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The Mount Ayr harriers lose a big part of their boys cross country team heading into the 2020 season after graduating two time state participant Isaac Timmerman, but bring back strong talent in Briar Knapp, Jarrett Webb, Ashtyn Benesh and Will Newton.
The girls are bringing back Karlie Larson, who won a Creston News Advertiser athlete of the week award, along with MaKayla Jones and MaKenna Jones, who run at the front of the pack.
The Raiderettes bring back plenty of experience with Ashtyn Werner, Olivia West, Alexa Smith, Taylor Clymer, Lilly Fuller, Madison Shields, Andrea Sickels and Lauren Triggs who will help bring the Raiderettes to the front of the Pride of Iowa this year.
The Raider and Raiderettes are coached by Deb Larsen and assisted by Sally Young.
Larsen has coached the team for nine years and led the Raiders to a third place Pride of Iowa finish last season and the Raiderettes to a second place finish.
The Raiderettes will field another full team this season and are looking to be a top finisher in the Pride of Iowa.
The Raiders, however, do not have a full team, but have seen improvements in Knapp and Newton and expect to see them better their places from last year in the Pride of Iowa, as they continued to improve last season with strong performances all year.
“It is good to be back together again as a team,” said coach Larsen. “We had several runners take advantage of the summer months to get in some training. As coaches we are excited to watch this group improve.”
The Mount Ayr runners will have their first meet on September 3 in Corydon at 5 p.m.
The harriers will see their home meet, the Ron Landphair Invitational, on October 15 at 4:30 p.m.