The Iowa Lakes Community College Women’s Cross Country team has earned a spot in the NJCAA Div. 1 top 25. The Lakers are ranked 21st in the Coaches Hill n’ Dale Poll that was released on Thursday. This is the first time Iowa Lakes Cross Country has broken into the top 25.
In the first meet of the year the women placed 4th out of 8, with all seven members of the team placing in the top 50; the highest being freshman Leah Courtney earning 8th place overall.
“After placing fourth at our Region time trial two weeks ago, I had a strong feeling that we would end up in the rankings, I just wasn’t sure where the other states were at this early in the season,” said Head Coach Molly Struve. “Being ranked in the top 25 is a great accomplishment for our women’s team.”
Iowa Community Colleges seem to produce some of the nation’s best cross country teams every year with three or four Iowa teams (out of eight) ranked all season long.
“We have some great competition throughout our region and hopefully we will continue to perform as well, or better, than we did at the first meet,” Struve stated. “If all of our runners can stay closer to each other and closer to Leah, who is currently our front runner, we have a good chance to stay in the rankings all year.”
With numbers in the Lakers favor Coach Struve is optimistic about the upcoming meets.
“We have eight total women on the team, which is the largest women’s team we have ever had,” Struve said. “Since five times count toward the team score, having three other runners allows us to have flexibility in case injuries arise and also allows for competition amongst our own team.”
The Lakers Men’s and Women’s Cross Country teams will be back in action this Saturday Sept. 8 at the Nike Heartland Preview in Sioux Falls, SD.