LEWISBURG — The Tri-County North girls cross-country team has not won a Cross County Conference championship since the district’s split from its counterpart Twin Valley South. This year, the girls team wants to make history.
The boys saw their last trophy in 1988 and they want to add a trophy as well.
The boys placed ninth out of ten teams in the CCC in 2015, while the girls placed eighth out of 11.
Lauren Koenig is a junior runner for the Panthers.
“Being a junior, I try my best to encourage my teammates and build them up to be the best we can be,” Koenig said. “I’ve been running on my own and have trained during the summer at Northmont High School to try and get my times down. In track, you need to get your split times on your laps. In cross-country, you need to get your miles, and be able to train for hills and all the different courses out there.”
Although the team lost Aiden Tomlin to graduation last year, the team will be strong this year with four seniors. Lindsay Owens and Anna Norris are two returning seniors for the girls, while Thomas Pudenz and Trenton Napier round out the seniors for the boys.
“The boys have run for me all of their years at the varsity level,” said coach Tim Martin. “I have a boatload of juniors. Koenig has the capability of being the best girl on the team. Bailey Hilt had the fastest time last year as a freshman. Taylor Cooper can also be a good runner. She is a junior.”
Gregory Raz and Patrick Timmons for the boys, along with Sierra Cooper with the girls, round out the teams. Brandon Smeltzer, a sophomore, is a first-time runner who shows promise.
“I have four freshmen coming in this year, and I’ve been harder on them than I’ve ever been on newcomers,” Martin said.
Ian Alexander is the lone new face for the boys, while the girls bring in three newcomers in Hailey Brumley, Kaitlyn McCullough and Julia Myers.
“My expectations are that we must be competitive, now that I have a full year in the books,” Martin said. “I want us to send a few of us to regionals. We have a young team, but I expect us to do well this year.”
The first event for the season was scheduled for Tuesday, Aug. 23, at the First to the Line event in Eaton. The next will be the Bob Schul Invitational on Saturday, Aug. 27.
Reach Oliver Sanders at 937-683-4062 or on Twitter @osanders_RH