Hesston College cross country coach Gerry Sieber is optimistic that his group of young runners can duplicate, if not surpass, the success enjoyed by last year’s teams. Heading into the fall, Sieber will rely on a roster of 19 – 11 men and eight women – of which just five competed for Hesston last year.
The men’s team is led by sophomore Jacob Landis, Sterling, Ill., who finished 13th in last year’s regional championship meet. Landis capped off a stellar freshman campaign with a tremendous showing at nationals, finishing 44th among 290 runners. Landis, along with Luke Ropp, Inman, Kan., will serve as team captains.
“Our men’s team potential right now is unknown,” Sieber said. “It will be exciting to see how this young team develops.”
Michelle Moyer, a freshman from Monticello, Ill., will captain a women’s team that Sieber believes can be better than last year’s nationally-ranked Larks squad.
“Our women have the potential, I believe, to be a little stronger than last year’s team,” Sieber said. “It’s a very encouraging way to start the season considering we were a pretty competitive bunch last year.”
Sieber has again put together a challenging schedule for the Larks, featuring competition against NCAA Division I and II foes. Local NJCAA Region VI competition, arguably the strongest region in the country, offers even more opportunities for Hesston runners to shine at a high level.
The Larks first meet is Saturday, Sept. 1, when Hesston competes in the Wichita (Kan.) State University Gold Classic.