ELCAR making third straight trip to state
The Estherville Lincoln Central/Armstrong-Ringsted girls cross country team makes its third straight appearance at the Class 3A state meet in Fort Dodge.
ELCAR, previously ELCART when Terril was a part of the mix, has now sent the girls team to state eight out of the last 11 years.
Heading to the state meet on Saturday are seniors Brittany Ross, Emily Jensen, Morgan Grabinoski, juniors Traci Speltz and Brooke Egeland, sophomore Samantha Natterstad and freshmen Alyssa Ayers and Bailey Raska.
Natterstad, who was the alternate, will run in place of Raska who suffered a stress fracture.
Ross is the lone four-time state qualifier as she made the trip by herself when she was a freshman. Jensen and Egeland will make their third trip to state while Speltz is making her second. Grabinoski, Natterstad and Ayers are running the 2 1/2 mile course at the Lakeside Golf Course for the first time.
Coach Tina Burton said the goal is to reach the top 10.
ELCAR has been rated in the top 15 all season and enters the state meet rated 12th in the final rankings released Wednesday by the Iowa Association of Track Coaches.
Burton said the goal this week has been to relax and have a good time.
“They all know what they can do,” she said. “They just have of believe they’re okay and finish strong.”
The focus at Saturday’s meet is to try to run with the frontrunners.
“We have several that will try to do that,” Burton said. “Sometimes at state, you can get lost in a crowd. Each girl is going try to run their best.”
The ELCAR runners also filled out a goal sheet.
“I think they’re all realistic goals,” said Burton. “For the seniors, knowing it’s the last race, they want to go out and make it their best.
“It’s all about getting there and competing with the best of the best.”