Boys Cross Country Finishes Their Season with State


Rachel Marsh

Ford Washburn '23 runs during the State Cross Country Meet.

Rachel Marsh, Reporter

Sometimes one point can make a big difference. This year, one point is all that kept the City High boys cross-country team from qualifying for state as a team on Thursday, October 24, at the district meet in Cedar Falls. 

“I definitely felt like it was like a transition season. Last season, our team wasn’t very good–we didn’t have the greatest work ethic as a team–but I feel this year, we got that back. It was also a lot more fun as a team and we had a lot of team bonding activities,” said senior Matt Taylor.

The journey to the districts race was not a short one. At the Mississippi Valley Conference Divisionals, held at Ashton Cross-Country Course on October 17, the boys varsity team ended the night in third place, advancing them to the district meet. They raced a varsity team of 10 runners led by Ford Washburn ‘23 and Mitchell Wilkes ‘20. 

“[Divisionals] went well for me, I got a personal record there,” said Freshman Truman Thompson “ Going into it I was just excited, I like Ashton, it’s a fast course,”

On October 24, the team raced their top seven at the qualifier meet, Districts, held in Cedar Falls. Washburn led the team, ending in seventh place with a time of 16:39, qualifying himself individually for state. Wilkes was second on the team with a time of 17:16 and coming in 18th place. Junior Lance Smith came in with a time of 17:22 and in 20th place with Evan McElroy ‘21 right behind him with a time of 17:23. 

Freshman Truman Thompson finished in 27th place with a time of 17:33. Sophomores Cullivan Hall and Parker Max ended in 29th and 32nd places with times of 17:34 and 17:42. The team ended in fourth place with 93 points, just one point away from Cedar Rapids Kennedy, who ended with 92 points, therefore ending them one point away from qualifying for state as a team. 

“We were all pretty disappointed,” said Mitchell Wilkes ‘20. “Obviously, if we had known that we could beat one more person and gone [to state], maybe we could have pushed harder.” 

On November 2, Ford Washburn went up to Fort Dodge for the state cross-country meet with his teammates right behind him. Washburn raced a time of 16:10, putting him in 20th place overall, a personal record.

“It was really cool to see a freshman run as fast as he did. He’s been working hard all season. I’ve been able to run with them and that’s been really cool. Even if our team wasn’t [at state], it was cool to see what all the work goes towards and see that…pay off,” said Taylor.