Best of Cross Country Courses

Henry Steine

A large factor on how you do at a cross country meet is the course. There are many courses throughout the season, some may be better than others. But many cross country runners from the past and even future cross country runners would like to explore the best cross country courses there are. 

In a survey done through cross country runners of this past season a list was able to be put together on the best attributes of many different courses.

Up first is the best visual appeal of a course. The winner of this title is the West Delaware Hart Ridge Golf Course. This course consists of many rolling, beautifully cut green hills and  a rolling creek through the middle. There were also multiple trees throughout the course that acted as a wind block and a nice decoration. The route itself was also very clear and didn’t look confusing at all. Without a doubt this course earned its title. 

Next we have the flattest course. Easily winning this one  was the Seminole Valley course. This course didn’t have but maybe one small bump in the whole course. A flat course is the dream of any cross country runner, it makes for an almost guaranteed personal record if you run your hardest. It also eases the mind because you don’t have to worry about climbing Mt. Everest in the middle of your race. “The course was really flat,” said senior Quincy Happel, a varsity starter from Lisbon. “It was very confusing for a while but it’s nice to have fast kids in front of you so you have a guide. The grass needed to be cut a little before the meet though, it felt like we were running in a forest.” 

Having a big crowd not only makes the race fun but it gives you encouragement and drive to do your best. Winning this one by a landslide (and not without reason) is the State Meet at the Fort Dodge course. If you have ever seen a zombie movie with a giant crowd of zombies piling over each other this is what Fort Dodge looked like throughout the course, there wasn’t a single spot along the way that didn’t have a swell of people cheering you on. The energy in the air was ecstatic and fueled the runners to go all out, adding to the thrill of the State Meet. “ The atmosphere was insane, there was nonstop cheering and people were everywhere,” Junior Eli Dickson said. “It made running so much easier.” 

A groomed course is a very nice necessity for a good run. You don’t want to be in the middle of your race and roll your ankle on a random tree root or rock in the course, you want it clear and well marked. The winner of this title was the Fort Dodge course again. This is not surprising as it is a state event and very well taken care of and planned out. The meet was also on a golf course, it was well kept and cared for as shown in the course. 

Having fun at a meet is always a good thing as well. For the next title we awarded the Williamsburg course with the most fun. Now there wasn’t a whole lot happening that made it obviously fun except the fact that it was the first meet and people seemed to think that it was exciting to finally be back and running the races again. 

Sometimes the course isn’t all about the races, sometimes it’s about the camp. The next title on the list is the coziest camp. Winning this one was the Wartburg course. Thinking back there are many reasons why this could be considered the coziest camp. One possibility is how it was tucked away by some pine trees and prairie grass, giving us privacy from the other teams. Another possibility is how we got Jimmy Johns for lunch, making it feel like home. This day was the perfect temperature, not too hot or cold, making the camp even better. “The Jimmy John’s lunch we had made me run fast,” said senior Carter Hall (Chall), another varsity starter from Lisbon. “It was fun to be able to watch the college runners compete before us.” 

The final title was the best overall. A course is best overall because something about it stands out that makes it better or more fun in some way than others. The winner of this title was the Solon course. This course is a very flat one, there’s a few small hills and that’s it. It is also very easy to navigate, throughout the course there are markers and paint to show the way clearly. There is also a very nice patch of woods covering around half the course, these woods allowed for a cooler area on the course. “I really enjoyed how the trees provided shade for us while we were running. I also liked how smooth the course was, I didn’t have to worry about any huge hills.” Said Junior Eli Dickson when asked why he chose this course as best overall.


Senior Quincy Happel and Carson Sansenbach run at the Seminole Valley meet. Sept. 9. (Anna Moore)