Cross country teams compete at state

Maddy Negley ’21 and Nicolo Schianchi ’22 led the Trojans at the well-represented state cross country meet in Fort Dodge on Nov. 2.

Owen Aanestad, Online Editor-In-Chief

Swarming from one place to the next to see and cheer on runners is a cross country meet norm. It’s the the Iowa High School Girls and Boys Cross Country State Championships in Fort Dodge that takes swarming to another level. Schools from all around the state, representing all classes, create crowds of friends and family racing alongside the runners to watch everyone compete for a state title.

The boys team, led by coach Josh Kidman, consisted of six runners: Nicolo Schianchi ’22, Alex McKane ’22, Ken Wilbur ’20, Caden Noeller ’22, Mohan Kumar ’21 and Raymond Yang ’20. The girls and coach Parker individually qualified their top three runners: Camden Zirker ’22, Annie Schwartz ’23, and Maddy Negley ’21.

Temperatures dipped into low 40s, but it didn’t seem to intimidate the seasoned runners as a majority of the runners stepped up to the start line in their tank top and shorts.

The boys’ team placed eighth overall with a top time of 16:13 from sophomore Nicolo Schianchi, with teammate Alex McKane ’22 right behind him finishing 29th at 16:26. Senior Ken Wilbur placed 32nd with a time of 16:31.

With no team qualification from the Women of Troy this year three individual qualifiers represented the team. Junior Maddy Negley brought the fight placing 40th with a time of 19:41. Sophomore Camden Zirker and Annie Schwartz ’23 stayed close behind placing 45th and 47th, respectively.

Schianchi finished as the fastest sophomore in the field, after earning the fastest time among freshmen last year. Half of the Trojans’ state lineup this year were sophomores, making the future look bright .

“I mean I’d always like to improve, I’m really happy, last year I was top freshman so it’s really nice to keep on working and really shows that the work is paying off.” Schianchi said.

Throughout the season Schianchi, McKane and Wilbur were consistently placing top 10 in conference meets. The fast-paced, high-quality race consisting of Iowa’s top runners changed the game.

“Once you hear that gun go off it’s one hundred guys sprinting really, really fast in the beginning and you’re not going to get that in a district race. The race goes out crazy fast,” Wilbur said.

Wilbur (32nd) and fellow senior Raymond Yang (79th) ran their last meets with the West High emblem on their chests, leaving it all out on the course this morning.

“It’s a really bitter sweet moment, I think our team ranked ninth coming in here and [to] get eighth that’s good and a good feeling.” Wilbur said.

As cross country season comes to a close, track will hit the ground running in the spring where the distance group will look very familiar.

“We’re going to keep on doing what we’re doing, working hard through the summer and fall.” Schianchi said.