Veterans to lead way for Lindbergh High boys


Despite losing many runners to graduation, Lindbergh High head coach Jim Petersen is optimistic about his 2017 boys’ cross country team. Photo by Bill Milligan.

By Robert Chalupny
For the Call

The Lindbergh High School varsity boys’ cross country team captured a district championship last season and earned an appearance at the state meet as a team.

But this year, the Flyers have several holes to fill after losing the majority of the team to graduation. However, head coach Jim Petersen is optimistic about his new group and will rely on his veterans to help lead the way.

“We made it as a team last year. We were 11th, I think, in state last year. We have five of our top seven guys back and two of those guys didn’t come back, so that hurts,” he said. “We are still trying to figure out what we’ve got.

“We’ve got two really legitimate, good, good runners and then we are trying to fill in the blanks after that,” Petersen said of returners Connor Kingsland and Billy Driemeyer. “They were both on the team that made it to state last year, they ran well.

“They had a good offseason and they are having great workouts, so we expect state qualifiers, potential state medalists out of both of them. We have a group of about eight guys behind them, and we are going to have to have some guys step up out of that group,” Petersen added.

In the running to make the top six on the team are Jack Stork, Michael Malin, Conner Raethka, Luke Schultz, Brendan Ludwig and Tommy Cordes.

“We are going to have to get those guys to step up. To compete for a district championship, out of that group of guys, we are going to have to have at least three guys step up and improve and compete at the district level,” Petersen said. “That’s always our goal, is to try to win districts. We did last year, and this year we are a little weaker than we hoped to be.”

Besides his veteran runners, Petersen said some promising newcomers have joined the team.

“We’ve got a great group of freshmen. We’ve got 21 freshmen out and they are really showing good promise for the future,” he said. “I don’t know if any of them can scratch the varsity, but they will definitely push that group of varsity guys. They are pretty raw, but they are really talented, so we will see what happens out of that.”