Boys Cross Country Team Concludes Their Season At State Finals

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Boys Cross Country Team Concludes Their Season At State Finals

Emma Kubelka

On Nov. 3, the Red Raiders Boys Cross Country team placed 17th at the 2018 IHSA Division 3A State Finals, which were hosted downstate in Peoria, Illinois.  The team, coached by Matthew Kaplan and led by senior Shane Hochmuth and junior Ian Geisler, went undefeated in all dual meets and placed first in county, conference, and regionals.


“We prepared ourselves by saying ‘this could be our last race together, so let’s run our hardest, best race today and see what happens,’” Geisler said.


This was not the first time Geisler has run the state course; he has qualified for state in all three seasons of his high school career, as well as during his middle school seasons.


“I’ve always been a cross country runner,” Geisler said.  “Being a runner is proof to yourself that you can do things that you thought you couldn’t do.  Running your hardest helps you push past things in life.”


The boys’ impressive state final finish marked the conclusion of another successful season.  This is the fourth season in a row the team has won county, conference, and regionals. The Raiders took a bit of a hit this season after losing key runners Rasheed Ahmad, Joey Ozzauto, and Joshua Segura to graduation.


Hochmuth, who concluded his cross country career at the state finals, was happy with his team’s performance.


“I think it was the best season I have ever experienced,” he said.  “We had a really well rounded team both athletically and socially. I did the best I had ever done and our boys made their way down to state which is incredible. We really had a tight knit group of athletes who just enjoyed being out there.”


As the Red Raiders set their sights on next season, Geisler has one key piece of advice for newcomers looking to join the team.


“Try to go to the summer runs and see if you like it,” Geisler said.  “If not, no hard feelings. It’s not for everyone. Just give it a try.”

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