MHS cross country team opens season Saturday in home invitiationalThe Mitchell High School cross country team hosts the Mitchell Invitational Saturday in Mitchell, but some of the team’s runners may not be participating in the first meet.
By: Kevin Pottebaum, The Daily Republic
The Mitchell High School cross country team hosts the Mitchell Invitational Saturday in Mitchell, but some of the team’s runners may not be participating in the first meet.
Head coach Scott Munsen said last season the team dealt with some injuries. In his second year with the team, he wants to make sure his runners take it easy early in the season.
“There’s no use of risking someone getting hurt,” he said. “Especially in the first month of the season, we’re going to be conservative with kids racing.”
Munsen said he wants his runners to sit out some meets and has allowed the athletes to pick if they would like to participate in a specific event.
Berkley Rietveld is one runner Munsen expects to compete Saturday. Munsen said the senior wanted to race in the home event during her final season with the Kernels.
On the girls’ team, Rietveld is joined by seniors Courtney Moore, Tessa Bartscher and Emily Sudbeck. Sudbeck joined the cross country team for the first time in her final high school season and is also playing softball.
Munsen said the top runners for Mitchell’s girls’ squad are Rietveld, Naomi Munsen and Mary Krause. Naomi Munsen is a ninth-grader who coach Munsen said was the team’s top runner last season and Krause is an eighth-grader.
“If those three can stay healthy and we can develop some of the other girls, we’ll be doing pretty well,” Scott Munsen said.
Mitchell’s coach said he expects the girls’ team to improve on its 10th-place finish at state last year.
The boys’ team also has many young runners looking to compete for the Kernels. Last year the boys finished 15th at the state meet and Scott Munsen said with the experience he hopes the team can jump to a sixth- or seventh-place finish.
Freshmen Christian Fossum and Riley Cowins return to the team along with junior Sam Bee and eighth-graders Josh Loecker and Rusty Munsen.
“Last year, we had some guys that didn’t have any experience, and we managed to beat one team at state,” Scott Munsen said. “We were excited about that and we’re looking to improve on that.”
The Kernels’ coach said he still hopes to add more names to the roster as the numbers on the teams are slightly down from years past.
“Recruiting for the cross country team is an ongoing process,” Scott Munsen said. “We want to get kids that are excited to run and eventually I think we can get better.”