The honors continued for the Albia Boys Cross Country team as head coach Todd Ratliff was named one of five at-large Class 2A Coaches of the Year and Assistant Coach Jeff Beal was named Assistant Coach of the year for all classes.
Coach Ratliff, who led his team to a fourth place finish in the state, was honored as an At-Large Coach of the Year along with Dan Sauser, Monticello, Julie Zerke-Clarke, Des Moines Christian, Lucas Gourley, Danville-New London and Josh Husted, Davis County.
Eric Walsh of Tipton was the State Coach of the Year in Class 2A.
The Iowa Association of Track Coaches also name two assistant coaches of the year for all classes, one for boys and one for girls.
Ratliff’s long-time assistant, Jeff Beal, was named Boys Assistant Coach of the Year. He has been an assistant with the program for 10 years.
Together, Ratliff and Beal have developed one of the top boys and girls cross country programs in the state. Blue Demon cross country runners have dominated South Central Conference cross country for most of Ratliff’s 19 years in Albia.
This year Ratliff’s boys team captured the school’s eighth conference title. His teams have finished runner-up six times in his 19 years. The boys team finished fourth, which is the highest finish at state in school history. Ratliff and Beal have coached six boys teams to the state meet and three girls teams.
The pair has coached 12 individual qualifiers to the state meet along with 13 girls.