Fort Dodge: Throughout the races all three of the Kuemper Catholic runners faced different challenges, but they were determined to get through all of them.
For junior Marie Dea, she had to battle a bit of a quicker pace than what she was expecting. She also had to deal with running in front of a much bigger crowd than she had ever seen before at a State cross country meet.
“The crowd is nothing like anything I have ever seen before,” Dea said shortly after finishing the race on Saturday. “At first seeing the big crowd, especially at the finish line was a little intimidating, but it was also really great to see such a big crowd.”
Dea was able to establish a good pace fairly early on.
“I really felt like I was able to get in a good pace with the group that I ran with throughout the race,” Dea said. “They helped me pace myself. I just kind of picked one girl that was running in front of, and I let her set the pace and I just wanted to keep up with her.”
Dea was 43rd at the first mile, but had increased to 42nd by the second mile. The final mile of the race seemed to slow her down as she finished 45th overall with a time of 20 minutes 29.68 seconds.
“The end started to get a little more hilly, but it wasn’t anything too bad,” Dea said. “The end there was definitely more hills, but I just concentrated on getting up the hills and leaning into the hills on the way down.”
This was the first time that Dea was going to make it to State cross country. For her she was able to accomplish a goal she had set for herself.
“I had really focused on making it to this meet when I started at the beginning of the season,” Dea said. “I put in a lot of work in the offseason and I’m really happy that I was able to make it here.”
In the boys class 3A race Kuemper Catholic was represented by two different runners.
Ryan North and Jacob Greving both were able to make it to the State meet.
North finished in 39th place overall with a time of 17 minutes, 8.54 seconds.
Greving was able to finish with a time of 17 minutes 18.9 seconds. Throughout the race both runners stayed within close proximity of each other.
North was able to push aside the nerves in order to get his finish.
“Today at first it was just nerve wracking before we got here,” North said after the race. “I couldn’t fall asleep much last night, and I tried, but couldn’t on the bus ride up here. This was my first time at a State event. There’s a lot of good runners here, but I knew that I belonged here.”
Despite being tired, North said his legs felt fine. At first in the race North started off in the middle of the pack. North was 59th in the first mile, but he continued to climb throughout the rest of the race.
“My legs were pretty fresh in this race,” North said. “I was sticking with a lot of kids that I had beat before. So I wanted to race with them for the first part of the race. My first mile was a little faster than what I’m used to, but I knew if I kept pushing then I’d be able to pass some kids at the end.”
North was 44th in the second mile of the race. He followed some of the kids in his group and made passes.
“The last mile, mile and a half I was able to start passing some kids,” North said. “I was able to keep pushing hard and I kept the heartbeat up, and at the end I was able to pass about four or five kids on the way to the finish line.”
For Greving, who was making his second-straight appearance at the State meet, he stayed close to his teammate for most of the race.
In the first mile Greving had been bogged down in 67th place. However, by the second mile he had worked his way up to 51st place.
“It was incredible to be able to race here again. I had a lot of fun racing last year, but overall I had a really good race,” Greving said. “There were a lot of guys around me for the first part of the race, but the pace was pretty fast for me honestly. Overall it was good.”
For the race Greving wanted to stay close to North. He never fell more than 10 spots behind his teammate.
In the second mile Greving was in 51st. He continued to push himself as he was able to race his way to a 47th place finish with a time of 17:18.9.
“There were a few people that I wanted to stay with,” Greving said. “There were some Glenwood kids close to me that I wanted to race with. Of course I wanted to stay with Ryan too.”
Like North, Greving made his biggest attack late as he passed several runners in the final meters of the race.
“I was relaxed for the first two-and-a-half-miles and then I wanted to attack in the final mile,” Greving said. “I was 10 seconds that I ran last year, the pace was fast, but it never felt too fast for me.”