XC State Qualifying Meet
On Thursday, October 19th, the Southeast Valley cross country teams traveled to Pella for their state qualifying meet in hopes to extend the season by one more week to the State Championship meet in Fort Dodge. While the Jaguars ran strong on Thursday, tough competition kept the Jaguars from advancing any runners and thus ending the 2023 cross country season.
Sophomore Katie Field continued to lead the Southeast Valley girls’ team as the top runner, running a career best of 23:45 for 48th place. Autumn Jones-Popp was the next Jaguar finishing the 5k in 65th place (25:52). Teammate Brooke Peterson was right behind her with a career best of 25:58 (67th). Hailey Rees (74th, 27:12) and Alexis Peterson (83rd, 29:59) completed the top five scorers. Abbi Tucker (84th, 32:17) was the displacement runner for SV.
The girls scored a total of 310 points to finish 11th overall in the 14 team field. Des Moines Christian, Albia and Clarinda were the top three teams and state qualifiers from the meet.
In the boys’ race, Oscar Hanson was the top finisher for Southeast Valley. Oscar, pushing through the race with a head cold, finished 25th for the Jaguars in a time of 18:20; the top 15 individuals qualified for the state meet. Senior Carter Ferry was next running a career best of 19:18 (48th) for the Jaguars. Owen Nuss (54th, 19:34), Lincoln Akins (56th, 19:36) and Ethan Tucker (60th, 19:40) rounded out the top five for Southeast Valley.
Displacement runners Drew Dorsey (65th, 19:50) and Dreyvon Steadman (70th, 20:02) both finished their seasons with career bests. The Jaguars scored 237 points overall to finish 10th in the 14 team field. Des Moines Christian also won the boys’ race followed by Chariton and Pella Christian as the top three teams and state qualifiers.
“Overall we had a strong season. Seventeen of our 22 athletes ran career bests this year showing improvement from the start to the finish of the year,” commented Coach Nuss.
“I appreciated this year’s seniors and their leadership. Alexis and Oscar have been a part of this program for the past four years. Carter, Ben and Chloe all returned for their senior year after not being out last year and Grant chose to make his senior year his first, all of them helped lead this team in their own ways. Coach Sorenson and I will miss them all greatly next year.”
Coach Nuss also mentioned that “I am already excited to see what the returning runners accomplish next year as there is some strong potential. The biggest key for their success will be what they do from now until next August to improve. They have to keep running and getting stronger.”
“Finally, it was tough to see Oscar struggle in his final race and come up short of a third trip to state.” Oscar will finish his career as one of the most decorated runners in Southeast Valley history. He has the 3rd fastest time in school history, a four time conference medalist, a two time state qualifier and 2nd all time in individual medals. “While he might not have had the results in races he was hoping for, the leadership skills he exhibited this year in practices, meets and organizing some team time were invaluable to the team this year.”
Coach Nuss also wants to express the following thank yous. “Thank you also to assistant Coach Sorenson for all of her help this year as well as my family putting up with and supporting me throughout the year. Thank you to our bus drivers for getting us to and from meets as well as the parents and all of the athletes for the trust you have in us to help you improve the best we can.”