Xavier runner Jon Lansing just scratching the surface

HS journalism: Saints senior in only second year of cross country

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CEDAR RAPIDS — From tennis champ to aspiring runner, senior Jon Lansing is right on track.

Lansing entered his second year of cross country this fall, after playing football his first two years at Cedar Rapids Xavier.

“I went out for cross country because some of my friends were on the team,” said Lansing, who won the Norwalk Invitational earlier this month. “I assumed I would be OK and probably just run JV with my friends. But then I was surprised to see how well I did.”

Last year, as a first-year cross country athlete, Lansing placed 17th overall at the state meet and missed all-state by three seconds, despite running a personal best of 16:44.

“My goal for this season is to get top 10 in the state meet. Our team goal is to win state,” Lansing said. “Although winning state is a huge goal, we all know that we can achieve it if we all do our best. We see the state title as a challenging, but attainable goal to strive for.

“With the support of the team, we can push each other.”

Lansing knows how to win. Xavier graduate Charlie Esker and Lansing were state doubles tennis champions last spring.

“Jon is a very determined, yet humble person,” Xavier Coach Nate Hopp said. “He brings an intensity and focus when it comes to competition, which allows him to compete with guys that some may consider faster and better.

“I really feel like his tennis background helps him concentrate on what he needs to when it comes down to race time. Jon has not even reached his potential as a runner, and I am excited to see how the rest of the season goes.”

The Class 3A state qualifying meet is Thursday in Manchester and the state meet is in Fort Dodge on Oct. 28.

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