With six letter-winners returning, as well as a decent freshman class, Cardington cross country coach Erik Kyrk has high hopes for his girls’ team.
Seniors Bailey Shafer and Jessica Shook, juniors Sage Brannon and Alicia McElwee and sophomores Ashlee Drury and
Abbey Lorimer all return for the Pirates, who only lost Destiny Williamson to graduation. They will be joined by sophomore Lesley Reed and freshmen Emily Benson, Casey Bertke and Taylor Linkous.
“We have solid numbers, six returning letter earners and a solid freshman group joining the upperclassmen,” said Kyrk. “As always, our concern is keeping everyone healthy.”
While the coach looks at Mount Gilead, Fredericktown and Northmor as the favorites in the Blue Division, he feels his team has the ability to be in that mix.
“Our goals are to keep building and developing our runners, finish near the top of all meets and finish near the top at conference and districts,” he said.
The boys’ team is in more of a rebuilding state after graduating three of its top runners. Gone are three-time All-Ohioan Jacob Long, as well as all-conference and all-district runners Josh and Mike Queener. Josh Queener also was a state qualifier last year.
However, the team does return four runners including junior Quinn Maceyko, who earned first-team all-district honors last year. Also back are senior Toby Beveridge, junior Spencer Benson and sophomore Greg Osborne. New to the team are freshmen Sonny Grooms, Racine Hallabrin, Andrew Schoppelrei and Alex Queener.
“We have four returning lettermen, three with regional meet running experience, but we are rebuilding our team and need to keep everyone healthy with low numbers,” said Kyrk. “We want to improve from meet to meet, build a solid running base and prepare for the future.”
The coach looks at Mount Gilead and Fredericktown as the top contenders for a Blue Division title.