Crestwood XC girls grab fourth at State, boys compete hard


FORT DODGE -  The Crestwood athletes competing at the Class 2A State Cross Country Meet Saturday at Lakeside Golf Course in Fort Dodge represented Northeast Iowa very well as the Cadet girls’ team placed fourth out of 15 teams overall with 131 points.
The Crestwood girls’ squad had three runners finish in the top 15 including: Ellie Friesen, third, 18:36.2 seconds; Cassidy Ihns, 11th, 19:47.8; and Hope Dohlman, 13th, 20:01.07. Other Cadet girls competing included: Rachel Steffen (66th, 21:37); Emily Friesen (82nd, 21:57); Sarah Mashek (97th, 22:16); and Brynn Bodermann (105th, 22:29).
In the Class 2A boys’ race, Crestwood sophomore Bryden Juelsgaard placed 75th overall in 18:02, and junior Nathan Martinek took 87th place in 18:17.
Crestwood Head Coach Jim Obermann said he was extremely proud of all the Cadet runners who ran at State. Talking about the Crestwood girls’ team, he noted the squad had high goals going into the State Meet.
“Our girls’ team set its goals very high,” Obermann said. “We went down to Fort Dodge with the intent trying to win a State Champion-ship. Obviously, we’re a very good team, but there were some very good teams who finished ahead of us. We went into the State Meet ranked fourth and that’s how we finished.
“We were a little disappointed when the team scores came out because we were shooting for a little bit higher than fourth, but at the same time, we ran well. All of our girls ran hard and well. We got beat by three very good teams (Mid-Prairie, Monticello and WC-KP), but that’s just the way it’s going to be sometimes at State. Our girls’ point total (131) was pretty solid, and sometimes that point total will get you into the top three teams,” Obermann said.
Looking back at the State Meet and the season, the coach said the Cadets have every reason to hold their heads high.
“After having a chance to process what we’ve done this season (as a team), I think the girls feel pretty good about themselves,” Coach Obermann said. “Last year, the girls’ team was fifth at the State Qualifying Meet and didn’t get to State as a team. To finish fourth as a team this year at State helps keeps things in perspective.
“Ellie was not disappointed to place third individually. She ran a great race. This was the best she has ever run at the State Meet. One of the girls who finished ahead of Ellie (Marie Hostetler of Mid-Prairie, first place, 17:51) ran the fastest time ever at the girls’ meet at State.
“Ellie has run against Marie and Anna Hostetler of Mid-Prairie many times before during the track and cross country seasons. We were hoping Ellie would be in the mix (for the lead) and she was. She ran a great race. I’m very pleased with Ellie, and she was pleased, too,” Obermann said.
The coach also gave congrats to all the Cadet girls.
“With Cassidy Ihns, sometimes we just took for granted (how good she was this season),”  Obermann said. “Everything was new for Cassidy this season, including going to a new school, a new state, and new courses. For her to place 11th at State was tremendous.
“Hope Dohlman is one of the toughest competitors I’ve ever been around. She really does a great job of maximizing her ability. I thought she had an outstanding race at State. This was Hope’s third time at State, and she has gotten better every time. She has great determination. We haven’t had three State medalists before, so that was great to see this year.
“The other girls on our team also ran well, and they had good finishing times. Our girls came away from the meet satisfied that they did their absolute best. I’m very proud of what all the girls have accomplished, not just at State, but throughout the year. All of the girls stayed healthy, focused and they never had an off day, which is hard to do. Our entire girls’ team is a tight-knit group, and they really like each other,” Obermann said. 
Boys compete well
The coach praised Bryden Juelsgaard and Nathan Martinek, who both earned their first trip to State this year.
“For Nathan and Bryden, the State meet was a little bit different because they weren’t competing as a team,” Obermann said. “But this was the first time we had two boys competing at State since I’ve been coaching.
“The focus was different for Bryden and Nathan because they weren’t chasing a trophy. We were down there (at State) to get some good experience and find out what State is all about. Because they are both underclassmen, we think this experience can propel us to better things next year.
“Even though he wasn’t 100 percent healthy, Nathan competed well. We wanted both guys to have a good experience, so hopefully next year, Bryden and Nathan can lead the boys’ team to State. 
“Both guys learned a lot at State this year. Their finishing times were decent, but I think the experience they received this year will be very valuable leading into next season. This year should be a good motivation for them. They’ve got a taste of what State is all about, now we want them to see what they can do next year.
“Our boys’ team will have a lot of returning runners next year. If we can stay healthy, the sky is the limit. Both Nathan and Bryden did a good job of getting themselves ready for State. Nathan wouldn’t get down to State if he didn’t do his homework, which included working hard during the summer and during the season. After suffering an illness, he fought hard to get back (for the State Qualifier meet).
“Bryden is a great runner, and he’s just a sophomore. He will keep getting better and better as he gets stronger. He’s a very good competitor. Now he knows that he is a State-caliber runner. Both Bryden and Nathan will be a great one-two punch for us next year. I’m sure Bryden and Nathan want to get the boys’ team to State next year,” Obermann said.

Cresco Times

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