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By Shannon Mulcahey, Xavier junior
CEDAR RAPIDS – The Xavier boys’ cross country team participated in the Cascade Invite and the Eastern Iowa Classic recently.
The Cascade meet consisted of many schools that were similar in size to Xavier, making it an important meet. The Saints placed fourth with 117 points. The top finishers were junior Jacob Schmitt in 18 minutes – placing 14th overall – sophomore Luke Koechner (18:09) and senior Grant Hunt (18:30).
“I think we could have done a little bit better at the Cascade Invite, but we definitely have improved,” Koechner said. “Everyone is pushing each other to do their best, as our team goal is to go to state.”
The next meet wore out his determination. On Sept. 20, the Saints participated in the Eastern Iowa Classic, settling for sixth place overall. Schmitt led the boys’ team again by placing 23rd with a personal record of 17:06. On Schmitt’s heels was Koechner, with a time of 17:09. He placed 24th overall while Hunt came in 33rd in a time of 17:18.
“I was really impressed that everyone ran very well at the Eastern Iowa Classic,” Schmitt said. “So many people broke their personal records which was great.”
The next four runners in for the Saints were freshman Evan Gradoville (17:29), freshman Steven Culpepper (17:31), senior Zach Schowalter (18:08) and sophomore Evan Bednar (18:19).
The Saints run again on Saturday at the Clinton Classic. They are at the MVC Super Meet on Oct. 4.
The Xavier girls’ cross country also continued to improve at the Cascade Invitational Eastern Iowa Classic.
At the Cascade, the girls placed third out of 15 team in their division with 114 points. They trailed first-place Davenport Assumption, which finished with 32 points, and second-place Mount Vernon-Lisbon (104 points). Xavier freshman Jenny Dickes placed third overall in a time of 16:21. She was followed by 11th-place by junior Marinna Schroud, who ran a 16:39. Sophomore Maddy Bailey placed 28th in a time of 17:28.
“This is my first year doing cross country, although I have participated in track,” Dickes said. ” The upperclassmen have really helped me do my best and they have taught me the important things on cross country basics.”
On Sept. 20, the girls placed fourth at the Eastern Iowa Classic, which was held at the Dubuque Soccer Complex. Dickes grabbed 11th with an improved time of 15:26. Schroud also broke her personal record and turned in a time of 15:47. Pitz came in third in a time of 16:12.
“The Cascade Invite improved each person as a runner because of the difficult course,” Smith said. “At the Eastern Iowa Classic, most of the team was able to beat their personal records.”
Xavier moves on to participate in the Clinton Classic on Saturday. It will also run in the MVC Super Meet on Oct. 4, starting at 3:30 p.m.