Boys Cross Country Runs One of the Hilliest Meet in the State


Dezmond Stone(10) and Ian Moore(11) finishing the Sioux Passage meet. Dezmond ran a 19.49 and Ian Briley ran a 19.50 for 5000 kilometers or 3.1 miles.

Rebecca Simpkins, Sports Editor

Boys Cross Country ran a historic fifty year old meet at Sioux Passage Park. Lined with steep and long hills through the whole course, many runners dread this meet.

To give you a glimpse inside the difficulty of this course, “Manmaker” and “Confidence breaker” are the nicknames of a few of the hills.

Dezmond Stone, sophomore, ran in the varsity race at Sioux Passage. He considers the second run up, “Manmaker” the hardest part of the course, “by that point you are already gassed and you have to push yourself to get up that hill and after that there is still more to run.”

Dezmond’s goal for this meet was to run under twenty minutes, he succeeded and ran a 19.49.

For a course as intense as Sioux Passage, the training involved is not just physical, but also mental.

Boys cross country Coach McClellan said, “We make sure that some of our practices are on hills, we also went to sioux passage that week to practice, we do that to make sure that runners, especially new runners can see the course and don’t get there on race and go into a panic because of how many and how big the hills are.”

This season the team is mostly young runners with only three seniors on the whole team.

With a young team McClellan’s goals for the team extend beyond just this season,

“Prepare as many of these new runners for running varsity whether it’s at the end of the season this year or next season…it’s a long term plan right now, because we are so young.” McClellan said.

The program for cross country has started to dramatically grow. The team this year has 35-40 runners, a drastic increase from previous years.

“When you have a larger team like that managing that number there are challenges to it…but it’s worth it because it is good for the program and the school” McClellan said.

With a larger team, there is more competition for the seven varsity spots. Allowing for some first year or second year runners the opportunity to run varsity.

With that being said one of McClellan’s goals includes, “get the varsity team experienced and prepared to run competitive varsity races” McClellan said.

Most of the varsity team is coming back next year with the exception of senior Joey Mackenburg. It can be rare to have such a young varsity team.

Varsity runner Luke Stevenson, a junior, “is one of the best runners in the state right now” McClellan said. McClellan is excited to see his growth this season and how he does in postseason.

Luke’s personal record this season is 15.58 and he has gotten first place in Parkway West meet and Stan Nelson Invitational so far.

The team has two more meets this season excluding post season meets. The cross country postseason races will start with districts on Saturday, October 29 at Parkway West High School. Then the top thirty runners at districts will qualify to run in the State meet on Friday, November 4th. More information on the season results and schedule can be found here.