Mueller dominates, ADM boys cross country takes ninth in state meet action
On Friday, Oct. 30 there were a lot of storylines going on as Halloween was in full swing and the ADM High School boys cross country team took to the Class 3A state meet.
The Tigers made their eighth appearance (since 1993) at Lakeside Municipal Golf Course in Fort Dodge for the state meet. That in itself was quite the storyline as ADM ended up placing ninth as a team, courtesy of a collective time of 1:26:10.2. As a team they averaged 17:14.1 and collected 218 place points for the meet.
Fans, coaches and even fellow runners have come to know the dominance of ADM senior Nate Mueller and on Friday, he wowed everyone again. Mueller made history as he not only paced the ADM lineup, but paced the entire 134 runner field with his time of 15:28.7.
"This one felt the best out of all of them, just because some people bet against me and it fueled me," began Mueller. "I wanted to also get one for coach Hunt. He's fighting for his life so when he wakes back up I'll be able to tell him about this one and it will make it a lot sweeter."
Mueller officially joined Dylan Davis (2000 and 2001) as the only ADM runners to not only take first in a state meet, but capture back-to-back state titles.
Despite the wrench that COVID-19 has thrown at student-athletes in 2020, Mueller himself kept on strong, making history along the way. The senior placed first in all but a pair of meets during the regular season and joined rarified air as the only Raccoon River Conference runner to be crowned conference champion in all four years.
Mueller was a full 20 seconds ahead of second place Quinton Orr of Humboldt, which highlighted what has been an exciting matchup across the state over the past few seasons.
"He can battle and he runs hard, that kid's got a lot of fire in him," began Mueller. "With him out there it made me run a little faster and reach another level, hit that next level so I can make sure I win."
Hit that next level he sure did, being one of just two runners (including Orr) to capture a time under 16 minutes.
"We got out well, that third K I really hammered down," Mueller said. "I really wanted to push the middle of the race and that's what I did. Once I got a little bit of distance, I knew I needed more."
Junior Cooper Greenslade continued the ADM lineup, placing 48th overall thanks to a time of 17:21.0. He was one of three Tigers to place in the top-55 including senior Ethan Juergens. Juergens was just 23 seconds off of his season-best time as he placed 53rd with a time of 17:23.3. Senior Alex Dvorak finished in the top-100 as his 90th place finish came with a time of 17:48.6.
Fellow senior Nathan Royer's time of 18:08.6 was good enough for 110th place while the final two spots for ADM included Caleb Crystal and Hubie Chaplin. Crystal placed 125th with a time of 18:48.9 while Chaplin's 127th place finish came with a time of 18:49.8.
Overall, it was the first time ADM as a team graced the state meet since 2017. It all came against a tough field that included nine ranked teams and over 15 individually ranked runners.
"This year was probably my best year just because of the guys," Mueller said. "No excuses. Every day we worked and we just showed up and it makes me happy."