Moenck seeks to squeeze full potential out of runners


by Brett Crable

The cross country season is officially under way and it looks to be a very exciting season.

After a successful season last year for both the girls and boys cross country teams, expectations are going to be set extremely high. Head coach Heath Moenck, who is only in his second year coaching here at Simpson College, has already accomplished so much and looks to build off of his success.

Last season Coach Moenck lead the boys to an 11th place finish in the Regional Championships, the best finish since 1996. Coach Moenck looks to take the boys to an even higher level this year.

“I believe we have the talent to crack the top 10, now it’s a matter of getting the job done on the day,” Moenck said.

While the women’s cross country team looks to also have a solid year, there will be a new look as top runners such as Cate Ellingson from last year are no longer with the team. Coach Moenck is not worried about his women’s team picking up the extra slack.

“This creates a great opportunity for our returners and are newcomers to step forward and help us improve from a year ago,” Moenck said.

Both the men’s and women’s cross country teams have strong seniors that have been with the program for a while and have high expectations for the group.

Mitch Davis, a senior and one of the top runners on the men’s team, is very excited for the season and is also looking forward to trying to achieve his personal goals of receiving All-Conference Honors. Davis strongly believes that the men’s team can perform better than last year.

“Our goals this year are to finish top ten. We were only two points out of tenth last year, and Wartburg just nipped us and getting beat by a conference team like that definitely makes us set our expectations higher this year,” Davis said.

While injuries have been a devastating blow to the teams in previous years, the teams are doing everything that they can to learn how to avoid injuries. Sophomore Lauren Doocy states that she just sees it as a learning experience and learning how to prevent any injuries through strength and conditioning along with proper training.

Jade Osborne, a senior and one of the top runners for the women’s team, exclaims that she has such a great time competing and some of her favorite moments in cross country is she loves to see her teammates succeed.

“I think every race day at the end right when I am crossing the line, turning around and being able to see the rest of my runners coming up to the finish line, and just watching them and their last strive to the end to catch that person in front of them, and just seeing their facial expression of how hard they are actually trying is very gratifying,” Osborne said.

Osborne wants the best for her team, and she believes that the team chemistry will have a lot to do with the success that both teams have.

“The team chemistry is going to be the best we have ever had,” Osborne said.

That team chemistry carried over to the first meet of the season on Aug. 31 as the men and women each won the Bill Buxton Invitational, which is their home meet.