A look at the girls cross country teams around the NewsTribune area:
Coach: John Beatty
Top returning runners: Anya De La Luz, Jr.; Sheva Bruins, Jr.; Ashlee Lord, Jr.
Top newcomers: Kiely Domyancich, Fr.; Gabriela Gonzalez, So.
Worth noting: The Cavaliers lost NewsTribune All-Area runner Mallely Ontiveros, but L-P does return De La Luz, who finished just one place behind Ontiveros at the regional last fall. Bruins also was a top six runner for the Cavs at the regional last season. Beatty said Domyancich could potentially be a state qualifier. “Our goals include getting both (boys and girls) teams to the sectional,” Beatty said. “I would like to see a couple of individual state qualifiers. … We have a lot of new runners this season and this is a bit of a rebuilding year after losing so many seniors.”
Coach: Marty Makransky
Top returning runners: Jaelyn Weber, Sr.; Macy Zeglis, Sr.; Madelyn Torrance, Sr.; Aleda Hoogland, Jr.
Top newcomers: Ari Kaufman, Jr.
Worth noting: Weber was an All-Three Rivers Conference runner last season and placed 30th at the regional, while Zeglis placed a spot ahead of Weber at the regional. Torrance and Hoogland were new to the team last season. Torrance placed 18th at the TRC Meet and Hoogland was named the team’s Most Improved Runner. “We set team and individual goals at the beginning of every season,” Makransky said. “My goals for the team are to build team bonding and enjoy the sport. We want to peak and be running our best at the end of the season and qualify beyond the regional.”
Coach: Tom Keegan
Top returning runners: None
Top newcomers: Evelyn Castelan, Fr.
Worth noting: Castelan is the one runner for the Red Devils this fall. “The goal for this year is to get her some experience and acclimated to running long distances,” Keegan said.
Coach: Kevin Wohrley
Top returning runners: None
Top newcomers: Anna Valdes, Fr.; Yulianna Valdes, Fr.; Val Valdes, Jr.
Worth noting: The Valdes family makes up the entire roster for the Trojans with sisters Anna and Val and their cousin Yulianna. “They are working hard in practice but are new to the sport and we are in the beginning stages of their journey,” Wohrley said. “They will who tremendous progress over the season.” Wohrley said the Trojans are trying to find more runners to round out the team.
Coach: Pat Hodge
Top returning runners: Lexi Bohms, Sr.; Kiana Brokaw, Sr.; Claire Grey, Sr.; Ella Grey, Sr.
Top newcomers: Avery Waca, Fr.
Worth noting: The Tigresses have just enough to field a team with five runners. They have a good one at the top with Bohms, a two-time NewsTribune Girls Runner of the Year. The 2021 team MVP qualified for state as a junior, placing 72nd overall. She placed third in the Three Rivers Meet, seventh at regional and 18th at sectional. PHS also returns its No. 2 runner in Brokaw with the Grey sisters running No. 4 (Claire) and No. 6 (Ella). Waca, who is the first female runner in the program with cross country experience in junior high, brings family tradition into the program with her mother, aunt and uncle all running for Hodge at PHS.
Coach: Michael Robinson
Top returning runners: Natalie Pratt, So.; Addison Pertell, So.
Top newcomers: Samantha Nauman, Fr.; Anna Carlson, Fr.
Worth noting: The Clippers have a small roster with only four runners this fall. Robinson said either Pratt or Nauman will be Amboy’s top runner. “They have both worked really hard,” Robinson said.
Coach: Jarrod Lester
Top returning runners: MiKayla Frawley, Sr.
Top newcomers: Daniella Bumber, Fr.
Worth noting: After taking over as the school’s track and field coach in the spring, Lester will now lead the cross country program as well. The Timberducks graduated two top 15 finishers at the regional in Hope Self and Nakeita Kessling, but do return Frawley, who placed 24th at the Class 1A St. Bede Regional last fall. Lester said Bumber is a strong addition to the team after she won the IESA Class 1A state title in the 400-meter dash in the spring. Lester said he thinks Frawley and Bumber have a chance to run at state. “I am excited to see what she can accomplish in distance running,” Lester said. “She is probably one of the most gifted runners I have seen.” Lester said the team’s goal to qualify for the sectional.
Coach: Carol Bauer
Top returning runners: Claire Phillips, Jr.; Allie Wiesenhofer, Jr.
Top newcomers: Macy Gochanour, Fr.
Worth noting: With 13 runners, the Knights have one of their largest rosters in the history of the program. Phillips will once again be the team’s top runner. “She finished last season running in the 21s and we have to make that a consistent goal by midseason. Wiesenhofer and Gochanour split time with volleyball. Wiesenhofer “was a soldi runner for us the last two years,” while Gochaour “shows a lot of early promise.” Cheylee Reed, Aaralyn McCullough, and Tatiana Serna also are expected to contribute. “I think my ladies, when at full strength, will find success as a team at some of the smaller meets,” Bauer said. “Because they are so young, I’m hopeful that some success will be just what they need to work even harder next summer.”