Confidence high for cross country

Written by Muleskinner Staff

Story by Alex Agueros, for The Muleskinner—
The Mules and Jennies cross country teams are coming off top-ten finishes at the MIAA Championships, and have confidence in their ability to succeed at the Central Regional on Saturday in Joplin, Mo.
“We have high hopes going into regionals,” junior Courtney Klaty said. “These teams don’t know how much we’ve improved.”
This year, the Jens finished fourth at conference, compared to seventh last season.
Coach Kirk Pedersen is also satisfied with the Jens’ improvement.
“I’m very pleased with the progress in one year,” Pedersen said. “We finished fourth in the MIAA, only 14 points away from winning it. We’re that close to being a champion.”
On the men’s side, experience is the key. “Our guys have some experience in winning the last two MIAA championships,” Pedersen said. “We qualified for nationals two years ago. We’ve been there and done that. The potential to qualify is there.”
Junior Tyler Stuber has been a part of those two MIAA championships, and the national qualifying team in 2010.
“It’s definitely there,” Stuber said about their chances at qualifying for nationals. “We have a pretty solid top five. We’re capable of moving out of regionals and on to nationals.”
The Mules and Jens will compete against a few familiar opponents despite a new region.
“It’s a totally new region for us,” Stuber said. “We’ve seen some of the teams before last year, and earlier in the season, but it’s still fairly new to us.”
Pedersen added his thoughts on the teams they will face at regionals.
“We’re running against the conference schools again, and that’s why it’s important for us to compete better.”