Cascade’s 2019 cross country team: front from left, Lexie Feldman, Grace Rhomberg, Lilly Topping, Grace Bower, Rachel Rhomberg, Harley Bradtke, Maddie Knapp and Emma Oswinkle; second row, Vic Kauder, Dane Bertling, Carson Nauman, Adam Knepper, Sean Pry, Max Nadeau, Peter Noonan and Ben Boffeli; back row, volunteer assistant coach Phil Kauder, Cole Miller, Tyler Kaalberg, Sam Noonan, Gavin Foust-Wollenberg, Jonah Manternach, Davis Manternach, Tyson Hill, assistant coach Kyle Kauder and coach Bob Davidshofer.

Entering his 44th season at the helm of Cascade boys cross country program, and 56th overall, coach Bob Davidshofer is looking for success at many levels.

“We should have a stronger team this year with the top four (boys) at the state-qualifying meet returning. And we have our largest squad in a long time with a good group of freshmen joining the team,” said Davidshofer.

Returning runners include soph Cole Miller (14th at the state-qualifying meet), juniors Carson Nauman (20th), Jonah Manternach (49th) and Dane Bertling (66th) and senior Sam Noonan (50th). Miller placed 68th at state last season.

Davidshofer looks to Tipton to top the River Valley Conference, followed by Monticello and Camanche. “I’m hopeful we can improve on our 10th-place finish of two years ago.” (Conference meet canceled by weather in 2018).

On the girls side, “only one of the top five runners who ran at the state meet last fall returns,” said Davidshofer. That runner is junior Emma Ostwinkle, who qualified eighth and ran to 33rd at state.

“This will be a rebuilding year, but our strength lies in the fact that the team has a great attitude and work ethic. It is a very small squad and will not have the depth we’ve had in the past, but I expect them to make a lot of improvement during the season,” added Davidshofer.

He predicts Mid-Prairie to be the favorite for the conference title, with Iowa City Regina and Monticello also very strong. “I’m hopeful we will finish in the top half of the conference,” the coach concluded.