On Saturday, November 4, the boys cross country team won state. The boys competed at state in class 1. The state tournament was held at Oak Hills Golf Center in Jefferson City.
The boys state championship team consisted of Nathan Ford, Dalton Gerdes, Dominic Lewis, Martin Lewis, John Liggett, Tim Madden, Matthew Otten, Joseph Rethemeyer, Colton Ruediger, and Austin Tegeler.
Joseph Rethemeyer finished 11th with a time of 17:35. When asked what his favorite part of state was, he simply replied with, “Winning!”
Martin Lewis finished 27th with a time of 18:01. He also agreed that his favorite part about state was winning.
Dalton Gerdes finished 98th with a time of 19:30. When he was asked what his favorite part was, he replied with, “Seeing our team getting the championship.”
Nathan Ford also ran at state. He finished with a time of 17:47. He said that his favorite part of state was it being his last race.
Austin Tegeler also participated in the race on Saturday. He ran a time of 19:04 and finished 73rd overall. When he found out that they had won, he said, “I was extremely excited. I always wanted to win a state championship and now I finally have won one.”
Joseph said when they won state, he started yelling and hugging his teammates. Dalton said he also started hugging his teammates, friends, and family.
Martin was asked what his overall feeling on the season was. He stated, “I’m glad we did well, but the grind is thankfully over.” All the runners seemed to agree that they were very proud of themselves, but thankful it was over.
Coach Tucker was also interviewed about the state meet. When he was asked about his overall feelings about the cross country season, he replied with, “Obviously when you win state, it is a great season. Throughout the whole season we ran well. From the first meet in Jeff City, we competed really well. We won the Jefferson Barracks Invitational, which was a big accomplishment.”
Coach Tucker was also asked, “What do you think was the biggest factor on why the team did so well this year?” He responded with, “I certainly had good quality athletes and that is where you have to start. They are very coachable and would listen and understand.”
When asked about his initial reaction when he found out his team had won, he stated, “Honestly, relief. And the reason for that is we had been ranked the number one boys team in class 1 almost all season. Everyone had high expectations which put a lot of pressure on us. Whenever everyone expects you to win, it is very stressful.”
He continued: “In cross country, when you're ranked, they look at your best times, and if you think about it, every cross country course is different. If our best time is on an easy course and their best time is on a hard course, how are you supposed to compare the two? We ran well on hard courses.”
Coach Tucker was also questioned about what his plans and goals are for next year. He said, “Do it again. And the reason I say that is because we are only losing two seniors and the core of the runners is juniors. I want them to do it again. We have high expectations. We also have a lot of good kids coming up. I have high expectations for both teams.”
Overall both cross country teams had outstanding seasons! Congratulations, boys! We hope to watch you again at state next year!