Experience returns aplenty for Cadott, with both the boys and girls teams returning several runners.
Boys captain Logan Freed is one of four seniors (Tyler Gillett, Brandon Pederson and Gilbert Walthers) returning from a team that finished ninth at sectionals last season.
The boys team will also get a boost from a handful of talented freshmen joining the team. James Pfeiffer took 29th overall and finished second among Cadott runners at the Bruce invite on Aug. 31.
Senior Elizabeth Kyes returns to captain the girls team with junior Bailey Nichols and sophomore Rachel Manier returning as letterwinners.
They’ll be joined by junior Sam Pfeiffer, competing in her first year of cross country but bringing experience from track and field, among others who hope the team falls in the mix for the Cloverbelt Conference title.
What the Hornets return in cross country experience is doubled by the recent success of many Cadott runners at the state track and field meet. For the boys, Pederson finished 14th in the 400-meter dash, Gillett took 16th in the 800 and both competed on a 1,600 relay team that fell short of qualifying for the finals.
On the girls side, Kyes won the state title in the 400, finishing in 57.31 seconds. She also took third in the 800 (2:19.17).
With experience returning in all forms, both the boys and girls hope to challenge their conference opponents. The girls finished seventh last season while the boys took ninth.
The Knights were limited last year in the number of races the boys could run as a team. Low number kept Lake Holcombe/Cornell from seeing their team among the standings.
With added numbers and four letterwinners returning, the Knights aren’t just looking to score as a team. They’re hoping to score well.
“We hadn’t really had a lot of team scores in the past,” coach Jake Ebner said. “Last year we had only beaten a total of three teams at meets. In our first meet this year we beat four complete teams, so right there the guys are getting kind of excited.”
Seniors Sam Peterson and Nick Halpin return along with juniors Brandon Bintz and Nate Parkhurst from last year’s team. With senior Kyle Girard, junior Trenton Glaus and Kyle Goltz and freshmen Evan Dixon, Sam Larson and Luke Thompson on the roster, Lake Holcombe/Cornell is in a position to keep climbing in the team standings.
For the girls, seniors Lexi Moussette and Kayla Vavra return to lead a talented group, though the experience is top heavy. Moussette (2012) and Vavra (2013) each have qualified for state in the past, but five of the team’s eight returning letterwinners were freshmen last season.
There’s a lot of talent returning to the Blackhawks, but experience will be something of a project.
Senior Sarah Heinze returns as the most experienced runner on the girls team after taking 18th at sectionals last season. She’ll take over as captain after the graduation of three-time state qualifier Cora Bruxvoort.
All-Conference runners Jacob Anderson and Jacob Malinowski graduated from last year’s boys team, but junior Eli Olson returns as captain. Sophomore Joe Lanzer also returns after competing as a freshman.
“This year’s teams are very young and talented,” coach Char Kelley said. “There is a lot of potential with this year’s team, however it is a building year for us. There is a lot of work to be accomplished and I am very excited to see this team develop.”
The Orioles graduated state qualifier Nathan Bauer from last year’s team, but with sophomore Dalton Smith and junior Christian Kuechenmeister joining the team, along with Brice Vircks and Derek Burlingame, Stanley-Boyd will be able to score team points for the first time after running as individuals the last few seasons.
Michael Samplawski is the lone returning senior. He finished 45th at last year’s Cloverbelt Conference meet.
Numbers are low on the girls side. Maryanne Petersen took 42nd (29:44.9) and Nora Verkerk finished 53rd (33:55) at the Loyal/Greenwood/Granton invite on Sept. 1 as the only two to compete for the Orioles.
Nick Mahr enters his first year as coach for Stanley-Boyd.
Diane Vaughn joins the Trojans in her first year as coach and inherits a boys team with a nice balance.
Seniors Colton Lunemann and Zachary Vaughn return to lead the team. They took 53rd (23:25.7) and 65th (24:46.1), respectively, at the Bruce invite on Aug. 31.
The two seniors will be joined by two newcomers in junior Fred Running and freshman Elijah Edinger. Running took 81st (25:37.2) and Edinger took 91st (26:58.1) at Bruce.
“I see our young men working hard day after day,” coach Vaughn said. “They have each set personal goals and I fully expect each of them to meet and even exceed them.”