PREVIEW: Wildcat boys and girls strive of improvement

The Maquoketa Valley boys cross country team, first row from left: Lane Coyle, Mason Lubben, Chad Neuzil, Mitch Neuzil and Canyon Richardson. Second row: Daniel Hunter, Chance Downs, Blake Becker, Brenden Hogan and Alex McCusker. Third row: assistant coach Sara Dever, Cody Gibbs, Sean Hucker, Tate Trenkamp, Jon Seibert and head coach Pat Meehan. Not pictured is Derek Mensen.

The Maquoketa Valley girls cross country team, first row from left: Reece Mensen, Abbie Sheehy and Ci’Ann Richardson. Second row: assistant coach Sara Dever, Madi Lahr, Hannah Lahr, Kristin Lucas and head coach Pat Meehan. (Photos by Pete Temple)

     Both the boys’ and girls’ cross country teams for Maquoketa Valley have the goal of improving day by day, week by week this coming season.

     “If that is realized by both teams, the season will be one to be proud of,” said Pat Meehan, who co-coaches the teams with Sara Dever.

     After that, the similarities end.

     “Goals for the boys are to continue to improve so as to compete for the conference championship and a state berth,” Meehan said. “The girls are working to build a team.”

     The boys had a strong season a year ago, finishing second in the Tri-Rivers Conference Meet and fourth in the state qualifying meet, missing a trip to State by one team spot.

     The Wildcat boys have 15 runners out for the team,. They include six returning letter-winners, led by Brendan Hogan, a senior who qualified individually for State in 2016. Junior Tate Trenkamp returns, and looks to be improved, Meehan said.

     Also back are junior Canyon Richardson, and sophomores Chance Downs, Derek Mensen and Mason Lubben.

     “Chance Downs has emerged as the team’s top runner at this time, and could become one of the premier 1A runners in the area,” Meehan said. “Juniors Jon Seibert and Daniel Hunter appear to be on course to crack the top seven.

     “The main priority for the boys at this stage of the season is to improve and develop depth.”

     There are six runners on the girls’ team, none of whom are returning letter-winners. They include juniors Hannah Lahr, Maddie Lahr and Kristin Lucas; sophomore CiAnn Richardson, and freshmen Reece Mensen and Abbie Sheehy.

     “Kristin and Maddie return from last year and are working hard,” Meehan said. “Concerns for the girls’ team involve the development of the team so that the runners can contribute to a satisfying team place at conference.”

     Kaitlyn Deutmeyer is the team manager.


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