MCHS cross country teams have higher goals this seasonWith last year’s challenges behind them, the Mitchell Christian cross country teams are optimistic about the season ahead.
By: Brooke Cersosimo, The Daily Republic
With last year’s challenges behind them, the Mitchell Christian cross country teams are optimistic about the season ahead.
“The biggest thing is that our numbers have improved,” head coach Mark Miedema said. “Last year, we had injuries and other things holding us back, but now, these kids are enthusiastic about running and are ready to back each other up.”
Today, Mitchell Christian opens its season at the Mitchell Invitational, which starts at 10 a.m. at Cadwell Park in Mitchell.
Returning runners for the boys’ team are three freshmen in Isaak Peitz, Coby Lee and Zach Buche. Eighth-grader James Krall raced in several varsity races last season and will join the freshmen this year. Seventh-grader Kyle Glanzer will also be running varsity for the Eagles this season.
Last year, Peitz and Adam Rasmussen qualified for the state meet. Rasmussen went out for golf this fall and will be joining the cross country team later in the season.
“We made an agreement that (Rasmussen) could join the team in time for regionals at the end of the season,” Miedema said.
On the girls’ team are returners seniors Katie Reynen and Leah Berg, junior Becca Glanzer, who qualified for last year’s state tournament, and freshman Ashley Glanzer.
Newcomers for the girls include freshman Khiree Held and seventh-grader Devin Blindauer.
Miedema, who is in his third year as head coach, said the goals are much higher this season as he hopes to qualify both teams to the state meet in October.
“They show promise in their commitment to running,” Miedema said. “If the team doesn’t make state, I think Coby and Kyle are very capable of making the tournament along with Isaak and Adam. They’ve been working hard, and I think that is a legitimate goal for them.”
Miedema wants today’s opener to be an enjoyable race for the kids, considering it is just like a home meet for them even though it’s hosted by Mitchell High School.
“It’s a small meet, so it’ll be nice to see some success,” Miedema said. “We’ll see most of our competition later on in the season, so this will be a good opportunity for us to just have fun.
“I’m not too worried about placing and our times this weekend. We can use it as a guide to set our goals further down the road.”