Dynasty in the making; Viking girls eye a third straight state title
Tuesday, August 26, 2014 10:32 AM
All eyes will be on the Decorah girls cross country team this fall.
Returning letter winners for the Vikings are, from left, front row - Katie Perez, Cassie Bjerke, Josephine Berlage, Shania Kelly, Emily Miller. Second row - Emma Dambek, Amanda Taylor, Anna Swanson, Stephanie Bjerke, Brenna Betts. Back row - Madison Ihde, Alexis Steinlage, Gara Lonning, Linnea Kephart, Naomi Davidson, Maria McDonough. (Photo by Jennifer Bissell)
With back-to-back state titles, the Vikings will again have what it takes to hoist the Class 3A state title trophy come November.
Motivating the harriers to perform to the best of their abilities will be Head Coach Cristy Nimrod, who has led the way for 13 seasons.
A banner year
Fresh off their first state championship season since 2007, the Vikings were reloaded for another successful season, this time with 16 returning letter winners and four athletes back from the state championship team.
Going into the season ranked No. 1, the Vikings survived its first test, taking the crown at the All-American meet.
Things continued to build throughout the rest of the regular season, culiminating in the conference meet. Decorah captured the Northeast Iowa Conference title for the 10th year in a row, this time with 20 points. All seven runners claimed all-conference titles by finishing in the top-15.
A week later, the girls claimed their eighth straight regional/state qualifying title by scoring 36 points. Four Vikings finished in the top-10.
In the closest of close races, the girls eeked out the Class 3A state title. Battling with MOC-Floyd Valley, Decorah and MOC-FV tied with 108 points after the top-five harriers crossed the finish line. However, senior Kelly Minear beat out the sixth runner for MOC-FV to give Decorah the edge and its sixth title in school history.
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