“It’s kind of weird,” Laird Goertzen said, about being the only senior on the Goessel High School cross-country team. “I have always been used to trying to keep up with the upper classmen and now they have all graduated.”
Goertzen went to state the past three years and hopes to repeat the trip his senior season.
Returning to the team this year is junior Stephan Goertzen and sophomore Grant Flaming with hopes of following Laird’s pace. Newcomers to the boys’ team include Ben Wiens, Nathan Czarnowsky, Garrett Woelk, and Heath Goertzen.
“Guys will probably have to run in the low 19’s (minutes) in order to qualify for state,” coach Derrick Birdsell said.
The results will not be finalized until late September, but speculation is that Goessel may move back to the 1A class for 2010. Laird Goertzen feels that qualifying for state at 1A might be easier.
“Cross-country in our part of the state seems to be stacked in 2A,” he said. “It’s tough to earn a spot at state.”
Brittny Czarnowsky is the only girl out for cross-country this year. After qualifying for state in track and field, this junior is hoping for a spot at state in cross-country as well.
Goessel is in the new Wheat State League and only three teams in the league participate in cross-country.
“Obviously, we will not have a league meet, but are pleased with the meets that are on the schedule,” Birdsell said in his second year at the helm.