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Iowa cross country: Sibley-Ocheyedan readies for run at state

SIBLEY, Iowa — Leah Seivert embarks on Iowa’s state cross country meet for the fourth time Saturday.

The Sibley-Ocheyedan senior will have a little help from her friends this time around. The Generals have qualified as a full girls squad.

It marks the first time since the school sent a team to state for three straight years in the late 1990s that Sibley-Ocheyedan is sending another.

Andy Taverna, a sophomore for the Generals, will compete also as an individual in the Class 1A boys race.

“Our other two seniors never thought they would have the chance to run at state,” Seivert said of her girls team. “I’m really exicted they’ll have the chance to do that.”

The girls had runners in first, 13th, 27th, 29th and 40th places to turn in third place at the 1A State Qualifying Meet in Hawarden last Thursday.

Freshman Mikayla Tangeman, senior Kim Cuadros, freshman Jada Carlson and senior Marie Jeppesen all helped the girls team move on.

Taverna’s offseason was one of marked improvement for the boys team.

“I definitely worked a lot harder than last year. I didn’t really take it seriously last year. I had good teammates who pushed me,” he said. “Last year I just did this to stay in shape. Once it was done I really missed it. I think that kind of pushed me.”

The Sibley-Ocheyedan girls enter a buzzsaw of competition in Fort Dodge for the state meet. The Generals rounded up 110 team points in Hawarden to second-place Emmetsburg’s 42 and Pocohantas Area’s 24. Even more contenders are sure to threaten at state.

“I always say that we’re going to do the best we can and whatever happens happens,” S-O cross country coach Keith Swenson said earlier this week. “That’s my famous saying, but it is true.

“I feel like things were clicking at the right time for us,” Swenson said of last week’s qualifying race. “I’m excited to see how state turns out.”

Saturday’s state meet is in Fort Dodge. Class 1A girls run at 2 p.m. at the Lakeside Golf Course, with the boys running at 2:30 p.m.

Caleb Nelson
Caleb Nelson is the Daily Globe sports writer. He hails from southwest Iowa and served as sports editor at the Audubon County Advocate Journal there for 2 ½ years before moving to Worthington in October 2013. Caleb trys to enjoy life and everybody that he meets. He enjoys music, playing guitar and drums, and is an avid sports fan. 
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