While a lot of hype has been focused on the football field as of late, action on the cross country course may change that as ADM junior Nate Mueller made history Tuesday night during the ADM Invite.
Held on the beautiful grounds of the Hilcrest Country Club in Adel, Mueller helped lead the Tiger boys cross country team to a second place team finish. Mueller paced the entire 76 runner field by producing a time of 16:14 which amazingly is his second best time of the season so far. The first place finish not only held an immediate importance but also an impact on a historical level as Mueller became the first ADM runner in over ten years to produce three straight first place finishes to start a season. From start to finish, Mueller’s performance was never matched, in fact, second place came in nearly a full minute behind him. It was a performance for the ages and one that the junior gave all the credit towards planning and preparation.
“I’ve got to give credit to coach Zwank for a great plan heading into the race and give credit to my preparation,” began Mueller. “The plan going into the race was to do whatever the first two miles but then be in 5:30 the final 1.1 miles. A sub-five minute mile was the goal. I also wanted to make sure to push myself the last few stretches.”
Mueller ended up with a minute-per-mile mark of 5:14 for the race. It marked a feat that few have ever accomplished in ADM history and a feat that Mueller himself said was helped by the off-season.
“Off-season work is everything,” started Mueller. “I quit AAU basketball and just ran all summer. It’s everything because if you don’t have a base you’ll never get to where you want to be. Right now I’m right where I want to be.”
On their home course with sunny 89 degree weather, it was just as much of a team effort as it was an amazing feat by Mueller. Following his performance was Quinton Kimrey who ended up as one of six Tigers to place inside the top 25 individually. The sophomore placed 12th with a time of 18:47 which was matched by senior Braeden Hegarty who came in 13th place. Junior Nathan Royer rounded out the top 20 finishers for ADM thanks to a time of 19:01, one of his better finishes this season.
Senior Max Fouts placed 21st overall with a time of 19:28 while Cooper Greenslade had a more than solid outing with a 23rd place time of 19:31. Sophomore Caleb Crystal rounded out the team scoring for ADM in 41st place thanks to a time of 20:22. The Tigers ended with a team time of 1:32:18 for an average of 18:28, bested only by Des Moines Christian who totaled a team time of 1:29:28 with an average of 17:54. It was indeed the best overall performance of the year so far by the Tiger boys and one they will look to continue off of when they travel to Perry on Oct. 3. The Tigers will then take on the 12 team Leon Fox Invitational which includes five Raccoon River Conference schools in host Perry, Ballard, Bondurant-Farrar, Boone, and Winterset. The action will kick off at 5 p.m.