The Greene County High School cross-country teams only have a few more days to prepare for the start of the 2014 seasons. The Rams are slated to run on Aug. 28 in Ames on the Iowa State University Course for the Gilbert Invitational. The boys’ team will be trying to pick up where they left off in 2013, when they finished strong, going from near the bottom of team finishes early in the season, to the middle of the pack at season’s end. Nearly all the boys from a season ago are back, and the seniors in the lineup bring a lot of experience to this season.
The Greene County girls had an even stronger end to last season, at third in the very tough Heart of Iowa Activities Conference meet on the ISU course in Ames, second in their Class 2A regional meet at Lake Panorama (Panora), and ninth in the state meet north of Ft. Dodge. Gone is 2014 graduate Allison Higgins, the number one runner last season and third place individual finisher at the state meet. Coach Kelly Simpson’s girls’ team returns the five girls who finished two through six at the state meet last year and that was enough to gain the Rams the preseason number seven ranking from the Iowa Track Coaches Association. Coach Simpson talked to Raccoon Valley Radio about the girls. “Two through six we having coming back, which most teams would like to have that, but we lost an awfully good number one runner, and our number seven runner had tons of state experience in track, so you just can’t replace that right away. Somebody’s going to have to step up from these girls that are returning and take charge of this team.”
The five girls returning from the state meet team include seniors Emily Christensen, Noelle Gray, Eme Johnson, and Jolee Wessling, plus sophomore Olivia Hansen. Christensen, Johnson, and Hansen typically ran races together last season and sometimes even crossed the finish line in nearly a dead heat. Coach Simpson is looking for at least one of that trio to break away and become the number one runner the team is looking for.