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Lions, Indians prep for first meet
by Brandon Leonard Correspondent · August 24th, 2017

In the past decade, it is hard to argue that there has been any community more successful in the sport of cross country than the town of Marion. Between both Linn-Mar and Marion, we have seen individual state championships in addition to team championships. Trips to the Iowa High School State Cross Country Meet have become a norm for both programs, and expectations remain high as the 2017 season approaches.

For the Marion boys, the team returns the reigning individual state champion in Jeremy Fopma. Now a senior, Fopma crossed the stripe in dominant fashion last season in Fort Dodge with a winning time of 16:02.6. He will be the leader of this squad again in 2017 and will be aiming to lift Marion from a sixth place team finish to even higher results as a team, while defending his state title.

The Marion girls were unable to qualify as a team for state in 2016, but Hallie Kephart placed 25th out of 140 runners in Class 3A just one season ago. The Indians were last at state in 2015 where they placed sixth, but they will be looking to return in 2017.

As for the Linn-Mar boys, Coach Kyle Hoffman says he likes where his team is at early on in the season. With 51 guys on the roster, there are a lot of great battles shaping up to see who cracks the varsity lineup this season.

The Lion girls' cross country squad qualified for state in 2017 and managed to place 13th in the 15-team field. Linn-Mar lost five of their seven qualifiers from a season ago and the stakes are high as the girls compete for spots to try and get back to Fort Dodge yet again.

Marion headed to Mount Vernon on Tuesday, August 22, (results unknown at press time) while both Linn-Mar and Marion teams will be at Cedar Rapids Prairie's annual home meet on Saturday, August 26, at 8:30 a.m.
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