The student newspaper of, by, and for Ames High School.

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The student newspaper of, by, and for Ames High School.

The WEB

The student newspaper of, by, and for Ames High School.

The WEB

World War IIIBoys…

The AHS men’s cross country program has commanded respect from the beginning. For seventy years, the men’s program has won championship after championship. Even more importantly, the program has continued to turn boys into men year after year. This remarkable history often overshadows the girl’s program. “Up until the 1970s, it was uncommon for girls to be included in athletics,” girls’ cross country coach Kirk Schmaltz said. “In 1976, AHS started up the girls’ program to give girls a place in athletics.” Sadly, the school’s pity offer into the sports world has not amounted to much for the girl’s cross country team. The success formula for the men’s team through the years has centered on the fabled whips and chains of Ames. “When I first joined the men’s program, I didn’t like the whips or the chains,” senior cross country runner Zach Brenner said. “Slowly they began to chisel at my already manly physique, and I didn’t worry about them any more. Now, it’s like they’re not even there.” On the girls’ side, it is assumed that similarly rigorous training methods are not used. In fact, it is not even clear whether the girls even run at practice. “I’m pretty sure the girls just sit around and talk,” Brenner said. “They meet on Saturdays at 6:45 in the morning, and I know they never start running until at least 7:30. They just sit there and talk.” One possible explanation for the girls not wanting to run is a lack of motivation. “I have no motivation, whatsoever,” junior girls’ cross country runner Stephanie Soh said. “When I’m running in a meet, my goal is just to get it over with.” Motivation is definitely a non-issue for the men’s team. As the team has increased in size in recent years, so has the number of runners that are denied opportunities to contribute to the team’s success. In an effort to keep all team members involved, John Misra created fantasy cross country (FXC) during his senior year in 2004. “It keeps everyone motivated,” senior cross country stud Nate Behning said. “Even if you’re not fast enough to score for the real team, everyone has the potential to score for a fantasy team.” FXC is similar to fantasy football in that stats (like mile splits and finish time) are used to determine the value of each team member. Runners are drafted by team owners at the beginning of the season, which runs through the conference meet to determine an FXC champ. Statistics show that nearly half the team plans out their races in order to score well for FXC. Of course, the primary goal of cross country is to run faster than everyone else. This fact has not been lost within the circus of fun that the men’s cross country team has become. At the Sept. 28 Ankeny Invite, eighteen runners from the men’s team ran at a faster pace than the girl’s fastest finisher, Kersten Thorgaard. Forty-one men, more than half of the runners on roster, finished ahead of the girls’ last varsity runner. “If you look at the statistics, you can see that we’re just faster,” Behning said. “It’s pretty obvious that we are far superior to the girls’ team.” For seventy years, the men’s cross country team has crushed opponents with little to no remorse. Unfortunately for these foes, including the girls’ team, the men are not planning on letting up anytime soon. Sorry, ladies.

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