50 Stories for 50 Years: Cross Country to State


Bernie Crinigan finishes the two mile course with Joe Havlik in close pursuit.

50 Stories for 50 Years is a yearlong series, written by Hannah Ratzer and Mady Kircher. Throughout the 2017-2018 school year we will be republishing stories from all 50 years of past publications. We hope to show off Kennedy’s rich history and success through this series. This 50 for 50 story is curated by guest writer Sophia Jasper.

Oct. 19 Kennedy men’s cross country team competed at the district meet in Marshalltown for a chance at state.

Kennedy performed well, earning 3rd place as a team, qualifying for state, with individual placements of 5th from Jackson Foley, 6th from Jacob Green, 11th from Lucas MiddleKauff, and 14th from Ricardo Calderon among others.

Turns out, back in 1973 the boys team was running just as strong.

The following is pulled from Volume VII, Number 2 of the Kennedy High School Torch published on Oct. 12, 1973.

Havlik, Crinigan set tempo

Don’t look now, but the Kennedy Cross Country team is running past everyone this season and they don’t give any indications of stopping.

The conference-favored cougars, now 25-1, are led by returning lettermen Joe Havlik, Bernie Crinigan and Jeff Davidson. They have been joined on the varsity squad by seniors Tom Brady and Mike Skopec and juniors Scott Monaghan and David Ross.

Conditioning and resistance are the basic points of Cross Country because it consists of a grueling two mile run over open country. In scoring, the winning team is determined by the lowest amount of points. First place receives one point, second place take two and so on. Each team collects its points from the first five runners on their team and they are added up to determine the victor.

Tomorrow the team faces a conference meet at Ellis Park in which 10 teams will battle it out for the title. Clinton, Bettendorf, and Washington will be some of the better teams, but Coach Dave Etienne believes we should come out on top.

Kennedy’s only loss came at the feet of last year’s triple A champions, Waterloo Columbus at a meet at the beginning of the season. Since then the Cougars have improved greatly and will be ready to face them when they meet again.

At the Cedar Rapids Invitational, held at Noelridge Park, Sept. 21, Kennedy nabbed the first place trophy out of a field of more than 13 teams. Joe Havlik and Bernie Crinigan (the team’s top two runners and two of the contenders for the state title), placed 4th and 5th respectively.

“Joe and Bernie are really dedicated runners, not that all our other guys aren’t, but they push themselves to reach goals that are pretty high,” commented Etienne, “and they have put in a lot of time during the summer working to improve themselves.”

Coming up next for the Cougars is the City meet Oct. 16 at Washington and the State meet Oct. 20 at Grinnell.

The girls’ Cross Country team have been doing equally as well with their only losses being to South Tama and Washington at the C. R. Invitational, Sept. 21, were they placed third out of a team field of 8 teams.

The next meet coming up for the girls will be the District meet Oct. 13 at Noelridge. Kennedy will be the host of 22 teams from eastern Iowa and should be a strong contender.