They are running quickly in Wellman. Very quick.
The Mid-Prairie boys’ and girls’ cross country teams are both impressing so far this season, making a dent in Class 2A. Though the 2015 campaign is still young, Mid-Prairie is rattling off multiple top finishes, and that is evident in the rankings.
The Mid-Prairie boys are ranked fourth in Class 2A, while the girls are sixth. Luke Sigler is pacing the boys’ club as the senior is ranked 20th in 2A. Sophomore Floyd Evans is 22nd and Ryan Errthum is 23rd.
On the girls’ side, Anna Hostetler ranks 13th and Maddi Zahradnek is 21st.
“The boys have a lot of depth and the girls not as much,” Mid-Prairie coach Mark Hostetler said Wednesday. “There is a lot of potential. And if someone gets hurt, we have depth to back them up. It’s just a matter of improving, running hard practices and getting better.”
Hostetler, who has coached for 30-plus years, acknowledged this could be one of the best teams he’s had, at least at Mid-Prairie. He was previously at the helm at Iowa Mennonite School more than a decade ago.
On Sept. 8, the Mid-Prairie girls posted a perfect score of 25 to win the Keota Invitational. The Golden Hawks filled all top five scoring positions. The boys also won that day. Last weekend, both squads finished second at the Monticello Invitational.
Other runners combining to round out the top five for the boys include senior Ben Stone, junior Andrew Schwartz and sophomores Peyton Miller and Ben Sigler. For the girls, senior Hannah Van Roekel, juniors Abby Tornow and Greta Schmidt, sophomore Shelby Zahradneck and freshman Kessa Jones typically round out the starting lineup.
Hostetler is hopeful his program can sustain their success.
“Our front runners have to get up (in the pack) with the other teams that are ranked ahead of us, but as of right now, we have a solid group, which is a big deal at state,” he said. “Everyone is flying in every second. At the top, you know you can have 10 to 20 seconds between people.”
Regardless of future outcomes, Mid-Prairie stacks up with rest of the prep cross country landscape right now.
“Both teams can run with anyone in the state in our class right now,” Hostetler said.