New Competition Proves Successful for Trojan XC

Atlantic’s varsity teams ran well at a new meet for the season.


Halsey Bailey

A HELPING HAND – Madison Botos and Taylor McCreedy help fellow teammate Abby Altman after a tough race.

Runners for the Trojan cross country teams headed over to Dallas-Center Grimes to see how they “stack up” against new competition, including some highly ranked teams on both sides, on Thursday, Aug. 30. This was the first time either of the teams has raced on that particular course so it was a day of new experiences for everyone.

One of those new experiences included an overall win for senior Jalen Petersen. “It was one of my goals throughout high school, to win a cross country meet,” Petersen said. However, he wasn’t expecting it to be this one. It was a close finish, with Petersen crossing the line in 17:27.0 and second-place Kolby Fritz of Carlisle not far behind in 17:28.1. Petersen moved into the first-place position with less than 800 meters to go and was determined to make it a battle. “I thought this course was really flat and I wasn’t really getting tired,” Petersen said. He had planned to get out fast in order to avoid getting stuck behind other runners and said he “stayed steady” throughout the race.

It was one of my goals throughout high school, to win a cross country meet

— Jalen Petersen

Juniors Bradley Dennis and Evan Brummer finished 24th and 25th, with less than a second in between them. Other finishes for the Trojans included Ethan Williams in 50th, Zane Berg 64th, Cooper Jipsen 78th and Nathan Brockman 79th.

On the girls’ side, sophomore Taylor McCreedy finished second overall in a time of 19:43.4, 46 seconds behind first and 68 seconds ahead of third. Karsyn Rush was next for the Trojans in 12th place, then Ashley Wendt in 14th, Madison Botos 19th, Pluma Pross 23rd, Addie DeArment 29th and Abby Altman 40th.

“I thought both teams did well,” head coach Dan Vargason said, “I expected us to go compete.” Only the varsity teams ran at this particular meet, with the boys placing fifth in a field of 11 teams and the girls finishing in a close second place, just five points behind DCG, the #4 ranked team for 3A girls and six points ahead of Norwalk, ranked fifth for 3A.

The Trojans’ next race is set to be held on Tuesday, Sept. 4 at Clarinda.