Sign In | Create an Account | Welcome, . My Account | Logout | Subscribe | Submit News | Home RSS
 
 
 

Union cross country focused on improvement in 2018

August 16, 2018
CJ Eilers - Editor (editor@dysartreporter.com) , Dysart Reporter

Head Coach Justin Parson. Managers Natalie Tecklenburg, Kaylin Brustkern

After a rebuilding season last year and getting their numbers back up, Union cross country looks to push forward and compete in 2018 with both the boys and girls teams.

"We made progress last season," 12th year head coach Justin Parson said. "We had 45-50 kids out then. Kids worked hard and achieved more than they thought they would. Just a great group of kids and at practice I look forward to going to practice each day as a coach."

Article Photos

Top: Tobias Hopkins, Devin Reel, Lake LeBahn, Ethan Clark, Jacob Hill, Garrett Rottinghaus, Lane Hennings, Trevor Davis, Jonathon Bronner, Keegan Block, Jack Thomsen, Caleb Reel Bottom: Connor Prestemon, Ty Lorenzen, Gavin Moore, Tyson Fleshner, Cayden Thiele, TJ Feldpouch Asher Beerman. Not pictured: Nolan Wandschneider, Karson Hennings, Ryan Bowers, Xander Axline and Matthew Carlson.

Combined between the two sides, Union will have a similar number of athletes out again this season. Seniors for the girls this year include Emily Miehe, Anna Smith and Emma Alpers is the process of recovering from a surgery. Parson will look to those seniors and junior Madison Frush to fill out his varsity roster this season. Frush, a junior who joined her freshman year, could set herself up as the number one runner for Union this season.

"I was motivated to try cross country to stay in shape, mainly for soccer," Frush said. "I found myself working to get PRs whenever possible."

Frush was part of a smaller girls team last season with less competition for varsity spots. This season, she feels the top seven runners will be far more competitive and times will fall as a results.

"Last season we were a very young team, just like this year," Frush said. "I would say we all had a really good time and fell short at the end. We didn't place as highly as we wanted to, but I have high hopes for this season. We will focus more in practice to compete for varsity spots."

Along with several new freshman, the girls have at least 14 capable runners competing for varsity spots as practice gets underway.

"I feel Madi will be strong this year," Parson said. "I know she'd been hindered by injury last year, but she'll do good this year. Anna Smith is capable of running really well for us and being that consistent second runner. Grace Asmussen proved last year she can be pretty good. Audrey Kline has shown a lot of promise, so we want her to be a little more consistent as she continues to run. Alexa Weber and Elle Hookham as freshmen will definitely compete for a varsity spot this season."

Seniors for the boys include Nolan Wandschneider and Karson Hennings, and will be paced by junior Lake LeBahn after being crowned Conference Champion last season and running at the State Cross Country Meet.

"We don't have any newcomers this season for the boys that are freshman, but I'm excited for Lake's expectations," Parson said. "Lane Hennings is a kid that has a great shot to qualify for State if we keep him healthy and his mind in the right spot. He seems motivated to that this season. The boys have been decent these last few years and if we have five guys running the right race on the same day, who knows what could happen."

One thing Parson knows going forward is that LeBahn is self-motivated and ready for his junior season. Since competing at the State Track Meet in May, LeBahn has run all summer, setting a goal to improve his time at all meets by 30 seconds over last season. But his goals don't stop on the personal level.

"I want to see our team also qualify for State together, and I feel we have the potential to do that," LeBahn said. "We were pretty young, yet pretty close to making it to State last year as a team. We hit some goals and pretty much everyone was happy with that season. Still, I feel I can do a lot better."

"I don't think I've seen anybody that is as confident as Lake is," Parson said. "His own bar is pretty high. I don't know if he'll ever get over the bar he sets for himself, but he always believes in himself and is pretty motivated. As a coach, that's a great thing to see because it's easy to figure out what to do with him when he wants to succeed. He wants all the tools to get that little advantage."

According to Parson, this group of runners works well together and enjoys each other's company. While expectations are about where they were last season, Parson has challenged his athletes to cut down individual times to help the team overall and close the gap between the top five runners for both boys and girls.

"We just want our kids to continue to embrace and conquer the mental challenges that cross country presents," Parson said. "Cross country is pretty unique because it's the one sport that sets you up mentally than it does physically. Obviously, the physical part is something they're all getting great conditioning out of, but the mental part they gain out of the sport is something they will carry beyond high school. It's important to me they have challenges and overcome them through practice, using those skills later in life."

Parson believes his young teams will compete hard against one another for varsity spots after losing several seniors to graduation and then gaining back some capable bodies this season.

"I have great kids and enjoy coming to practice each morning," Parson said. "Some complain about their kids and different teams, but I have a great one and feel lucky to work with them."

Likewise, his athletes seemed poised for the upcoming season as many return from last year's team, including Frush.

"Parson makes this sport ten times better honestly," Frush said. "He brings a positive attitude every day and gets what he needs without having to be too strict. It's fun for us and our team gets along well. There's no drama in cross country, it's just a fun time competing."

The North Iowa Ceder League will have tough conference opponents in Hudson and Aplington-Parkersburg. The season will start with the teams travelling to Oelwein on Tuesday, August 28.

"I want to see our team also qualify for State together, and I feel we have the potential to do that," LeBahn said. "We were pretty young, yet pretty close to making it to State last year as a team. We hit some goals and pretty much everyone was happy with that season. Still, I feel I can do a lot better."

"I don't think I've seen anybody that is as confident as Lake is," Parson said. "His own bar is pretty high. I don't know if he'll ever get over the bar he sets for himself, but he always believes in himself and is pretty motivated. As a coach, that's a great thing to see because it's easy to figure out what to do with him when he wants to succeed. He wants all the tools to get that little advantage."

According to Parson, this group of runners works well together and enjoyed each other's company. While expectations are about where they were last season, Parson has challenged his athletes to cut down individual times to help the team overall and close the gap between the top five runners for both boys and girls.

"We just want our kids to continue to embrace and conquer the mental challenges that cross country presents," Parson said. "Cross country is pretty unique because it's the one sport that sets you up mentally than it does physically," Parson said. "Obviously, the physical part is something they're all getting great conditioning out of, but the mental part they gain out of the sport is something they will carry beyond high school. It's important to me they have challenges and overcome them through practice, using those skills later in life."

Parson believes his young teams will compete hard against one another for varsity spots after losing several seniors to graduation and then gaining back some capable bodies this season.

"I have great kids and enjoy coming to practice each morning," Parson said. "Some complain about their kids and different teams, but I have a great one and feel lucky to work with them."

Likewise, his athletes seemed poised for the upcoming season as many return from last year's team, including Frush.

"Parson makes this sport ten times better honestly," Frush said. "He brings a positive attitude every day and gets what he needs without having to be too strict. It's fun for us and our team gets along well. There's no drama in cross country, it's just a fun time competing."

The North Iowa Ceder League will tough conference opponents in Hudson and Aplington-Parkersburg. The season will start with the teams traveling to Oelwein on Tuesday, August 28.

 
 

 

I am looking for:
in:
News, Blogs & Events Web