Team returned to state after losing four seniors
After winning the state cross country championship last year, Sheboygan Lutheran’s Jeff Jurss knew it would be hard to replace four senior boys.
They were good leaders on top of good runners, and simple things like when to warm-up or what stretches to do caught some on this year’s team off guard.
“Because as coach, the girls will be racing while the boys are warming up,” Jurss said. “And so, I’m with the girls as they’re racing and the boys have to warm up on their own.
“The first time, I asked if they were getting ready or what is the plan? They looked at me and said, ‘well, (then-senior) Jonah (Jurss) usually told us when to get ready.’
“I’m like, ‘yeah, Jonah is not here. We’ve got to figure this out here for ourselves.’”
They did, as the Crusaders competed in the Division 3 state meet Saturday (after our deadline).
“Obviously we don’t run as fast as we did last year, but as a team, we pack our guys pretty close together and that helps,” Jurss said.
Things started to come together for Lutheran at the recent Big East Conference championship, in which the squad finished second.
“But all our varsity guys ran their best races,” Jurss said. “And the sectional race they all ran really well, too.
“What’s cool is they’re running their best at the end of the season. And that’s what you want. You don’t want your best race to be your second race of the year.
“It’s taken them a little time to grow and figure it out.”
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