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2020 XC Preview


After holding their breath all summer with many questions about what this fall would bring, 33 Southeast Valley cross country runners showed up ready and anxious to get the season started.  As with everything else, the season has a different feel as stretching and warm-ups as well as the groups they run with and workouts are done with social distancing in mind.

Out of the 11 girls on this year’s team, 7 of those return from last year’s group in which 6 of them competed at the state qualifying meet last October. The boys’ once again have great numbers with 22 out.  Thirteen return from last year’s including all seven from last year’s state qualifying meet.  They are joined by 5 freshmen and 3 other newcomers.

The experienced group of seniors Morgan Farnhman, Marlie Johnson, Emily Hemmestad look to use their four years of varsity experience to lead the girls’ team.  Junior Madison Doyle, Jayden Gardipee and Shelby Mills will also return with more experience this year as Madison and Shelby made their cross country debut last season.  Lone sophomore Lauren Tidman looks to continue to improve on her freshman campaign.  Freshmen Meranda Hemmestad, Chloe Parks, Alexis Peterson and Haley Stewart look to add depth to the team.     

The boys also return three experienced seniors in Blake Peterson, Logan Stapp and Sam Sytsma who will look to lead the Jaguar group of boys.  Joining the seniors will be a group of six junior boys.  Carson Suchan, Wyatt Sprecher, Asa Haub, and Zach Thompson return from last year’s varsity squad along with Blake.  Ty Klatt returns in his second season looking to add depth to the team while Johnathon Bannister is in his first season on the team.

The sophomore group is led by Cooper Nuss, who was primarily the teams’ number 2 runner from a year ago and is joined by returners Jamey Dalley, Gage Erickson, Kyle Johnson and Jacob Snyder.  Caelan Oakes and Xander Dorman are returning to run cross country this season after competing in junior high and then trying football last year.  Sophomore Daniel Bacon also looks to strengthen the team.  Freshman Oscar Hanson, Carter Ferry and Spencer Suchan will be joining this team after much success in junior high and are joined by fellow freshman Brad Pliner and Ben Thompson.

The Jaguars will start the season out with their home meet in Gowrie on Thursday, August 27th at the golf course.  The meet will begin at 5pm with the races being split into 2 waves of boys and 2 waves of girls to help spread out the competitors.  Spectators will be allowed and are encouraged to social distance during the race, stay six feet back from the course lines and to wear masks.  

While many things will have a different look and feel as we go throughout the season, the goal to improve on last season’s accomplishments both individually and a team haven’t changed.  This is a group that has a lot of racing experience, many of them since they were freshmen, so there is a chance of big things being accomplished this year.  

Unfortunately, there is just this added challenge this year of being able to avoid contact to be able to get through the season without any interruption.  If we can hopefully avoid any type of long term interruption and things fall into place, it should be a great season.    


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