Spring Valley cross country achieved a number of goals during the 2008 season. The Vikings boys finished in the Top 10 at the Class 4A state meet for the 11th year in a row, while the SV girls emerged with the Region 4-4A championship.
Things did not look promising for the Spring Valley boys at the start of the season, but hard work and senior leadership kept the program in the money at the biggest meet of the season.
Seniors Ryan Moran and Jonathan Hanson set the pace at state as the Vikings finished in ninth place with 217 points. Hanson just missed make the individual all-state team. He placed 17th with a time of 16 minutes, 59 seconds. Hanson was 40th in 17:24. Sophomore William Ivey (45th, 17:28) and juniors Matt Johnson (61st, 17:43) and Zach Parker (100th, 18:19) closed out the SV scoring at state.
In other highlights, the SV boys finished second to Ridge View at the Region 4-4A championship meet and scored at upset win over the archrival Blazers at the Sandhills Invitational.
The Vikings girls had a tough state meet, finishing 17th in the 18-team field, but winning the region title remains a noteworthy accomplishment. And with only senior Lauren Nixon leaving the fold, Spring Valley will be looking for even better things in 2009.
Sophomore Emily Bakaj emerged as the No. 1 runner this season, leading the way at every major outing down the stretch. She was 38th at state, fourth at the Mid-State qualifier and third at the 4-4A finals.
Juniors Annie Niehaus, Alexandria Berry, Sally Rausch and Jordan Beckman and freshman Olivia Knight are also expected to return in 2009.