COUNCIL BLUFFS — They’re perhaps the most unassuming group on campus.
As the football players shuttle off to practice, seeking their ninth trip to the UNI-Dome in 10 years, and the fifth-rated volleyball team mills in the lobby on game day, hoping to reach the state tournament for the second straight season, the Council Bluffs St. Albert boys cross country team tosses around a frisbee in front of the school.
These Falcons are the defending Class 1-A champions and rated No. 1 again this year by the Iowa Association of Track Coaches. But you won’t find them tooting their own horn.
“We’re not really loud. We’re not rowdy at school, I guess,” top-rated senior Josh Sindelar said. “We don’t get too pumped up, like I guess football would before games. Football kind of overshadows us because of their tradition, too. We don’t really let it get to us. All credit’s given where it’s due, I think.”
In its 24th team appearance, St. Albert will attempt to repeat as the 1-A team champion at 2:30 p.m. on Saturday at the Lakeside Golf Course north of Fort Dodge. The Falcons are seeking their third title in all, as they also won in 1992.
Southwest Iowa’s other returning champion is Griswold sophomore Rebekah Topham. Last year, she ran the fastest time in all classes. After finishing third as a team last year, Griswold enters as the top-rated girls squad.
WI state qualifiers:
Boys teams: St. Albert, Riverside, Logan-Magnolia. Boys individuals: Josh Sindelar, St. Albert; Scott Theulen, St. Albert; Ean Patrick, Riverside; Ellis Johnson, Logan-Magnolia; Wyatt Schulz, Logan-Magnolia; Brandon Sipherd, Riverside; Joseph Grady, Boyer Valley; Darrian Irlbeck, Tri-Center.
Girls teams: Griswold, Underwood, Tri-Center. Girls individuals: Rebekah Topham, Griswold; Jordyn Sindt, Griswold; Megan Maaske, Woodbine; Alyx Flippin, Griswold; Alex Larsen, Tri-Center; Michelle Mumm, Tri-Center; Kaylee Grote, Tri-Center.