Waukon boys cross country team returns six letterwinners for 2018 campaign

2018 Waukon boys cross country team ... Left to right - Front row: Brady Beyer, Logan Houg, John O’Neill, Connor Stegen, Ryan Lubahn. Back row: Daniel Gruman, Michael Headington, Robbie Drew, Zach Davison, Aidan Jones, Michael Smith. Not pictured. Brennan Bednarski, Nate Helgerson, Andrew Mellick, Micah Treptau, Reese Reisinger, Logan Delaney.

2018 Waukon boys cross country returning letterwinners ... Left to right: John O’Neill, Logan Houg, Zach Davison, Ryan Lubahn. Not pictured: Nate Helgerson, Andrew Mellick.

Returning all but one of its top seven runners from an overall young squad that came up just a couple places shy of continuing its most recent streak of State Meet qualification last season, the Waukon boys cross country team will work toward its ultimate goal of competing in that season grand finale once again with a strong returning foundation in 2018. Six of the distance Tribe’s top seven runners, including last season’s top four individuals, will be working to make a return trip to Fort Dodge this fall.

“Returning six of our top seven runners from last year’s team, as well as the majority of the guys coming into the season with at least one year of cross country under their belt, if not more,” Waukon boys cross country coach Tara Stein listed as the strength’s of this season’s team. “I have been pleased with our numbers and how hard the boys have been pushing themselves in practice.”

Those six returning veterans from last season come in classmate pairs and include seniors Nate Helgerson and Andrew Mellick, juniors Zach Davison and Logan Houg, and sophomores Ryan Lubahn and John O’Neill. “I look to our returning letterwinners, along with our upperclassmen, to set the tone for the team, to lead on and off the course,” Coach Stein said.

The lone missing piece to last season’s veteran puzzle is the graduation loss of Andrew Miller, a multi-year varsity contributor for the Indian cross country boys. “Andrew ran consistently in the number-five spot the last two seasons and people familiar with cross country have a better understanding as to just how important not only a team’s number-five runner is, but also six and seven,” Coach Stein relayed.

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