance to State

The Southeast Valley cross country teams made the most of a lengthy bus trip to Shenandoah Thursday at the state qualifying meet.  For the first time in school history, both the boys and girls teams qualified for the state meet.  

Needing to finish in the top three to qualify, the girls grabbed the last qualifying spot scoring 91 points and edging out 4th place Underwood by 8 points.  Host Shenandoah-Essex was the champion with 55 points followed by North Polk with 60 points.  

The Southeast Valley boys’ were able to bring home runner-up honors scoring 93 points.  North Polk was the meet champion with 58 points.  Woodward Academy finished 3rd to grab the final qualifying spot with 117 points.  

Five Southeast Valley runners earned state qualifying meet medalist honors by finishing in the top 15 of the meet.  Spencer Warehime was the individual meet champion in the boys race with a time of 16:52.  Josh Johnson was 10th with a time of 17:34 and Patrick Breitsprecher was 12th in a time of 17:39, for a career PR.  

Natalie Lambert was 5th overall for the girls running a time of 20:25 and Erica Rittgers was 11th with a time of 20:58.  Both times were season PR’s.  If the teams would not have qualified, these five would have advanced as individuals.  

Jacob DeBaun gave the boys team a quartet in the top 16 with a season best time of 17:46.  Josh Carlson (53rd, 19:34), Nathan Montgomery (58th, 19:48) and Todd Hamilton (65th, 20:14) were the next three Jaguars to cross the finish line as part of the state qualifying boys team.

    “The boys knew exactly what they needed to do tonight to make it to state and they executed it perfectly.  It was exciting to watch the boys get stronger throughout the race.”

    In the girls’ race along with Natalie and Erica, Alli True was 20th overall running a time of 22:09.  Seniors Josie Breitsprecher was 31st running a time of 22:55 and Anna Heatherington finished 36th in a season best time of 23:11 to round out the top 5 scorers.  Katara Jondle (43rd, 24:03) and Emma Graves (44th, 24:04) not only ran their best times of the season, but their places were equally as important as their times.

    “All seven girls ran a great race.  Getting Katara and Emma to place in front of other team’s 4 and 5 runners was big for the girls being able to get third.  Congrats to these girls setting their goals to qualify for the state meet and then going out and doing it.”

    The Jaguars will compete at the state meet on Saturday, October 31st.  The girls will run at 1:00pm and the boys at 1:30pm.  The state meet is held in Fort Dodge at Lakeside Golf course at Kennedy Park.  

    “I’m so proud of all 36 of our runners this year.  It was a pleasure to coach such a hard working and motivated group.  They should all be proud of what they accomplished this year.  On behalf of the cross country team, we would just like to thank all the support we have had this year from all of our communities in our school district as well as the school, especially the last week..  None of it would be possible without you!”

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