The end goal for the Fort Dodge cross country program is to compete at home.
The Dodgers, long-running hosts of the state meet, will count on a small - but experienced - group of upperclassmen to carry the weight.
Last year, junior Alex Jackson represented FDSH at the Class 4A state meet, placing 78th overall.
Messenger photos by Britt Kudla
Fort Dodge boys returning letterwinners are, front row (left to right): Bryce Rogers, Cole Detmering, Thomas Thompson and Devon Schuster. Back: Alex Jackson, Tanner Smith, Nick Ganzeveld and Austin Reed.
"Alex is looking really good right now," Dodger head coach Tim Hanson said. "He's faster, I believe, at this time than he was last year at state."
Along with Jackson, the other top four runners from a season ago are back in Thomas Thompson, Tanner Smith, Nick Ganzeveld and Austin Read.
"The way the season ended last year left a sour taste in their mouths," Hanson said. "They've been working hard during the summer to not have the same kind of disappointing finish."
FORT DODGE CROSS COUNTRY
Seniors - Kole Evans, Nic Ganzeveld, Mitchell Kloss, Aric Lehrkamp, Damien Miller, Tanner Smith.
Juniors - Caleb Asay, Aaron Brandt, Nick Campbell, Alex Jackson, Michael Olson, Austin Read, Bryce Rogers, Devon Schuster, Jim Springer, Thomas Thompson, Derick Wilson, Lance Williamson.
Sophomores - Ian Crowl, Cole Detmering, Hank Haldin, Riley Helmers, Kenny Kelly, Brandon Lee, Peter Lyon, Jacob Schreier, Cal Solverson, Cayden Taylor.
Freshmen - Cole Davis, Brennen DeCoursey, Ryan Dolan, Maxwell Hansih, Brady Read, Ryan Wagner, Steven Wilson.
Seniors - Madison Bodholdt, Sydney Crotts.
Juniors - Taylor Chansler, Lynzi Harms, Taylor Hintch, Amanda Koger, Becca Sunken, Bailey Wade.
Sophomores - Alex Hays, Katarina Olson, Anna Taylor.
Freshmen - Noelle Barber, Chloe Lentsch, Megan Nebel.
Sept. 3 - at Webster City Invitational; 12 - at Marshalltown Invitational; 17 - at Storm Lake Invitational; 23 - at Humboldt Invitational; 26 - at Mason City Invitational; 30 - at Algona Invitational.
Oct. 10 - host Fort Dodge Invitational; 17 - CIC meet in Ames.
Hanson sees Devon Schuster, Ryan Wagner and Caleb Asay helping push the five returning varsity runners, adding, "they have the potential to be running low 17 (minute) times by the end of the year."
Madison Bodholdt, a multi-sport standout, anchors the Dodger girls. She has been given a few weeks off to rest up after competing late into the summer on the softball diamond.
"Madison hasn't had any time off since the winter, going right from track into softball," Hanson said. "We're giving her a couple of weeks off from running just to get her body healthy."
Fellow senior Sydney Crotts has also been absent, as she is recovering from an injury.
"I expect Sydney to be right there in the mix later in the year after she is recovered," Hanson said.
Also looking to secure varsity spots will be Katarina Olson, Becca Sunken, Bailey Wade, Anna Taylor and freshmen Megan Nebel and Chloe Lentsch.
"The girls made their goals," Hanson said. "They know what they need to do to get them."
The state meet is set for Nov. 2 at Lakeside Golf Course. Fort Dodge will host its own invitational, on the same course, Oct. 10.