ADM boys cross country advances to state, Mueller captures individual title
They came, they saw, and among the 12-team state qualifying field on Wednesday in Winterset, the ADM boys cross country team punched their ticket to the 2020 state meet.
Behind another spectacular performance by senior Nate Mueller, the Tigers finished second overall with a collective time of 1:24:42. Four Tigers placed inside the top-25 to capture 68 place points and secure ADM'S second team appearance at the state meet in the past four years.
"Last night we had a team meal and we talked about rearview mirrors and the perspective of what it used to be like," said head coach Josh Chapman. "I lived it and to be able to see these guys own that type of culture, I couldn't ask for anything more."
Doing what he's done for the majority of this season, Mueller led the entire field and outpaced the 87 runner field for first place.
"It felt really good and I got out of the gates well," began Mueller. "I didn't have as great of pace midway through but I just pushed through."
Mueller's That placement came with a time of 15:15 marked a new season-best for the senior. It also made Mueller the only runner in the field who averaged under five minutes per mile throughout the race.
"For him he had his goal of time and he hit his time," Chapman said. "We've been really working hard on pace and training at that pace. From start to finish he likes to get out hard and push that pace."
Teammate Cooper Greenslade wasn't too far behind Mueller, finishing in eighth-place with a time of 16:57. That came just a second off of his season-best time of 16:56. He was followed up by another down-to-the-wire performance from Ethan Juergens. The senior, with a sprint to the finish, placed 12th overall thanks to a time of 17:00, blowing his prior season-best out of the water by 47 seconds.
"It's always fun to see the race come down to a sprint finish and for our guys to finish hard," said Chapman. "Early in the season when we weren't really conditioned for the kick yet, they were disappointed but to see them come out tonight with a strong push is definitely a coaches dream to see it come to fruition."
Fellow senior Alex Dvorak continued the streak of season-best times as he helped out the Tigers with his time of 17:38 and a 21st place finish. Nathan Royer (26th, 17:52) and Caleb Crystal (37th, 18:26) rounded out the top-40 finishers for the Tigers. Quinton Kimrey wrapped up the ADM lineup with a time of 19:00 to place 51st.
It was a team finish that sent ADM back to the state tournament where coach Chapman once ran as a runner.
"As a coach having run there, it brings things to another level," began Chapman. "They're physically ready, it's just the mental preparation of running their race. Helping them mentally prepare for that is huge and it's very exciting."
It truly has been a culture change across ADM cross country and one that Mueller himself is pleased to be apart of.
"The culture around distance running at ADM is really starting to change this year and I'm very happy to see that," began Mueller. "Hopefully it doesn't stop when I leave and when I leave it's just an expectation to get to state every year. It was nice to have teammates around me for state because I haven't had that the last two years."
Reigning Class 3A champions Dallas Center-Grimes was the only team to beat ADM. The Mustangs took first place during the state qualifying meet with 26 place points.
The Tiger boys will now set their sights on the state meet, which will be held in Fort Dodge on Friday, Oct. 30 at the Lakeside Municipal Golf Course.