For the first time in 18 years, the Cougars boys’ cross country team qualified for the state championship. The Cougars were led by Adam Knepper’s third-place finish and Max Nadeau’s sixth-place run at the Class 1A State-Qualifying Meet at Fillmore Fairways, Oct. 21.

“(This was the) first boys team in 18 years to make it. One of the boys said at practice Friday — think about it — none of us were born yet the last time the boys’ team made it,” coach Phil Kauder beamed after the meet.

“Our girls gave a great effort and got things started. The boys gave it their best shot and made it to state by six points. All seven (boys) who ran tonight as well as the other six who were there and helped push them just like practice made the difference tonight,” said Kauder. “We kind of laid a plan out back at the RVC Conference Meet and then readjusted for tonight and the boys responded. What a great feeling.”

Valley Lutheran won the boys’ meet with 44 points, advancing to state along with Cascade (67).

Hudson was third (73), BCLUW fourth (115), Isaac Newton Christian Academy fifth (128), South Hardin sixth (169), Central Elkader seventh (170), Prince of Peace Catholic eighth (177), Midland ninth (21), GMG-Garwin 10th (262) and North Cedar 11th (282).

In the individual standings, Knepper placed third with a time of 18:08, Nadeau 18:22 for sixth. Freshman Lane Cook finished in 19:31 (21st), Davis Trumm 19:39 (22nd), Ben Gehl 20:15 (30th), Andrew Kaalbeerg 21:07 (41st), and Payton Feldman 21:26 (49th).

The Cascade girls were led by Anna Conlin with a time of 22:58 for a 16th-place finish. She was followed by Grace Bower in 26:09 and Lilly Topping in 26:10 for 39th and 40th, Delaney Kremer 29:23 for 50th.