Editor’s note: Here is your chance to tell your story about your team, your school or your favorite player. If you’d like to join The Gazette’s growing list of high school contributors, contact J.R. Ogden at firstname.lastname@example.org
By Caitlyn Conway, Benton Community junior
VAN HORNE – On a cold Thursday afternoon, two Benton Community cross country runners advanced to the state championships.
Senior Tyler Steele finished with a time of 17 minutes, 20 seconds, placing sixth at the district meet.
“I was prepared for Thursday’s meet, I stayed strong throughout the whole race.” Steele said.
This will be Steele’s second state cross country meet.
“I think I have definitely grown since the beginning of the season with the help of my teammates and coaches that pushed me,” he said.
Steele will not be running alone at Saturday’s meet, however. Junior Miranda Hammes will be running for the Benton Community girls’ team.
Hammes finished seventh in the regional meet in a time of 16:29, qualifying for her first state meet.
“I have had more rough meets than expected this season and I finally had a really good race at conference,” she said, “and it boosted my confidence and gave myself an idea of what I was capable of.
“(Coach Marty) Thomae taught me to never give up even when I want to quit so bad. At districts I wanted to quit so bad, but I knew I wasn’t a quitter so I gave it what I had left and now I am onto state.”
The state meet will be held in Fort Dodge on Saturday. Hammes will run at noon, Steele at 12:30 p.m.