by Steve Peterson
Akron-Westfield High School is back with a Cross Country team this Fall.
A-W track standout Garrett Wall’s parents asked that the sport be offered. Wall qualified for the state track and field meet last season in the 3,200-Meter Run.
Wall and Trevor Hansen are the boys runners and Jaclyn Smith, a senior and Kiley Schoen, a freshman, are the girls runners.
“I asked the Fall coaches if they would be interested and Dusty said he would because harvest is going so well,” said A-W Grades 7-12 Principal Derek Briggs.
Then Athletic Director Todd Colt signed up the Westerners for a few meets and district, which is Oct. 19 in Holstein for Class 1A.
Wall has provided the highlight so far with a second-place finish at the West Sioux meet Oct. 4 for Class B.
“He was right there at the finish,” said A-W Coach Dustin Meinen of Wall.
Wall had a time of 18:34.62 behind Hunter Hostetler of Westwood Sloan’s time of 18:13.79 that won the Class B division. Hansen had a time of 24:52.46 for 22nd place.
For the girls’ division, A-W’s Schoen ran a 24:00.41 for 11th and Smith had a time of 25:23.51 for 12th.
“We’re working on getting our paces down. It is definitely different than track and field,” said Meinen. “The kids have goals each week and we’re working on those goals.”
Meinen said many at A-W have been helpful in getting the team re-started, including Briggs, Colt and track and field coach Kent Johnson.
“I’m more comfortable coaching wrestling, but coaches at school have been helpful,” said Meinen, who is the new A-W head wrestling coach.
Briggs said wrestlers and other individuals have run in the past for the Westerners. School officials did not wish to take away anyone from football or volleyball and this Fall they are not.
Briggs and Colt help out at practices if Meinen is not available.
The sport may be back next Fall if it is requested.
Kingsley-Pierson meet results
Wall finished in eighth place with a time of 17:52.55. Hansen had a time of 22:23.31. The girls did not compete Oct. 2 in Kingsley.
A-W was at the War Eagle Conference Cross Country meet, at Landsmeer Golf Course in Orange City, on Oct. 8, competing in boys’ and girls’ varsity divisions.
The Westerners will be at South O’Brien’s meet Oct. 12; at Unity Christian’s meet Oct. 15 in Orange City; the Class 1A District meet is Oct. 18 in Holstein.