Boys hoping to repeat in cross country, girls look to move up
By LARRY LEEDS, Sports Editor
The Madison boys' cross country team will be trying to duplicate what the team did last season: win a state championship.|
"People will overlook us as we have many young runners," Coach Robert Cordts said. "These runners are ready to step up and into a good team."
Cordts will be counting on returning senior Tom Rowland, juniors Dallas Fernau and Albert Pimental and sophomores Hunter Streff, Garrett Hubbell, Hunter Drew, Edwin Iraheta and Kaiden Dorris to keep the Bulldogs on top of the standings.
Newcomer Reid Guse, a senior, will also help the team as they look to repeat.
"The runners are ready to prove themselves and maintain a strong tradition of cross country at Madison," said Cordts.
Streff placed fourth at the state meet last season as he crossed the finish line in 17:26.57. He is the only Bulldog runner returning who placed in the top five.
There are 20 runners (seventh grade through seniors) vying for a spot on the varsity team.
Besides capturing the Class A team title, the Bulldogs won the last Big 8 Conference title last fall.
Keeping the runners healthy will be a major concern of Cordts.
"We need to train them hard but not too hard," he said.
Madison will be a member of the newly-formed Dakota XII Conference. Cordts tabs Lennox as the team to beat in a powerful conference race.
The Madison girls will be looking to move up in the standings at the state meet this year.
Madison had two of the top five finishers at the state meet last season. Emily Hawkes was first with a time of 15:20.49 and Hailey Streff was fifth with a time of 15:42.69.
Hawkes, a junior, and Streff, a freshman, are both back for the Lady Bulldogs. Other top runners returning include senior Brooklynn Hodges, juniors Madison Nipe and Danielle Roemen and freshman Rachel Hass.
"Our top runners are maturing as a group and that will help us," Cordts said.
Hawkes and Nipe are preparing for their fifth straight state meet while Streff is looking at a third straight state meet.
"The level of talent of our top tier of runners is very good," Cordts said. "They worked hard in the offseason to be ready now."
Keeping the runners healthy is Cordts' major concern.
Like the boys, the Lady Bulldogs captured the last Big 8 crown last fall and now will be looking to claim the first Dakota XII title.
"It will be exciting competing in the Dakota XII Conference," Cordts said. "Placing in the top three of the conference will be great as several elite teams in Class A are in this conference."
Cordts tabs Dakota Valley as the team to beat in girls' competition.
Cordts believes the Bulldogs and Lady Bulldogs can place in the top five at the state meet.
"This is a goal that is very attainable," he said.
Assisting Cordts this season are Peg Hansen and Adam Ericsson.
The Bulldogs will host the John Collignon Invitational on Friday at the Madison Country Club. There has been a switch in time due to the heat. The meet will now begin at 9 a.m. instead of the regular time of 2 p.m.
"There will be good competition here with Milbank, Garretson and West Central in the field of teams," said Cordts.