Returning letter winners for the boys are, from left, front row - Steven Holkesvik, Gable Lonning, Tyler Peterson, Richard Weis, Tim Meyer. Second row - Isaac Marquardt, Jacob Hrdlicka, Henrik Marquardt, Garett Baumler. Third row - Andrew Larson, Bryce Hosting, Garrett Nordheim, Trevor Phillips, Parker Fretheim. (Photo by Jennifer Bissell)
Returning letter winners for the boys are, from left, front row - Steven Holkesvik, Gable Lonning, Tyler Peterson, Richard Weis, Tim Meyer. Second row - Isaac Marquardt, Jacob Hrdlicka, Henrik Marquardt, Garett Baumler. Third row - Andrew Larson, Bryce Hosting, Garrett Nordheim, Trevor Phillips, Parker Fretheim. (Photo by Jennifer Bissell)
Auditions are open for a spot on varsity for the Decorah boys cross country team.
With the departure of 10 seniors, including two who earned all-conference a season ago, the Vikings will be looking to reload on the way to another NEIC title.
New this year is the head man. Taking over for retired Head Coach Dennis Evelsizer is Brad Johansen. Johansen has served as an assistant coach in the cross country program for years. He will be joined this season by Tim Hayes and Adam Bohach, both in their greenhorn season.

Making the most of 2013
Fresh off winning the Class 3A state title in 2012, the Vikings of a year ago were back on the attack. They raced through the regular season as a pack, continually improving and working to find a core group of seven.
It was unseasonably cold for the Northeast Iowa Conference meet in Cresco. With a strong field, the boys, ranked No. 6 in the class, finished second with 46 points while Charles City, ranked No. 2, took the title. Seniors Oran Deen-Lester and Forde Nesteby, juniors Isaac Marquardt and Andrew Larson and sophomore Bryce Hosting all were named all-conference by finishing in the top-15.
A ticket to the state meet was punched a week later when the boys finished second at the state qualifying event. Marquardt individually advanced by taking fifth overall.
Despite being predicted to finish fifth, the Vikings defied the experts and earned third in Class 3A, securing 114 points. Marquardt led the way for the blue and red. The junior finished 15th in team standings. Hosting took 20th, with Deen-Lester 22nd, Nesteby 26th and Larson 31st. Also competing on the big stage were Garrett Nordheim (44th) and Tim Meyer (69th).
Following graduation in May, Johansen will be without several members that pushed for the top in 2013, including Deen-Lester, Nesteby, Ames Helzer, T.J. Misseldine, Patrick Murphy, Lukas Phillips, Jonathan Rahlf, Jacob Stock, Brad Suhr and Nick Vande Krol.

For the complete story and additional photos, pick up Decorah Newspapers at one of the many convenient locations throughout Decorah and Winneshiek County. Or, for 34 cents an issue, subscribe to Decorah Newspapers by calling (563) 382-4221.