Editor's note: This story is part of a series looking back at some of the biggest stories of 2018. Find the rest of the series here: Top Ten 2018.
Lake City Tigers cross-country head coach Howie Cook did what he's done since 1984, sent a team or individual to the state cross-country meet. In the state meet, both the Lake City boys' and girls' teams competed in their respective Class A races.
The boys' team came in 15th place while the sixth-ranked girls' team finished in sixth place. Cook said the day was good one for all the athletes no matter what the final results said. He praised his boys' team for their teamwork, the girls' for their improvement and the assistant coaches for bringing in younger kids who want to compete.
"They're junior high teachers and they're pied pipers," Cook said. "They bring kids towards us. At least get them indoctrinated with it. We get them through the first three weeks, we know have them sold most of the time.
"All of our alternates are young kids. We've got some kids that weren't out this year that have already said, 'I need to get back out.' You can make a run of four years with that freshman group. There's a couple that could be in our top-5 next year and they're just getting better and better."
Jacey Majerus (8th, 19:09.8), Mela Schmitz (21st, 19:57.6), McKenna Beltz (46th, 20:44.2), Natalie Gates (58th, 21:04.2), Johannah Clementson (65th, 21:22.8), Brenna Nelson (70th, 21:25.2) and Phebe Nelson (72nd, 21:27.8) ran for the Tiger girls. Clementson and both Nelsons will be seniors in 2019 while Schmitz and Beltz will be sophomores. Majerus will enter high school as a freshman next fall while current seventh-grader Gates is still more than a year away.
The boys' team consisted of Hunter Grimm (33rd, 17:01.5), Joe Kozlowski (58th, 17:33.7), Reese Anderson (65th, 17:41.5), Andrew Muenzhuber (67th, 17:45.9), Zach Scharpen (77th, 17:56.2), Ben Johnson (78th, 17:57.0) and Nash Nelson (84th, 18:00.9). Only Grimm and Scharpen were seniors.