(KMAland) -- One more preview for the upcoming cross country season.
PREVIOUS FALL SPORTS PREVIEW LINKS
2020 MISSOURI RIVER CONFERENCE BOYS CROSS COUNTRY PREVIEW
Bishop Heelan Catholic Crusaders — Last Year: 7th Place (206 points)
Coach: Todd Roerig
RETURNEES: The Crusaders lost their top runner from last year’s MRC meet, but they did return everybody else. Seniors Noah Winker and Josh Newman, juniors Jake Weist, Roberto Rundquist and Erick Carlberg and sophomore Eli Otten
FINAL WORD: The Crusaders struggled a bit to contend last season, and they’ll need their most experienced runners to take a real step forward this year in order to climb out of the where they finished last season in the MRC.
Council Bluffs, Abraham Lincoln Lynx — Last Year: 6th Place (131 points)
Coach: Scott Milner
RETURNEES: Senior Caden Tellander is a key returnee for the Lynx, especially considering his strong 8th place finish at the MRC last year. Sophomores Lucas Fitch and Daxon Kindred and seniors Ethan Leinen, Aiden Kellar and Jude Ryan are all returning from last year’s conference meet, too.
FINAL WORD: Tellander is one of the top-returning runners in the conference and is in prime position to make a run at another MRC medal and potentially a trip to Fort Dodge. The rest of the group will have to bump up a bit for the Lynx to improve their overall score.
Council Bluffs, Thomas Jefferson Yellow Jackets — Last Year: 2nd Place (66 points)
Coach: Doug Muehlig
RETURNEES: Two of their three state qualifiers from last season are back. Seniors Aidan Booton and Juan Martinez, who finished sixth and seventh at the MRC, both ran at Fort Dodge last season. Fellow seniors Bryan Aguilera, Alex Aguilar and Hunter Ryba ran 26th, 29th and 31st, respectively, at the conference race.
FINAL WORD: They will have to replace their top runner and their fourth runner from last season’s conference meet, but they do have two of the top 10 junior varsity runners coming up to help out with this year’s depth. The Jackets should be a contender in every meet in KMAland again this year.
LeMars Bulldogs — Last Year: 3rd Place (76 points)
Coach: Al Engebretson
RETURNEES: Last year’s LeMars team ran with five juniors in that top five, and they should all be back for their senior seasons. Jason Sudtelgte and Ethan Hulinsky both qualified for state after finishing 9th and 11th, respectively, in the MRC meet. Jackson Sudtelgte (17th), Blake Dirksen (18th) and Kaden Wingert (21st) also ran within the top 21 last season. Sophomore Michael Meis is the sixth-returning runner after placing 37th in the conference meet.
FINAL WORD: With the top six returning, there figures to be just one spot to fill. They had some successful freshmen running in last year’s JV conference meet that could be in the mix there. Regardless, LeMars should make a run at a 3A state spot.
Sergeant Bluff-Luton Warriors — Last Year: 4th Place (103 points)
Coach: Monte Larsen
RETURNEES: All seven of Sergeant Bluff-Luton’s runners from last year’s conference meet return this season. Junior Carlos Rodriguez and seniors Ty Shoulders and Nick Muller were all between 14th and 19th last season. Sophomores Hayden Gamble and Gannon Aymar and seniors Isaac Bryan and Brady Schaap also ran for SBL at last year’s MRC meet, finishing between 23rd and 44th.
FINAL WORD: Both Bryan and Rodriguez qualified for the state meet last year, which should help the Warriors take a little momentum and motivation into this season. They are full of experience, and they should be able to contend for most races that don’t involve Sioux City North.
Sioux City East Black Raiders — Last Year: 5th Place (110 points)
Coach: Nick Gaul
RETURNEES: Sophomore Dylan Nation was the fastest non-Sioux City North freshman in the conference last year, running 13th at the MRC meet. Junior Ryan Campbell added a 16th-place finish, and senior Ethan Burge had a solid run in 20th place. They lost their No. 4 and No. 5, but seniors Owen Hoak and Brenden Andre ran 40th and 41st, respectively.
FINAL WORD: They have a top three freshman returning to the mix, as well as the other two in their top three last year, and that should lead to some good things. They have plenty of depth to bring up from last year’s JV squad and should be just as good — or even better — as last year.
Sioux City North Stars — Last Year: 1st Place (24 points)
Coach: Abdier Marrero
RETURNEES: They are absolutely, positively loaded. A team that scored 24 points at last year’s MRC meet and finished fifth at state returns their top six runners. That’s led by the reigning conference champion and 4A ninth-place finisher Jaysen Bouwers — a senior — and the reigning conference runner-up in junior Will Lohr. Sophomores Beshanena Gutema and Gabe Nash ran fourth and fifth, respectively, and senior Colin Greenwell took 12th at the MRC. Sophomore Yasin Gishe finished 27th at the meet.
FINAL WORD: Not only do they return almost everybody from a team that finished in the 4A’s top five, but they also had the top four runners — all sophomores and juniors last season — in the JV meet. This is a dynasty in the making, and they shouldn’t see much trouble in the region this year.
Sioux City West Wolverines — Last Year: 7th Place (201 points)
Coach: Abigail Mehlhaff
RETURNEES: All seven of last year’s Sioux City West runners at the MRC meet are returning. Seniors Rey Gonzalez and Easton Gelinne led the way with 22nd and 30th-place runs, respectively. Juniors Jose Lopez and Jacob Johnson, sophomores Benson Carter and Kirk Houts and senior Aldo Grijalvo were all between 46th and 56th a year ago.
FINAL WORD: Experience is good, and Sioux City West is one of the more experienced teams in the conference. They will need plenty to bump up in order to compete for a top five finish.
CONCLUSION: Sioux City North is really, really, really good. That’s an extra really after all that returns from last year’s really, really good team. They will be a heavy favorite in the MRC and one of the top 4A teams in all of the state.
Send any corrections to email@example.com.