Successful cross country season ends after state

Girls cross country ended a successful season as the 14th best in the state on Nov. 2 in Fort Dodge.

Sophomore Hannah Beintema finished in the 28th for individuals and 37th overall with a time of 19:38.

Junior Samantha Foht, finished 67th overall with a time of 20:06, and junior Sarah Schmidt, finished 22 seconds behind Foht with a time of 20:28.

Beintema said, “I am so proud of my team, more than words can express. Every single one of us worked so hard, and we all deserved to be where we were. I could not have asked for a better team; we accomplished so much, and just kept moving up.”

The runners at state included Beintema, Foht, Schmidt, Sarah Defauw, Ella Schmit, Layken Bytnar, and Madison Temple with alternates Peyton Bytnar, Ashlynn Whitcanack, and Amanda Scott. The girls were coached by head coach Erin Flynn and assistant coach Christopher Adams.

Schmidt said, “Coach Flynn deserves a shoutout for being such a great coach. She is so positive at our practices and always encourages us to do the best we can.”

Before state, the team placed first at the MAC meet and third at the district meet, enabling them to go to state.

“I got a season best during the MAC meet, but more importantly our team did so well and beat PV to win the MAC,” said Schmidt.

Senior L. Bytnar played a key leadership role on the team this year, which aided the team in its success throughout the season.

“As a leader, I made sure everyone held each other accountable. In the past, I’ve had senior leaders that have decided to ‘cut’ the workout or put all of the responsibilities on the underclassmen. This year I made sure we did every single workout to the best of our ability and do it all no matter how tired we were; obviously, no one complained. We wanted to better ourselves and that was the only way it was going to happen. Also, I think the seniors as a whole did a great job demonstrating what a cross country meet should look like. Everyone should be screaming their lungs out, saying a good job, and picking up. No one is more important than someone else,” L. Bytnar said.

Although the team will lose 16 seniors next season, goals are already being set for another successful season.

“Some goals I have for next season: I want to continue to improve my times, and hopefully break 19 minutes. I also want to finish in the top 30 for state next year, and continue to push myself past my limits,” Beintema said.

A majority of the girls are now taking a break from running and will start again in a few weeks to prepare for track in the spring.

State runners proud of their accomplishments this season.


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