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West XC boys rebuilding

North Liberty Leader
IOWA CITY– The West High Trojans under coach Brian Martz are rebuilding and reloading for the 2015 cross-country season. The Trojans finished ninth in overall points at last year’s state meet.
Akash Borde was the highest-finishing West runner at the state meet with a ninth-place finish. Borde was among the runners lost to graduation, but Martz returns seniors Nick Feeley (44th at State) and Matthew Schneider (70th) and junior Ali Ali (57th).
A platoon of newcomers, including freshman Kolby Greiner, the 2014 Jr. High State Champion, will boost the squad. The newbies also include juniors Derek Nugent, Micah Smith, Andrew Murley, Logan Stuart and Nathan Abramoff with sophomores Jeff Garbutt, Ethan Trepka, Jared Bailey and Kyle Sulwer.
“With a core of three state meet returnees, and the incoming Jr. High State Champion, we are excited about building our team up again to contend for high places at conference and state,” Martz said. “The conference and state championships will pass through the Mississippi Valley Conference (MVC) again this year,” he added.
Linn-Mar won the state meet last year with fellow MVC school Cedar Rapids Prairie second. Prairie, Linn-Mar and Cedar Falls will be in contention for the top trophies again this year, he said.
“Our work is definitely cut out for us, but we have nothing to lose by going after them to set ourselves up for the next couple of years,” Martz said.
Looking ahead, Martz pointed out the freshmen/sophomore group is a very talented team that could contend for the next couple seasons. West won the Sophomore Division of the MVC Super Meet last year, and he sees that as an indicator of talent.
“We have the best incoming freshmen group in school history entering the door,” he added. “Right now, our main concern is finding five-to-seven quality varsity runners to start moving in that direction.”
The season opens on Saturday, Aug. 29, at Cedar Rapids Prairie with an 8:30 a.m. start.