Chasing down titles

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Chasing down titles

The Varsity boys line up for a picture after receiving their individual and team medals.

The Varsity boys line up for a picture after receiving their individual and team medals.

Nick Sacco

The Varsity boys line up for a picture after receiving their individual and team medals.

Nick Sacco

Nick Sacco

The Varsity boys line up for a picture after receiving their individual and team medals.

Ava Sorgenfrey, Sports Editor

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Melissa Martinez
The JV girls huddle up for a photo minutes before their race.

The Mississippi Athletic Conference (MAC) Championship Cross Country meet was held Thursday, October 17 at the Muscatine Municipal Golf Course.

The MAC meet is one of the most important meets of the year for most runners, as this meet is the majority of the athlete’s last meet. Both male and female teams compete for a chance to take home the conference title. 

Freshman and Sophomore girls started off the meet with a bang. The young female athletes snatched the MAC title in their division. Five of the seven runners were in the top fourteen. The top fourteen runners in all races, while only recognized in the varsity division, are considered All-Conference. 

Promptly after the freshman and sophomore girls, were the freshman and sophomore boys. Luke Knepp, a freshman on the team won the race with a twenty-two-second lead. The boys brought home a second-place finish for the Spartans.

The big races of the night were both the male and female varsity races. The varsity girls started after freshman and sophomore boys. Going into this race the lady Spartans knew they were going to have tough competition racing against Bettendorf. 

Sophomore Sydney Brandmeyer knew that this race was a difficult one for the team. “While I think as a team we could have performed better, I knew that all seven of us went out there and gave it our all,” explained Brandmeyer. 

The girls snagged a second-place finish behind the Bulldogs, who they will have to race against again at the State-Qualifying meet. Brandmeyer said, “We are going to prepare for Districts like any other race, we have home course advantage since the meet is held at Crow Creek Park.” Their main goal she says is to hunt down some black and gold jerseys. 

Varsity boys toed the line after the girls. Max Murphy, who is ranked first in the state, captured the gold medal followed by teammates Kent Nichols and Ian Kaffenberger who received second and third. 

Sophomore Tarun Vedula was not far behind the three seniors, coming in fifth place. “We had a really good race with Max leading the pack,” explained Vedula, “but for the district meet, I think we can work on having all seven runners race in a tighter pack, helping our overall score,” he said. The varsity boys earned the MAC championship title.

Junior Varsity girls raced the fifth race of the night. The JV females had seven of their runners in the top fourteen. The girls received first place with a narrow five-point lead on the Bettendorf Bulldogs. Sophomore Lizzie McVey was the race runner-up.

The final race of the evening was Junior Varsity boys. The boys had a stellar race, receiving a perfect score of fifteen. Not only did they perfect score, but they also held a tight pack with ten of their runners in the top ten, and eleven of their runners in the top fourteen. Junior Grant Tebbe lead the group to their first-place finish.

While the cross country season is over for most athletes, except for the top seven runners, both teams have a shot at making it to the state meet. The state-qualifying meet will be held at Crow Creek Park on Thursday, October 24.