Some of the Iowa Lakes Community College cross country team members earned a chance to compete at the NJCAA Division I National Cross Country Meet this Saturday, November 10th hosted by Rend Lake College in Ina, Illinois.
The national meet consists of 35 teams on both the men’s and women’s side, with over 250 runners in each race.
“Each athlete has the individual goal to run their personal best time, but we also have team goals,” said Head Coach Molly Struve. “We have been training hard for over three months and this is most important race of their season.”
The Laker women will have six athletes run – Leah Courtney, Melissa Gjerde, Sydney Park, Karen Gonzalez, Samantha Piehl, and Alyssa Ayers. Leah and Melissa have consistently been our number one and two runners on the team, but the other four have been varied.
At the Region meet, Iowa Lakes lost to DMACC by one point and to Southwestern by 15 points, so they are really looking forward to evening the score with both teams at nationals.
“Our main goal for the women’s team is to beat Southwestern and DMACC,” Struve said. “If all the women run their top race we have a good shot at that and to place in the top 25, which is another one of our goals.”
On the men’s side, Iowa Lakes will only be running four men – Andrew Kruger, Teague Anderson, Kyle Kephart and Luke Hinton.
“We will not be able to count as a team; five total runners constitute a full team,” said Coach Struve. “For the men, it is more about individual time goals and placing in front of some of the other runners in our Region.”
The 2012 Iowa Lakes cross country members competing at the national meet include (back-- from left to right): Leah Courtney, Samantha Piehl, Kyle Kephart, Luke Hinton, Andrew Kruger, Teague Anderson (front-- from left to right): Melissa Gjerde, Karen Gonzalez, Sydney Park, Alyssa Ayers