Boys Cross Country Team Hopes to Bounce Back

City High Boys Cross Country team rebuild a better team.

After a 14th place finish at last year’s boys state cross country meet, the team hopes to come back with new forces leading the squad.

The City High boys cross country team lost their top two runners, Ryan Dorman and Chris Ohrt, after last season, but there is some talent working up through the ranks.

“We have good freshmen and some people that are stepping up and filling those spots that were left by the seniors,” Tom McDowell ‘16, a three year returning varsity letterwinner said.

Among those stepping up to lead the team are Matthew Dodge ‘17 and Joel Bender ‘15, Bender winning the boys’ first meet of the season with a time of 16:53. Captains for the season are Bender, Jens Dancer ‘15, Joe Crooks ‘15, and Lucas Froeschner ‘15.

“We are gaining a huge freshmen class this year,” senior captain Jens Dancer said. “They are very promising and I’m looking forward to having them on the team”

The enthusiasm from the improving freshmen class, which is 22 people strong, extends throughout the whole team.

“We have some good potential, I think we all know how to run a good 5K and we can do something really special if we work together and put our minds to it,” Dancer ‘15 said . “We haven’t been racing together our whole lives, so we are going to have to learn how to race as a team.”

The learning and improving started over the summer for some athletes, with vigorous summer training and workouts. Summer training seemed to work; the team received a second place finish overall at the first meet of the season, coupled with Bender’s first place individual victory.

“For the people who were there, their training paid off a lot and you can see it in their times that they have been running,” McDowell said.

The team is careful not to overdo it.

“Last year we did a little too much and we recognize that, so this year we cut our mileage back a little bit. On average most people were there five days a week and ran about five miles a day.” Dancer said.

Cutting back on offseason mileage seemed to work. The varsity had a good start to the season with a second place finish at the first meet. The team believes the coaches are a positive impact as well.

“I like all of the coaches, they all have a pretty good grasp on how to coach and they have been here for a while.” Bender ‘15 said of the coaching staff led by Jayme Skay, 17 year head coach. The assistant coaches include Josh Hildebrand, Andrew Smith, and Ryan Ahlers.

The team enjoys each other’s company as well as that of the coaches.

“The team building is my favorite part of cross country, that’s one thing that has always attracted me to XC is how close knit of a team we have,” Dancer said. “I really like this year how there are so many young guys, and I’m a senior now so I can teach the young guys what to do and how to do it.”

Dancer hopes to be a leader on and off the course and ultimately, through hard work, earn a spot at State.

“My main goal for this season is to get to state and place well at state,” Dancer said. “It would be an amazing experience to run and compete for a State title.”

Russel Martin '16
Innes Hicasmaz
Russel Martin ’16
Joseph Ward '15
Innes Hicsasmaz
Joseph Ward ’15
Jens Danser '15
Innes Hicsasmaz
Jens Danser ’15