Darin Arkema's Lynnville-Sully cross country teams were absent from the Class 1A state meet for the first 10 years of his tenure.
Now, his Hawks are becoming regulars there.
Two years after his 2010 squad became his first one to make it to Fort Dodge, Lynnville-Sully is going back and is bringing a couple familiar faces with it.
Two members of that 2010 team are returning. They are juniors Karli Roozeboom and Alexa Vander Leest — who were that team's top two finishers by placing 16th and 53rd while the Hawks took ninth out of 15 teams. They'll be joined by five other members on Saturday in senior Lindsay Ritter, junior Tara Vos, and sophomores Cori Rice and Madison Rasmusson.
Rice led the team at Monday's district meet, placing ninth individually in an even 16 minutes. Rice was 12th, Vander Leest was 17th, Roozeboom was 25th and Rasmusson was 45th to comprise the Hawks' five scorers.
Lynnville-Sully returned its top four runners from last year's team that missed state by just two points, so it definitely had the talent to get there. The question this season was whether or not it could stay healthy enough.
For a good part of this season, that answer was looking like a no. Nagging injuries made the Hawks unable to field five runners needed for a scoring varsity in several meets. That included Oct. 11's South Iowa Cedar League conference meet, where Rice claimed the individual title.
But the team was healthy when it needed to be most, taking third at districts to qualify for state for the second time in three years.
The 1A state meet begins at 2 p.m. Saturday at Fort Dodge's Lakeside Municipal Golf Course.