SIOUX CITY (KTIV) -- The last Sioux City boy to win a state cross country title was in 1982. The last Sioux City team to win a state title was Central High in 1967. That all could change this year because of Sioux City North and Jaysen Bouwers.
Bouwers, a senior, is the top-ranked runner in Class 4A. His winning time of 15 minutes and four seconds Saturday at the Wartburg College Invite was a school record and the fourth fastest time in Iowa history.
"At Wartburg I was just trying to go at a sub-15 pace and I wanted to get that close, so it was nice I got that close," said Bouwers. "It was great because I haven't run a P.R. (personal record) in like 13, 14 months. It felt good. It was a good race," said Bouwers. "I raced smart and how I needed to. I just followed our plan that we had set."
"He's just a tank," said North Head Coach Abdier Marrero. "He feeds off work so the more work we put into him, the more energized he gets and the more excited he gets about the possibility of being fast and he's always excited about seeing what we can do to run faster."
In his first meet in Ames, Bouwers finished sixth, behind teammates Gabe Nash and Will Lohr, who are also ranked in the top 12. It motivated him to push himself to the front.
"I started with that 16:20 at Ames, which wasn't very good for me," said Bouwers. "Everybody was like, what's going on there? After that I just decided to focus harder and that's what I'm doing, just trying to break 15."
As a team, North is ranked second in Class 4A. Bouwers finished ninth at last year's state meet and the Stars were fifth as a team. They have their sights set much higher this season.
"That is a goal of mine, to try to win state," said Bouwers. "So being ranked first just means other people think that's also possible so that's nice to know."
"As long as we're enjoying the ride, we're enjoying each other and we're pushing each other, state can be a fun, exciting time where we can just see whatever happens, happens. If we happen to bring something home, that's going to be super amazing."
The Class 4A state cross country meet is Friday, October 30 in Fort Dodge.