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HHS cross-country teams finish strong season

Megan Mattson and Linnea Hanson run for Hastings during the Hudson Raider Invitational Sept. 20. (RiverTown Multimedia photo by Bob Burrows)1 / 2
Eric Howd is pictured racing for Hastings earlier this season. (RiverTown Multimedia photo by Bob Burrows)2 / 2

The Hastings boys’ and girls’ cross-country teams have wrapped up their seasons after a strong season for both teams. The boys’ team took second in conference and had a runner, Crimzon Anderson, qualify for state. The girls’ team had several runners who finished close to one another for most of the season, which spells good things for the team in the future.

Head coach John Dewall said both teams’ strengths this year were the intangibles.

“I was very impressed with the work ethic of this team,” Dewall said. “Their strengths were their great leadership and hard work ethic.”

For the boys’ team, Anderson qualified for state after placing ninth at sectionals. The Raiders’ second best runner for much of the season was Griffin Myers, whose best finish was second, just behind Anderson, at the Simley Invitational. Wrapping up Hastings’ three consistently top runners was Eric Howd, who took 62nd at sections with a time of 17:40, one of his best of the year. His best finish of the year was sixth.

The last four spots on the boys’ team was a committee of runners that varied depending on the meet, consisting of Paul Kendall, Sam Shepherd, Isaac Huntington, Austin Weeks and Nick Sampson.

The girls’ team had four runners who consistently ran well and fairly close together, led by Avery Daley. Daley was the girls’ top finisher at sections, taking 41st. Her best finish this year was fourth at the Simley Invitational. The three runners who stayed close to Daley all season were Megan Mattson, Cora Anderson and Linnea Hanson. Mattson’s best finish was fifth place at the Simley Invitational, Cora Anderson’s was sixth at Simley and Hanson’s was seventh at the same meet. The last three spots on the girls’ team were a combination of Joyce Oseko, Hannah Siebenaler, Mckena Mann, Kaitlyn Walderon and Alexis Edmundson.

Next season looks bright for both Raider teams, as they both were young this year. The boys’ team is graduating four seniors; of those, only two, Sampson and Shepherd, saw significant varsity time this season. The girls have three seniors graduating, all of whom ran junior varsity.

With such a young team, Dewall is looking for significant improvement going into next year.

“Everyone improved greatly (this season),” Dewall said. “We need to continue the progression in training; summer is the key to success.”

Seniors who are graduating after this season are: Victor Lindgren, Levi O’Tool, Nick Sampson, Sam Shepherd, Brianna Froehling, Jen Koudelka and Telma Roesler.

As the seniors finish their final season in the program, Dewall said he encourages them “to enjoy running as a lifelong sport and thank(s) them for their dedication to Hastings, the high school and their teams over the years.”

Alec Hamilton

Alec Hamilton is a sports reporter and general assignment reporter at the Hastings Star Gazette. He is a journalism graduate of Drake University.

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