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Redhawk XC runs full team at South Tama

September 13, 2018
CJ Eilers - Editor ( , Traer Star-Clipper

The North Tama cross country team was able to flex its full muscle at the South Tama Invitational on Monday, Sept. 10, showing positive results despite not being able to score as a team.

"Overall, I am extremely happy with how the meet went," coach Katey Holbach said. "With it being a Monday meet and the kids not having school, they all showed up and ready to compete. Every runner who has competed before beat their previous personal best, and the first time runners set high personal records.

Holbach stated she expected her veteran runners to place higher and set PRs this meet, while watching her less experienced runners do their best and not walk during the meet. Both elements were present as new runners to the program got in their first meet.

Article Photos

Juan Sanchez running for North Tama. Photo courtesy of Allison Graham, Tama News-Herald.

"We had every athlete running last night and it was great to have more athletes to cheer on," Holbach said. "It keeps it more entertaining for our NT spectators and it pushes the other athletes because it gives them someone to run with that they know."

For the girls, Molly Kvidera led the way placing 25th overall with a time of 24:52.3, followed by Jordan Rigel in 67th with a time of 29:55.2, Elina Aghabekyan in 76th with a time of 31:47.03 and Sabryna Rigel in 80th with a time 37:17.59.

They boys team also had four runners out after only having one in the Eldora meet the week before. In his first competitive 5K, Sam Snyder placed 17th out of 105 runners with a time of 20:00.9. Other runners for North Tama were Logan Kennedy in 45th with a time of 21:49.4, Juan Sanchez in 70th with a time of 24:03.5 and Emmanuel in 104th with a time of 36:10.3

"Sam ran a smart race and held back a little in the start so he wouldn't die at the end," Holbach Said. "He was able to hang in the top crowd and I anticipate some great things from Sam this season."

Holbach's main takeaway for her athletes after this meet is to realize they can be competitive and "deserve to be in the top" because of their drive and desire to compete against the larger school that were present such as Vinton-Shellsburg, South Tama, East Marshal and BCLUW.

"We are not perfect and we have room to grow," Holbach said. "Running harder up the hills and not stopping at the top is a huge thing we need to work on and that's a mental hurdle. I saw huge improvements from the first meet at Eldora to South Tama in attacking hills, but we cannot settle."

North Tama fans can also look forward to competitive teams in the near future as both the junior high boys and girls teams came out strong for North Tama. While the eighth grade boys also didn't have enough runners to score, Luke DeBoef placed third overall in the 1.8 mile run, running a 12:22. Darius Cooper came in at 24th with a time of 15:20. The girls were able to place second overall behind two top five runners with Grace Lidgett placing second with a time of 14:09 and Jamie Jacobs placing 4th with a time of 14:41. Olivia Ketter placed seventh with a time of 14:54 and Dacey Powell in 34th place with with a time of 19:26.

"Having a strong JH team makes me, as a coach, excited for the future of the XC program," Holbach said. "I hope we continue to get new athletes out to try XC and realize how challenging it is and also how rewarding it is. There isn't a feeling quite like running a long race and knowing you did well because it is something you know you've accomplished for yourself. It's a sport unlike the others because even though you are a team, you run on your own and you have to push yourself to do your very best."

The cross country runners next competed at Lynnville Sully on Thursday and a meet at BGM on Monday, Sept. 17 before they compete at the Town and Country Course in Grundy Center on Thursday, Sept. 20.



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