Returning letter winners for the Vikings are, from left, front row - Mitch Fadness, Jacob Hrdlicka, Isaac Marquardt, Gable Lonning, Forde Nesteby. Back row - Jacob Stock, Ames Helzer, Oran Deen-Lester, T.J. Misseldine, Bryce Hosting, Andrew Larson, Parker Fretheim. (Photo by Jennifer Bissell)
Returning letter winners for the Vikings are, from left, front row - Mitch Fadness, Jacob Hrdlicka, Isaac Marquardt, Gable Lonning, Forde Nesteby. Back row - Jacob Stock, Ames Helzer, Oran Deen-Lester, T.J. Misseldine, Bryce Hosting, Andrew Larson, Parker Fretheim. (Photo by Jennifer Bissell)
Boasting a strong work ethic, team spirit and overall enthusiasm to get on the course, the Decorah boys cross country team is ready to get the season started.

A year removed from winning the Class 3A state title, the Vikings are looking to reload for a second straight championship run.

Putting the team together this year is Head Coach Dennis Evelsizer. Evelsizer has been with the program for 29 years and has been the head coach for 12.



Racing to the top

With six of the seven varsity runners back, the Vikings were poised to make a run at a title. The harriers started the season ranked No. 1 and continued to prove that ranking again and again. At one of the toughest meets of the season, the Vikes took the title at the All-American, showing fans just how powerful they could be.

It was a clean sweep at the NEIC meet. The Vikes posted a nearly perfect score of 19 to win the crown for the sixth season in a row. All seven runners finished in the top-15, earning all-conference honors. In addition, the JV boys claimed the title. Senior Hans Holkesvik was the individual champion of the JV meet.

With a spot at state on the line, the Vikes easily handled the pressure, winning their sixth district/state qualifying title in a row, this time with 29 points. Four runners individually qualified for state by finishing in the top-10.

It all came together in Fort Dodge at the state meet. With everyone putting forth their strongest effort, Coach Evelsizer was able to celebrate his first state title. Decorah took first with 62 points, with Pella right behind with 74 points. Individually, senior Kyle Hosting finished fifth overall while senior teammate Patrick Larson took 10th.

For the complete story and additional photos, pick up Decorah Newspapers at one of the many convenient locations throughout Decorah and Winneshiek County. Or, for 34 cents an issue, subscribe to Decorah Newspapers by calling (563) 382-4221.