Consistency pays off for All-County boys CC selections
Competing in a couple of tough leagues this fall, including one that featured an eventual state runner-up, the Jackson County boys cross country teams held their own week in and week out.
Among the stiff competition, the Cobras, Panthers and Wildcats did not back down and earned some great accolades, including the following individuals being selected for The Holton Recorder’s All-County cross country team.
Patrick Broxterman, sr., RVHS— In his final season of high school cross country, Broxterman seemed to make every meet count. While he got off to a slow start, as slow as two top-25 finishes in the first three meets can be considered, the senior really flourished towards the end.
Broxterman was the Panthers’ top individual runner in three of the final four meets, including the team’s home meet, the Big Seven League meet and the regional meet. He finished in the top 20 at all three meets including a sixth-place finish at the Royal Valley Invitational and taking 10th at the Big Seven meet to earn All-League honors.
On top of those quality placings, Broxterman’s performance spoke for itself as he improved in his times with each successive meet, culminating in his best race of the season at the regional meet where he finished the 5K race in 18:41.08 to take 16th, leaving him just one spot short of qualifying for the Class 4A state meet. This is Broxterman’s second selection to the All-County team.
Seth Holliday, sr., JHHS— Another runner who was on the cusp of being a state qualifier, Holliday looked like a runner on a mission from day one.
After a year to dwell on an illness that hindered his final race of the 2013 season, Holliday came out strong looking to put that in the past and breakthrough to the state level this fall.
It showed early on as Holliday finished in the top 10 in four of the first five meets of the season. In fact, Holliday never finished outside of the top 15 this season in any race for Jackson Heights.
Among those top performances was a fifth-place finish at both the Royal Valley Invitational and the NEKL meet, to earn All-League honors, but Holliday came up just shy of that state goal as he finished 11th at the regional and the JHHS boys finished fourth as a team.
Holliday is being selected to the All-County squad for the third straight year.
Kwaki Spoonhunter, jr., RVHS— Injuries may have slowed down this Panther runner towards the end of the season, but that didn’t stop him from leading the team to start the season.
Out of the gates, Spoonhunter asserted himself as Royal Valley’s top runner and routinely placed in the top 20, including in three straight challenging meets at the beginning of the season.
That injury bug hit hard at the midway point of the season, but Spoonhunter still managed to come in 14th at the Big Seven meet and earn All-League honors. He is also earning a spot on the All-County squad for the first time.
Tristan Parks, sr., HHS— Holton saw the years of work of several upperclassmen pay off this year and in no case was that more evident than with Parks.
For the last few years at HHS, runners like Parks have been shoved into varsity roles early due to a lack of numbers as far as upperclassmen.
This year, Parks was one of those upperclassmen and the experience seemed to pay off tenfold as he led the Wildcats through most of the season.
After a rough start to the season, Parks had back-to-back top 15 finishes, including taking ninth at the Hiawatha Invitational.
While an injury held the senior back for one meet, he closed out the season with three top-30 finishes, including an 11th-place finish at the Big Seven meet to earn All-League honors and help earn him his first appearance on the All-County roster.
Eugene Masquat, sr., RVHS— While Broxterman and Spoonhunter had their ups and downs this season, Masquat could be considered the glue that held the Panther boys team together.
Masquat routinely finished as the second or third runner for Royal Valley, providing some stability and helping solidify the team. He also led the team in one race, at the Jackson Heights Invitational, where he took 11th.
Outside of that, Masquat was the picture of consistency as he never finished outside of the top-35 this season. Like his teammates, he also earned All-League honors at the Big Seven Meet with a 13th-place finish and this is his first selection to the All-County team.
Riley Strader, so., HHS— While the work and time in paid off for Parks and some of his classmates this fall, Strader made a big splash in his first season with the cross country team as he became a solid number two runner behind the senior.
Strader turned in two top-30 finishes early in the season before he himself missed a meet, but he came back after that and led the team at the Royal Valley Invitational (the meet that Parks missed) with a seventh-place finish.
In addition, Strader finished 12th at the Big Seven meet to earn All-League honors and he never finished outside the top 30 this season with the exception of the regional meet. Strader is a first-time All-County pick this year.
Braden Dohl, fr., JHHS— Another runner making his debut on the All-County squad, Dohl made a strong impression in his debut season for the Jackson Heights cross country team.
After quickly earning a spot on the varsity team following a first-place finish in the JV race at the Holton Invitational, Dohl quickly solidified himself as the number two runner for the Cobras behind Holliday.
Dohl finished 30th in the very next meet for Jackson Heights and then had his best performance of the season, a ninth-place showing, at the Royal Valley Invitational.
While Dohl battled some inconsistencies that coach Lyle Alley noted usually plague young runners, he still managed to finish in the top 30 at every meet the Cobras competed in this season.
Honorable mention for the All-County cross country team include Arrow Levier (RVHS), Braden Sides (HHS) and Westin Jacobsen (JHHS).