By William for CrossDove Writers


When you finish third at state and return five runners than qualified for state, you expect one thing from the Smoky Valley boys cross country team – make the next step!

As Viking Head Coach Holly Toll notes, “The boys team ended on a good note last season with a third-place finish at state and several state medalists. We hope to be in those same shoes or better at the end of this 2019 season.”

For the Viking boys, they lose Josh Peterson and Julian Maldonado, but return five runners who participated at state last fall, including Ryan Heline who is coming off and outstanding spring track season. Others coming back are Stephen Peterson, Trayton Miller, Lukas Apel and Garret Huffman.

The Lady Vikings also lost two key members in Maria Apel and Gracie Lott, but they also return Ellise Peterson who finished 21st at State, plus Kaisa Peterson, Gracie Lambert and Lydia Peterson.

As Coach Toll heads into her 14th year, she concluded her pre-season reflections by adding, “We have a solid group of runners who are motivated to do great things. The girls have a great shot at placing higher in many meets and while Ellise (Peterson) was hurt most of the track season, she had a successful cross country season last fall and I’m anxious to see her in action on the course again. Gracie (Lambert) is running right up along side of Ellise which will be an asset to have them practicing and competing together.”

The Viking Cross Country team opens their 2019 season on Thursday, September 5 when they host a meet at the Lindsborg Golf Course.