Norse cross country season comes to a close
—by Todd Thorson
The Class 1A/2A state cross country qualifying meet was held last Thursday (Oct. 23) at Panorama on a hilly course with plenty of turns, and even though the meet didn’t go exactly the way the Norsemen teams had planned, it “was not very indicative of the season as a whole,” said R-S Coach Chad Gilroy.
The Norse boys ended up 7th out of 11 teams, while the girls finished 10th out of 11.
“I really felt for the seniors who ran their last race, but through the evolution of things, the older (runners) have to make way for the future,” continued Gilroy.
Cathy Narigon led the girls with a 17th place finish, clocking in with a 4K time of 18:38.90. Parker Witthuhn saved his best performance for last, leading the Norse with a 22nd place finish, posting a 5K time of 19:39.48. Dakota Rusher and Spencer Dedic were close behind Parker in 27th and 33rd place, respectively, with times of 19:48.25 and 19:58.53. Taylor Smith posted a 40th place time of 20:29.80.
North Polk won the 2A girls’ title with 58 points. R-S was at 235 points. Red Oak took the boys’ crown with 54 points, edging Shenandoah by eight (62). The Norsemen boys posted 192 points; just three back of West Central Valley.
Other Norse runners who competed included: Girls - Leah Markwardt (57th, 21:55.40), Kim Hendrian (60th, 21:59.44), Ashley Webb (61st, 22:01.34), Taryn Perry (65th, 22:39.29) and Bridget Concannon (68th, 23:53.37); Boys - Jacob Morgan (51st, 21:06.57), Blake Sievers (59th, 21:25.81), Marcus Thomas (66th, 21:38.61) and Nata Lasley (81st, 23:22.59).
The Norsemen were primarily a young squad this season, with a large contingent of freshmen making up the teams. Coach Gilroy is therefore very optimistic about the future:
“The seniors did a great job leading the new crop of freshmen this season, and have most definitely done their part in the process of re-establishing Roland-Story cross country as perennial contenders,” he said. “I was very proud of all the competitors for giving it all they had on that particular day, and was also very impressed at the resolve and commitment from the under classmen about owning this team and wanting to achieve the next level. All in all, it was a bitter-sweet day. It was the last time I will get to coach this great group of seniors, but it is just the beginning of great things to come.”
—photos by Peg Patterson