(Above) Clear Lake’s Ryan Faught and Justin Wright compete at the State Cross Country Meet Saturday. Faught finished in 38th place, while Wright was 75th. -Photo courtesy of Don Pedelty
The Clear Lake cross country team battled cold and windy conditions, as well as a tough Class 3A field at the State Cross Country Meet. The Lions, a Class 2A qualifier last year, finished 15th as a team in 3A.
Coach Nick DiMarco said despite finishing further back in the placements than his team had hoped, the final meet was testament to the large strides the program continued to take in 2017. It was the third straight year the Lions qualified as a team for State.
“The kids kept talking about how fast the pack started. They said the 2A start last year was not nearly as fast,” said DiMarco.
Following last year’s State Meet the Lions were already excited for the 2017 event. Prior to 2015, the Lions had not sent a team to the State cross country meet since 1988. They would have been considered a favorite to compete for a State title, as they lost just one senior from the 2016 team which placed eighth in 2A. However, reclassification pushed the Lions up a class by virtue of just a handful of students.
“This summer the boys were talking about wanting to finish in the top five in the 2A State Meet. When they found out about the change they just sharpened their focus and vowed to be the best they could be in any class,” said Coach DiMarco. “This team has had the most team success of any Clear Lake team in the time that I have been around— and we have had several good teams in that time. They really focused on making each other better and committing the time and miles needed to be To read more of this article, please login or sign up for our E-Edition