In his 26th year of coaching the Cardington cross country program, Erik Kyrk returns a good deal of experience on his boys’ team.
Sophomore Mason White was an all-conference and all-district runner, while junior Racine Hallabrin and sophomores Devin Gheen, Kaleb Meade and Sam West all also earned varsity letters. Also on the squad are junior Skylar Streich, sophomore Michael Rose and freshmen James Hallabrin and Evan Kyrk.
Gone from last year’s squad are all-conference and all-district runner Quinn Maceyko, as well as Spencer Benson, who provided leadership.
“We have a young hungry team that is improving everyday,” said the coach. “Five returning letter earners who gained valuable experience last year.”
While only having nine runners means that staying healthy is a concern for Kyrk, he likes his team’s youth.
“We have a young team that is looking to improve upon our fifth-place KMAC finish from last year and our fourth-place finish at districts, just missing qualifying to regionals,” he said.
In the league, Kyrk looks at Mount Gilead and Fredericktown to be the favorites, but has hopes his team will be up with that group. His team goals are to finish in the top three in the conference and then be in the top two at districts on the way to advancing runners to the state meet.
Currently, the girls’ team, which graduated Sage Brannon and Alicia McElwee, has only four runners. Senior Ashlee Drury and sophomore Marlo Young earned letters last year, while sophomore Bella Scurlock and freshman Alexis Brook also will run.
While Kyrk picks Mount Gilead and Northmor as the league favorites, he has other goals for his group.
“Have a team!” he said. “And improve as individuals and earn a couple of all-conference and all-district honors.”
Rob Hamilton can be reached at 419-946-3010, ext. 1807. Connect with him on Twitter at @SportsMCS