Cross country prepares for Districts

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Unless you run cross country, you might not know a lot about it. Nevada boys and girls cross country is a sport that’s evolved over time. Larry Parker, former cross country coach at Nevada, coached the teams for 26 years from 1979 – 2004. The Nevada girls cross country teams were conference champions 16 out of the 26 years that he coached, and the boys were conference champions ten times. During the time that Parker coached, he had 18 different teams go state. At state, the girls teams had eight top ten finishers, and the boys had six. 

“Some of the memories I have of this program would include the success that we had and maintained over such a long stretch. Today when people talk of the success of Nevada teams their thought might first be of the soccer teams and more recently the success of the volleyball and girl’s basketball. Back in the 80’s and 90’s, Nevada was thought of as a cross country school. Our teams were quite successful and didn’t just dream of going to state but planned on it each year,” said Coach Parker. 

Larry Parker coached both boys and girls by himself until 2002, and at that point there were 50 to 60 athletes out for cross country per year. 

Nevada High School Athletic Director, Dustin Smith, said “A lot of what I’ve learned about cross country is from Larry.” 

In 1996 or 1997 the Nevada cross country program began having a cross country camp. Several memories were made at cross country camp. The cross country camp was not only a good team bonding experience, but it was also a chance for the athletes to build their running strength.

“The work ethic of these student athletes is also worthy of mention, because they knew when to work hard and when they could play. This also carried over to the classroom as many of them were academic all-conference and academic all-state,” said Parker. 

As for the history of the Nevada cross country course, there were several different places where the races were held. The school property was used for a course at one point, and for the major invitational races, the country club was used for a course. Some other locations used for the course were Donnelly Park and an area near the ASCS office. Finally the race was moved to Hickory Grove so that there would be a bigger space to run in. Due to construction, this year the course was going to be held at SCORE Park. Unfortunately it was cancelled due to weather. 

Over the past few weeks, Nevada boys and girls cross country teams have been preparing for districts. The boys team is coached by James Mills, and the girls team is coached by Shawn Crain. Both coaches are new to the position this year.

Districts will take place at Pella on Thursday, October 24. Nevada will be competing against the following teams: Bondurant-Farrar, Centerville, Clark, Osceola, DCG, Fairfield, Knoxville, Nevada, Norwalk, Oskaloosa, Pella, South Tama, and Winterset. 

In order to compete at districts you have to be in the top seven on your team, and in order to qualify for state you have to be in the top 15 in your district. 

The top 3A boys runners overall are Nate Muller from ADM, Quinton Orr from Humboldt, and Luke Post from Center Point-Urbana. For girls, the top 3A runners are Ainsley Erzen from Carlisle, Adrianna Katcher from Center Point-Urbana, and Gabby Moran from Wahlert.

The Nevada cross country team would like to finish their season strong, and compete well at districts!

Article contributed by Elie Tuhn.

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Sports Management is a class at Nevada High School that focuses on aspects of sporting events from promotions, advertising, event management, and reporting. All articles are produced by our students.