Nov. 7—A young Panthers cross country team wrapped up the season Sunday at the annual banquet.
"It was a great season," Cross country coach Maggie Arnold said. "We enjoyed everyone and really enjoyed seeing everyone's progress from the beginning of the season to the end of the season."
Arnold said she was most proud of both the boys and girls teams exceeding the all-academic GPA standard of 3.25. The boys team finished with a 3.257 cumulative while the girls were at a 3.593. Freshman don't contribute to this as they don't have a GPA yet.
"Of all the awards we will hand out today, as an educator, that academic award is the most important one," she said. "These are student-athletes, they are students first, and we want them to take their education very seriously."
With a time improvement of more than four minutes from the beginning to the end of the season, Abby Freeman was named most improved female runner. On the boys team, Kylen Parsons earned the award after a two-minute time improvement.
Christian Ahrens and Anthony Eblen were recognized as the teams' only seniors. "Thank you seniors for your leadership this year," Arnold said. "We have appreciated you and can't wait to see what else you have planned for the future."
Eblen will be running cross country at Coe College next year while Ahrens plans to focus on wrestling.
The girls team finished eighth in the Hawkeye 10 while the boys finished 11th.
Most Improved — Kylen Parsons and Abby Freeman
Participant Award: David Mohr
Varsity Letters- (compete and finish 50% of the varsity races on the regular season schedule or make the varsity lineup for the post-season competitions)
1st Letter: Wyatt Goodenberger, Hector Suazo, Allen Kendrick, Kylen Parsons, Karter Clayton, Abby Freeman, Gretchen Hoepker, Reese Strunk.
2nd Letter: Owen Weis
3rd Letter: Christian Ahrens, Anthony Eblen, Payton Davis, Savanna Davis
Senior Recognition: Christian Ahrens, Anthony Eblen
Boys team (3.257) had a cumulative GPA of 3.25 and above (IHSAA)
Girls team (3.593) had a cumulative GPA of 3.25 and above (IGHSAU)
Manager Letters: Savanna Davis
Brandon Gale Award: (manager displaying commitment and above & beyond expectations) Savanna Davis
Chris Wyatt Award: (senior athlete that displays an expectation exceeding work ethic and attitude. Shows a passion for the sport of cross country) Anthony Eblen