Medina hopes for good finish
Medina has mastered the art of quality over quantity when it comes to cross country.
With just 57 kids in grades 9-12, fielding a large team is unrealistic.
But the nine kids that do run have done quite well this fall.
In fact, the six-member boys team captured the Class B East Region championship last Saturday in Cooperstown.
Despite limited numbers, coach Tammy Heinrich's team entered the season with high goals and they have not disappointed.
"You hate to say that we expected this, but our hope was to have a good season," she said. "We always had (winning) as a goal, but to come through like they did was a pleasant surprise and it was very exciting."
Winning the 20-team meet was not a major shocker. They're ranked third in Class B heading into Saturday's state meet in Valley City. The boys race will be run at 2:15 p.m. at Bjornson Golf Course with the girls race to follow.
Still, with just six runners everyone has to come through.
"We have a group of kids that are pretty dedicated to cross country and that's what you need if you're going to do well," said Heinrich, in her sixth season as coach.
Four of the top 24 finishers at the region meet were Medina runners with Nick Thomas leading the way. Thomas is actually from Steele, but with no cross country team there, he joined forced with his neighbors to the east.
Donavan Moser, one of the team's two seniors, finished fifth overall out of 124 runners.
The success of Thomas, Moser and Courtney Heupel, who placed 12th in the girls race, is no accident.
"All of them did some summer running, but those three did the most," Heinrich said. "They were very dedicated in how much they prepared."
Heinrich also credited senior Ceph Dockter, who placed 24th, one spot behind teammate Alex Irlmeier in the East Region meet.
Dockter is in his sixth season on the cross country team.
"That's a lot of years running," she said.
Jeremiah Heupel and Brendan Wick round out the boys' team, while Courtney Heupel, Ashley Wolff and Rachel Schmidt make up the small girls squad.
Their success has not gone unnoticed.
"The kids at school hung posters and banners around the school, so that was neat to see them getting involved," Heinrich said.
All that's left is a strong finish to the season.
"It'd be awesome if we could place at the state meet. The kids have that as a goal," Heinrich said. "We were rated third in the state poll so if we could place third, or second or maybe first, that would be really neat."
Area runners top East
Lisbon's Thomas Horgeshimer and Carrington's Ashley Neumiller placed first at the East Region meet.
Horgeshimer, a senior, finished in 17 minutes and 2 seconds, 47 seconds ahead of anybody else.
Griggs County's Tim Clifton and Dallas Patton finished fifth and 18th, respectively. Carrington's Joe Bakke was 16th.
Neumiller won the girls race by 13 seconds. Ashley Perez of Dakota Prairie was fourth.
Barnes County North had two all-region runners in Tess Scott and Samantha Wieland.
Sun sports editor Dave Selvig can be reached at (701) 952-8460 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org