- Three of the team members have valuable returning experience
- Bears are coached by first-year head coach Michael Melchert
The Des Moines Area Community College (DMACC) men's cross country team will open the 2020 season in the Grand View Viking Invitational in Pleasant Hill on Friday, September 11.
First year Head coach Michael Melchert has just five runners on the team, three sophomores and two freshmen. Returning sophomores include Cole Bennett of Ogden, Cameron Campbell of Ames and Hunter Humiston of Columbus Junction. The freshmen on the squad are Preston Rogers of Winterset and Riley Heilskov of Ankeny Centennial.
"We have five team members and three of them are returning from last year's squad," DMACC Coach Michael Melchert said. "This will help in preparation and training for everyone. The older athletes understand what is expected to have a good season."
Melchert speaks highly of his returning sophomores.
"Cole Bennett eats, sleeps and breathes running, and video games," Melchert said. "He is a competitor who loves competition. Cameron Campbell is a veteran runner with a chip on his shoulder. He wants to continue to run after this season and you can see it in his work ethic. Hunter Humiston is still getting his gears going. He won't race until the end of September at the earliest, but I'm excited to see his progress."
Melchert said he's also counting on great seasons from his first-year runners.
"Preston Rogers works hard and loves to constantly 'push the envelope.' You will see great results from him stemming from his summer training," Melchert said. "Riley Heilskov is in his first year of cross country ever, but he has the potential to be a very great runner for DMACC. I'm excited to see what he can do."
Melchert was recently hired as the new DMACC men's and women's cross country head coach. The former University of Iowa track and field and cross country athlete was a Big Ten track and field champion, a Big Ten Academic All-Conference performer, and a finalist for the University of Iowa Male Athlete of the Year.
Melchert said the men have done a great job adapting to his coaching style and continue to improve each day.
"I really want to see all of these men improve," Melchert said. "They are all working hard and working together to do the best they can for the team."
Following the Grand View Viking Invitational, the DMACC men's cross country team will run in the Spartan Invitational in Creston on Friday, September 25