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By Shannon Mulcahey, Xavier junior
CEDAR RAPIDS – Competing in a varsity sport is tough. Competing as a freshman or sophomore is even harder, especially if one has never even participated in the sport before.
Freshman Jenny Dickes, who has been the top varsity girls’ cross country runner this season, at Xavier -the first time she has competed in cross country.
“We are surprised that she has done so well,” said Dickes’ mother, Pat. ”We’re very proud of her and enjoy watching all the girls compete in the meets.”
Upperclassmen, both for the girls’ and the boys’ team, have contributed to the underclassmen’s successes by giving them advice on how to run the best they can.
“Stick with cross country because it’s a great sport,” senior Zach Schowalter said.
At the Iowa City West Invitational, Dickes placed 20th overall in a time of 15:47. Junior Marinna Schroud placed 29th and sophomore Maddy Bailey placed 47th, which contributed to the teams’ sixth place finish. Dickes, placing 13th overall in the Clinton High School Invite, led the Xavier team once again to a fifth place finish.
At the Mississippi Valley Conference Super Meet on Oct. 4, the Xavier girls’ placed 8th overall.
“It is a bit nerve-wracking running varsity as a freshman, but this experience has been exciting,” Dickes said. “It has gotten a lot easier balancing cross country and trying to settle into high school because I’ve met new people and made new friends.”
The Xavier boys’ team has seen its players improve throughout the season, especially the freshmen and sophomores who have been stepping up their game.
“The freshmen are not afraid to run with the big boys in the front of the pack,” sophomore Evan Gradoville said.
The boys’ team placed 10th at the Iowa City West Invitational, improved to fourth at the Clinton Invitational and finished 12th in the MVC Super Meet in Cedar Falls.
The Xavier girls’ and boys’ teams run in regionals and districts today.