The Saints boys and girls Cross Country teams held their end of the year banquet Tuesday, Nov. 13, at the Presbyterian Lutheran Church in St. James.
Coach Kyle Blomgren praised his team for their effort throughout the season and choked back tears as he said goodbye to the fifteen graduating seniors.
“It takes a village to raise a child – thanks parents for raising such great kids and for sharing them with us,” said Blomgren.
The 2012 girls cross country team ends the season with their second best win percentage of all time at 98-54.
The 2012 boys cross country team ends their season with their second most wins and third best win percentage of all time at 127-25.
“They say pride is a sin,” said Blomgren. “But, I don’t know a coach that has more to be proud of.”
Blomgren will certainly miss the seniors as they move on to life beyond cross country, but he is also looking forward to the future and hoping to improve upon the great leaps the cross country team made this year.
“Anything you can do in the summer will help you improve,” said Blomgren. “I like seeing the three and a half minute changes over the season, but I’d love to see a minute and a half change over the summer.”
Varsity letter award winners in cross country must score more than five letter points throughout the year. The letter winners in girls cross country this year were girls: Bethany Carlson, Emily Hurley, Liana Tonsager, Tanya Farfan, Ashley Cuellar, Lindsey Kulseth, Ashley Lahti, Jessica Woratschka, Brianna Sanders, Sadie Goossen, MacKinzee Miest; boys: Seth Basmoen, Adam Bruton, Taylor Engel, Elliut Fonseca, Michael Hedlund, Erik Heitz, Richy Soto, Johnathan Surber, Jacob Ziemer, Johan Martinez, Tyler Witcraft, Zuriel Chacon, Joe Dominguez, Wilmer Herrejon, Jory Petersen, Miguel Gonzalez, Noah Pinke.
The team also handed out awards for individual performance and contributions throughout the season.
Most improved went to Sadie Goossen and Connor Engel as voted by their teammates.
The gusto award is given out to those individuals who show the most guts and drive throughout the season. Award winners this year of the gusto award were Bethany Carlson and Richy Soto.
Ashley Lahti and Johnathan Surber were both awarded with most valuable player honors, after both finishing the season at the state competition.
For Surber, he will graduate as the only member of the Saints cross country team to ever reach 400 points in his career (408). He also received honors for participating in the state tournament six times and being an all state runner three times throughout his career.
Lahti, only a sophomore, will have a chance to improve upon her stellar season next year and is looking toward another chance at the state competition where she finished 68 out of 175 runners.
Page 2 of 2 - Both Surber and Lahti were named all conference, all section and all state academic athletes – an award given to those students who achieve a grade point average of 3.8 or more and finish in the top 15 runners at the section competition.
A special award was also given to Chris Randby for her dedication to the cross country team. She has been a bus driver for the team for more than twenty years and has “been like a team mom.” The 2012 season was the last season Randby will be helping with the cross country program as she moves on to a new chapter in her life.
The seniors were given a chance to say their farewells to the team and expressed the bond they felt toward one another as a family. They thanked the coaches for always helping to push them and believing in them and their parents for all of the time and effort they put into supporting the team. They also delivered a final word to the underclassmen to enjoy the time they have left in cross country and wished them good luck with whatever the future holds.