Prep Sports

Looking back at Mount Vernon-Lisbon cross country dominance

HS journalism: Team won back-to-back state titles in 2015, '16

The Mount Vernon-Lisbon boys’ cross country celebrates in 2016 state title. (Ben McGuire/Mount Vernon graduate)
The Mount Vernon-Lisbon boys’ cross country celebrates in 2016 state title. (Ben McGuire/Mount Vernon graduate)

MOUNT VERNON — The state champion Mount Vernon-Lisbon cross country teams were one of a kind ... or maybe two of a kind.

Over the course of those two years — 2015 and ’16 — the team lost only one race.

Taking a look back on these teams, the unique ability of these teams had can be appreciated even more.

In 2015, MV-L won the Wamac Conference meet by 59 points and had the second best score in state history at the state meet, winning by 31 points. The team was lead by standout runner Reid Smock (Lisbon 2016), who finished third overall. In addition to Reid, the team had amazing depth which allowed it to finish in such historic fashion. After the race, junior Jack Young (’17) said “as I finished I turned around and saw all my teammates finishing right behind me, and at that point I knew we’d won it.”

In 2016, the returning champions knew they would have to become a different team. Rather than having a standout runner and good finishes, Mount Vernon-Lisbon had to rely on pack running. Under new leadership, Young was able to lead the team to another Wamac title, winning by 36 points.

“He’s the kind of guy you want to lead your program,” Coach Kory Swart said at the time.

This strong leadership was able to carry the team to its third state title, the second in a row. Mount Vernon-Lisbon won this title by a mere two points.

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“Any lack of effort down the stretch from anyone and we wouldn’t have won,” Garrett Herring (‘17) said.

The 2015 and 2016 Mount Vernon-Lisbon cross country seasons symbolize an era of dominance in high school sports.

“As these teams get further away, you really start to appreciate what they did for the program,” Swart said.

The legacy of these two teams will continue to impact the team today, and has set an example of dominance and greatness for cross country in general.

This documentary is part of the 2019 Video Documentaries J-Term. The video was created by Garrett Akers, Cole Miller, Nolan Hinrichs, Caden Eskelson, Noah Guillaume and Alex Deeb.

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We value your trust and work hard to provide fair, accurate coverage. If you have found an error or omission in our reporting, tell us here.

Or if you have a story idea we should look into? Tell us here.