On Nov. 4, the top seven runners from the varsity cross country team competed in the Class 4 MSHSAA State Cross Country Championship meet, in Jefferson City. This meet marked the 30th time the team has competed at state.
“I think it is just a really exciting experience for the kids. I was expecting we would compete for one of the top spots in the state and worked together well as a team in the meet,” head coach Kevin John said.
The team of seniors Blake Selm, Andrew Lofgren, Cerow Aligab, Matyas Csiki-Fejer, Kyle Andersen, junior Zane Yates and freshman Thomas Andersen finished 14, 15, 23, 31, 37, 48, 61 respectively. Overall the team finished third out of 48 schools with Selm, Lofgren and Aligab earning all state recognition as well.
“It was my goal all four years to eventually get to All-State, so it was finally good to see that it paid off after those four years of hard work,” Lofgren said.
Freshman Thomas Andersen competed at state as the only underclassman among the remaining upperclassmen.
“I felt really honored to be apart of the team only being a freshman and especially when five out of the seven guys are seniors,” Andersen said. “The level of talent and how fast the runners are was a cool experience.”
Andersen also got a chance to share the moment with his older brother, senior Kyle Andersen, who also competed at state.
“It was fun to see [Thomas] grow throughout the season, because he is really good, especially for a freshman, so it was a cool season to be with him,” K. Andersen said.
With five of the seven varsity runners graduating in 2018, underclassmen runners will now have the opportunity to compete at the highest level in cross country. According to John, the search for runners to occupy those spots will not be difficult.
“I’m really excited about next year. At the beginning of the season, I really wasn’t sure about who the guys were that we would count on for next season, but over the course of the year, a lot of kids really stepped up,” John said. “The expectation is the same as always, which is commit to trying to be the best that they can be, sacrifice for the team, and hopefully it will lead to another good season.”