This is a bit of a transition year for all Jordan teams as they will compete for one more season in the Minnesota River Conference before moving to the Wright County Conference next year.
While they await that move, another move has already taken place and is in effect for this season as the Jordan cross country teams can now call themselves a Class 2A team after competing in Class A since the program was started.
That means instead of competing against the likes of Belle Plaine, Tri-City United and schools of that size in the section meet, Jordan will now compete against Shakopee, Chaska, Chanhassen and Waconia to just name a few.
No matter who they run against, head coach Ben Nylander expects one thing from both his boys and girls cross country teams.
“I expect the kids to compete to the best of their ability regardless of which teams step up to the line against us,” he said. “We can’t control who we race but we can control how we race.”
With the move up in class and not competing against those teams before, Nylander said this year’s focus will be on finishing strong in its last year in the MRC and then turning its attention to sections.
“Our goal for both teams is to compete at the top of the MRC,” he said. “We would like to leave the MRC on a positive note. Both teams are very talented this year.”
With the transition to Class 2A, Nylander changed his schedule this season to see some of those teams they will compete against at sections hoping to get a better idea of what they will run against late in the season.
“I don’t know enough about the teams in our new section yet to form expectations yet so I’m looking forward to our Hutchinson meet where we’ll match up against several teams that we’ve never raced before in order to get a better idea of what our realistic section goals are,” Nylander said. “As we start racing them and seeing where we rank among them we will start to focus more on competing against them. At this point we are really more focused on laying a strong foundation of training so that when we get to that point we are ready to compete against what we know will be very strong competition.”
With that said, both the Jordan boys and girls teams return a deep and talented team.
The Jaguars return its entire lineup that finished in 11th place at the state meet last fall.
Leading the way for the Jags are freshman Basia Babcock and Kendra Krueger, who both finished in the top 50 last in the individual state meet last season.
“Basia and Kendra are our 1A and 1B as they are both legitimate No. 1 runners for us,” Nylander said.
Joining them again this season are Lily Hyer, Abby Vizenor, Claire Helgerson, and Mackenzie Williams all who ran at state.
As for the Hubmen, they welcome the return of Symon Keiser who missed most of last season because of injury/illness but should be back to top form this fall which is one of the top runners in the state.
“Symon is our No. 1 runner on the boys side,” Nylander said. “I am really excited to have Symon healthy again after a series of unfortunate setbacks last year.”
Also returning are Kaleb Sharp, Isaac Dold, Isaac Young, Aiden Langheim, Sam Cromie, and Max Ceplecha which all helped the Hubmen to the MRC title last year.
Both teams start the season on Thursday as they compete in the Bill Glomski Invitational at Bear Cave Park in Stewartville.