CROSS COUNTRY PREVIEWS
It’s Zak’s turn to lead Crusaders; North returns four girls, Herber hired at South
The state championship trophy was won on Halloween but did not find its way to the Lutheran boys until Christmas time.
The Crusaders claimed the Division 3 title but had to wait for the trophy in the mail because the WIAA made a number of changes because of the Coronavirus.
“It was in pieces; you had to put it together,” coach Jeff Jurss said. “So we had to go get the maintenance guy because we didn’t have any wrenches or anything. The big state (part), you had to screw into the base. It was kind of funny.”
Lutheran held an assembly in the auditorium in front of parents and classmates to show off its new hardware. But getting one this year could be tough since four runners graduated.
“Losing those four seniors, that’s huge,” Jurss said. “They were studs for us last year, that’s for sure.”
Senior Logan Zak returns after finishing 20th at state and 10th in the Big East Conference.
“It’s been pretty cool, because Logan was always in the shadow, kind of, of the four seniors,” Jurss said. “So all of a sudden, Logan’s the guy. He’s done a great job these first few days of being a leader. The kids follow him because they know he’s a state champ. If he ever says anything, they listen. He’s been doing a great job. It’s been awesome to see so far.”
AT A GLANCE
• The boys won the Division 3 state crown for the first time since claiming three in a row from 2004-06 and they claimed the Big East championship (South Division) for the first time since ‘13.
• The lone runner back whose time counted, however, is senior Logan Zak (20th place). He finished 10th in conference.
• The girls will be led by senior Ellie Fredericks after she took 19th in the league meet.
• Several freshmen boys are dedicated to running and they will be a big part of the team, according to coach Tyler Biederwolf.
• The girls had four runners last year, and they all return, including senior Riley Swedburg.
• Top runner Ben Crouse has to be replaced.
• Lisa Herber is the new girls coach.
• Senior Rylee Brotz has been to state the last two seasons. She finished 61st in the alternate fall season and was 22nd as a sophomore. The only other girl who returns is junior Sophia Kiesow.
• The boys welcome back all five runners, led by seniors Alex Kaffine and Lucas Scharenbroch.