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Trojans compete at X Country Super Meet

September 12, 2018
By Allison Graham - Sports Editor ( , Toledo Chronicle, Tama News-Herald

Making the switch from football to cross country has so far proven to be a worthwhile effort for STC junior Garrett Arp. Arp and the STC Trojans returned to the Marshalltown Community College campus for the Marshalltown Invite on Thursday, September 6.

The Marshalltown Invite brought out around 2500 male and female competitors including every top ten girls team in Class 4A and most of the top ten boys teams in Class 4A including Dowling Catholic, Waukee, Pleasant Valley, Dubuque Hempstead, Ankeny Centennial, Iowa City West, Johnston, Ankeny Centennial and Cedar Falls.

According to Arp, he decided to make the fall sport adjustment to help prepare him for wrestling season.

Article Photos

The varsity boys at the starting line take off for the Marshalltown Bobcat Invite on Thursday, September 6 at the MCC campus.
Chronicle Photo/Allison Graham

"I felt like cross country would be more beneficial because I'm getting in shape so then those first few matches (in wrestling) I'm just leagues ahead of the next guy," said Arp.

The Trojans began their season at the MCC course on August 23. To show the strong level of competition at Thursday's race, Arp finished August's race in the top 20 with a time of 18:59 in his debut run of the season. On Thursday he was just a few seconds off his debut pace but would finish 113th in the varsity field. He was the lone varsity runner for the STC team.

"I guess I didn't push it as hard as I should have. I wasn't as tired because I'm in shape; it's just knowing the course a little bit more and knowing when I've got to speed up or slow down. And the terrain was all muddy. Some of that stuff makes a difference," Arp said.

The biggest difference in the course between August and September was the significant amount of rain that hit the ground leading up to Thursday's contest. Although the runners didn't have rain falling on them, the course was still very muddy which added an additional level of difficulty.

Arp has the help of Cross Country Assistant Coach, Baron Davis who is an avid runner himself. Davis is also an assistant wrestling coach for the STC high school team in the winter.

Reflecting on the benefits of having Davis as a coach for both wrestling and cross country Arp commented, "It just means when I come into the wrestling room he knows what shape I'm in and what I need to go through to better myself. I'll be ahead of other kids so he can kind of help me more as a person of what I want to achieve and see how hard of a worker I am."

It may be Arp's first season on the team but he has goals for himself and those goals include a State qualification.

"Just keep pushing it in practice and you'll get it. It's all about heart," said Arp.

Although STC fielded only one varsity boys runner at the Marshalltown Invite, several other Trojans competed at the sub-varsity levels including JV runners Ethan Babinat, Mitch Knock, and Brayden Smith.

Running in the 9-10 boys class were Clayton Graff, Johnny Meyer, Omar Castanon, and Trusten Rosenberger. Each of the 9-10 boys set personal records during the race.

Waukee won the meet with 45 points. Waukee's top finisher came in 8th with a time of 16:31. Senior Tim Sindt of Ankeny took first with a time of 15:39.

Girls run

On the girls side Callie Frakes finished at about the exact same time on Thursday as she did in her first run of the season. She came in 81st with a time of 22:07.

"The only big difference was the mud," Frakes said, "pace wise was pretty much the same. It's the beginning of the season. I slid a few times (on the mud)."

Alyssa Chyma who also ran in the varsity race set a personal record after her race. She finished 122nd with a time of 24:32.

STC's Makayla Backen is in her first season with the Cross Country team. She played volleyball last season and had some varsity minutes for the Trojans.

"I just wanted to push myself more physically and mentally," said Backen, "I love (Cross Country). It's super hard but it's a lot of fun. If you just come and see the finishes of the races it's like really intense. It's a great environment." Backen ran in the JV race along with Caitlyn Stochl, Marisol Mora and Kate Froelich.

It is also Stochl's first season on the team. Stochl is a junior and also runs track. "I love (Cross Country). It's awesome and it's nice to get out there and do something other than just track," said Stochl.

Also running in the girls 9-10 race were JoJo Tyynismaa, Neena Lasley and Abbagail Froelich. Froelich and Backen each set pr's.

All of the top 10 girls teams competed including Johnston, Waukee, Dubuque Hempstead, Iowa City West, Dubuque Senior, Dowling Catholic, Des Moines Roosevelt, Pleasant Valley, Urbandale and Ankeny Centennial. Johnston won the meet with 50 team points and Johnston's Brooke McKee took 1st with a time of 19:24.

"For some of these kids especially being new to cross country it's overwhelming," said coach Robert Tyynismaa, "the number of runners that you have and the number of teams, some of the kids were just in awe. All in all the conditions were not the best. It was kind of like a mud fest out there and it got worse every race. We had a number of kids that pr'd."

The Trojans next competition is at the South Hardin Rec Area for the BCLUW Meet on Saturday, September 15.



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