Returning letter winners for the Vikings were, from left, front row - Gara Lonning, Steph Bjerke, Cassie Bjerke, Amanda Taylor, Emma Dambek. Middle row - Anna Hovden, Maria McDonough, Linnea Kephart, Lindsay VandeLune, Katie Perez. Back row - Hannah Hougen, Kelly Minear, Lydia Hayes, Anna Swanson, Naomi Davidson, Kalle Solberg. (Photo by Jennifer Bissell)
After tasting what it's like to win a state championship, the Decorah girls cross country team will be back on the course hungry for more this season.
However, this season, the Vikings will have lots of faces to replace after the graduation of 20 members of the team.
If anyone can put it together, it's Coach Cristy Nimrod. Nimrod has led the Viking harriers for 12 seasons at DHS.
Recalling the title year
The Vikings had a strong nucleus of returning runners a year ago. They grew throughout the season, holding the No. 1 spot in the rankings. At the conference meet, the Vikes easily took first place, posting a perfect score of 15 points. It was the ninth year in a row Decorah has claimed the title. All seven varsity runners eared all-conference honors. The JV team also won the title, posting a perfect score.
It was another banner for the Vikings at the state-qualifying meet as Decorah claimed its seventh straight title, posting 34 points. Five of the seven runners finished in the top-10, earning automatic bids to state.
The state meet was a nearly perfect day for the Vikings as they went to win the first state title since 2007. They secured first with 63 points, just edging MOC-Floyd Valley with 85 points. The only smudge on the day involved senior Brinn Anderson, who broke her leg with a quarter mile to go in the meet.
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