Cross country teams: expect ‘big things’

The Oren sisters will once again help the Hawkeyes in their quest for the top of the podium.

If one were to drive along 136th Avenue on an early August morning, he’d be sure to see athletes from the Hamilton Cross Country team keeping pace as they trained for the upcoming fall season.  According to Head Coach Jeremy Luhmann, such dedication is essential, for it takes, “months to prepare” in order to train your body for the 3.1 mile races.  With such tenacity, it’s no wonder the team has done so well.

Thanks to top team and individual rankings at state meets over the past couple of years, accomplishments for the team are fairly well-known in the community. Luhmann believes this season holds just as many promises.

“There are a few (teams) with individual talent,” Luhmann said, “but no others with as much depth as us.”

It is this depth, along with key runners Elizabeth Overbeek, Emily Oren, Cathy Coryell, and Molly Oren, which will help the girls stay ahead of the pack in their quest for a coveted state title.

As for the boys, the team will have to face the challenge of losing decorated upperclassmen.  However, Luhmann feels the team has, “a good core group” of runners who will contribute to around a third-place conference finish.  He also feels that the boys are a, “tight group with a lot of strength.”  Some top runners for the boys include Noah Sall, Brett Slayton, Brian Sheridan, and Kray Freestone.

Girls’ captains Kelsey Whitcomb and Emily Oren expect, “big things” out of the season and hope to, “go all the way (and win state).”

They agreed on the the word to best sum up the girls team was “driven.”  Because of a phenomenal training ethic, the girls hope to build upon past success by improving times and winning state.

Noah Sal, the boys’ captain, believes his team is very, “connected” and, “has a good time.”  They are striving to, “pick up the slack” left by graduated members such as Taylor Compton and Elliot Mulder to, “go for the win.”  The boy’s goals for the season include beating last year’s regional standing of fourth place.

The first race of the season will take place at Wayland, tomorrow, August 26, with conference meets beginning on September 21.

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